Graduate Minor in High Performance and Scientific Computing

Central Computer Processor digital concept

Ph.D.-trained individuals with skills and credentials in high-performance and scientific computing (HPSC) are highly sought after and can expect exciting and rewarding career opportunities in industry, national laboratories, as well as in academia.

The graduate minor is designed to allow doctoral students focusing on HPSC to add a credential to their degree that acknowledges their expertise in the area.

The minor is open to all Ph.D. students in Notre Dame’s College of Engineering and College of Science.

Computational science lies at the intersection of applied mathematics (algorithms and models), applied disciplines (chemistry, mechanics of materials, turbulence, robotics) and computer science (software development, the computer, and information infrastructure).

Students pursing this minor train in physical sciences in their home department and complement those skills with coursework and Ph.D. work in numerical methods, data and statistics, and scientific computing.

Dissertation requirements

The Ph.D. dissertation must contain work dedicated to HPSC and address all of the following four areas:

1) description of computational architectures (CPU, GPU, accelerators, communication network);

2) description of numerical methods developed or used for the research;

3) description of parallel implementation strategy (MPI, schedulers, work questions); and

4) scaling plots (weak or strong scaling) and/or data management plots, thread migration plots, etc. to illustrate high-performance computing components and utilization.

Students should work with the minor coordinator and their advisor to ensure that their dissertation contains the required elements prior to distributing the dissertation to their defense committee.

The Ph.D. work should be performed in a high-performance computing environment such as CPU or GPU clusters in Notre Dame’s Center for Research Computing; HPC systems in national laboratories; HPC systems in other computing centers. Work on standalone desktop or laptop computers is not sufficient for the minor.

Coursework requirements

The minor requires 12 hours of coursework in computations and related areas. Two of the courses must be beyond the minimum course requirement for the student’s regular program. The courses must be selected from the list of approved courses, with at least one course from the Numerical Methods group and one course from the Scientific Computing group.

Numerical Methods

  • AME 60541: Finite Element Methods
  • AME 60613: Finite Elements in Engineering 
  • AME 60614: Numerical Methods
  • AME 60714: Advanced Numerical Methods
  • AME 60741: Computational Nonlinear Solid Mechanics
  • AME 70732: Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • AME 90936: Computational Fluid Dynamics
  • CBE 60499: Nonlinear and Stochastic Optimization
  • CBE 60547: Computational Chemistry
  • CE60130: Finite Elements in Engineering
  • ACMS 60395: Numerical Linear Algebra
  • ACMS 60690: Numerical Analysis I
  • PHYS 50051/ACMS 50051: Numerical PDE Techniques for Scientists and Engineers
  • PHYS 60050: Computational Physics

Scientific (HP) Computing

  • ACMS 60212: Advanced Scientific Computing
  • CSE 60755: Parallel Computing
  • CSE 60771: Distributed Systems

Data and Statistics

  • ACMS 60801: Statistical Interference
  • ACMS 60850: Applied Probability
  • ACMS 60852: Statistical Methods in Data Mining
  • ACMS 60885: Applied Bayesian Statistics
  • ACMS 70780: Categorical Discrete Data
  • ACMS 70860: Stochastic Analysis
  • AME 60617: Bayesian Data Assimilation and Parameter-State Estimation in Scientific Computing
  • AME 70779: Statistical Computing Methods for Scientists and Engineers
  • AME 70790: Bayesian Methods for Surrogate Modeling and Dimensionality Reduction
  • CSE 60625: Advanced Topics in Machine Learning
  • CSE 60627: Machine Learning
  • CSE 60647: Data Mining
  • CSE 60884: Complex Networks
  • CE 60140/40140: Applied/Computational probability
  • PHYS 60070: Computing and Data Analysis for Physicists


To apply, you must be at the stage of the candidacy exam.

Complete the required application form at the stage of your candidacy exam and get signatures from your Ph.D. thesis advisor and from the Coordinator of the Graduate Minor, Prof. Karel Matous.

Once your dissertation is written, but not yet submitted to the Graduate School, complete the required course approval form and get signatures from the AME Director of Graduate Studies and from the Coordinator of the Graduate Minor.


Questions about the program

Prof. Karel Matous
Coordinator of the Graduate Minor

Questions about the application process

Carly Reynolds
Academic Program Administrator
Graduate Studies