Applicants should have a bachelors degree in computer science, electrical engineering, or related field. We accept students from other backgrounds (especially linguistics), who have some combination of the following courses (undergraduate or graduate level):
- Computer science (programming, data structures: typically the 1st and 2nd year CS major undergraduate courses)
- Math (calculus, discrete math, linear algebra)
- Probability and statistics
The program is designed to take one and a half years (5 terms) for full-time students. The program starts in fall, and continues through winter and spring. It continues the following fall and winter. No courses are offered during summer term. Students are expected to take between 9 and 10 credits per term: 3 courses at 3-credits each, and a 1-credit course in some terms. A typical timeline is given here. Information about taking classes without being admitted or part-time is here.
After the first 3 terms, students will have taken core courses in machine learning, automatic speech recognition, and natural language processing. This should give students enough skills to land a 3-month paid summer internship at a company, such as at one listed on our Post Graduate Career page. Faculty can also be helpful in finding summer internships for students.
International students can also do paid internships through the Curricular Practical Training program. More information can be found on the U.S. Immigration web site.
Students in the non-thesis option must take 15 courses (45 credits). 6 courses must be in their major (Computer Science or Electrical Engineering). A further 5 courses must be in CS or EE.
Of the 15 courses, 4 can be electives outside of CS and EE. Students must also fulfill the ethics requirement, for which they can use CS 569 Scholarship Skills or CONJ 650. Fulfillment of the ethics requirement is counted as an elective.
Students will determine what courses they take in consultation with their advisory committee. Courses will be chosen so as to give the student a solid understanding of their area, as well as specialized knowledge in speech and language processing, machine learning, and/or applying this to biomedical problems.
In addition to the scheduled classes, students can also take independent study or research credits with a professor. With approval of their Advisory Committee, students can also take courses from other departments in the School of Medicine, including conjoined courses. These will usually count as electives. Also with approval of their Advisory Committee, students can take courses at PSU to increase their breadth in CS and EE.