Doctoral Programs

Doctoral Programs

Interested in applying? Visit our Graduate Admissions Overview page or read our Frequently Asked Questions.


The School of Computer Science offers more than fifteen Ph.D. programs across seven departments, plus several interdisciplinary tracks. The doctoral programs differ from each other by their set of course requirements, though there is some overlap of courses between programs. Common to all its Ph.D. programs is a priority on research, and attention to improve teaching, speaking, and writing skills.

From their first day in their Ph.D. programs, students work closely with a research advisor. They begin projects of their own or as part of a team. In probing the unexplored, discovering the unknown, and creating new knowledge students experience the thrill of doing research.Students and advisors are matched based primarily on mutual research interests, subject to funding and faculty availability. The school offers all Ph.D. students full financial support while they are in good academic standing in their respective program. This loose coupling between advising and funding gives students flexibility in choosing their advisors and is a unique aspect to SCS's doctoral programs.

The SCS research environment is distinctive in other ways too. Advisors and students work as peers, underscoring the School's approach to students as individuals. Doctoral programs are flexible to harmonize with a student's personal background, strengths, and weaknesses. Students often work with more than one faculty member and with many other students during their career here. Hand-in-hand with a collaborative research environment is an interdisciplinary mindset that allows diverse research centers and institutes to thrive within the School. Another unique research attitude within SCS is that building systems is considered a "first-class" activity. The phrase "first-class" signifies our belief that design, implementation, debugging and evaluation are activities worthy of the finest minds and intellects, and that the effort involved in building realistic systems is rewarded by the insights gained and the impact achieved. Together, the research environment and doctoral programs provide an educational experience from which students emerge amply prepared to take on new challenges.

All Doctoral Programs by Department

Computational Biology Department [Department Website] [Fact Sheet (pdf)]
Ph.D. in Computational Biology
MD/Ph.D. in Computational Biology
Computer Science [Department Website]
Ph.D. in Computer Science
Ph.D. in Computer Science/Neural Basis of Cognition
Ph.D. in Computer Science/Dual Degree Portugal
Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Tracks
Ph.D. in Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization
Ph.D. in Pure and Applied Logic
Human-Computer Interaction Institute [Department Website]
Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction
Institute for Software Research [Department Website]
Ph.D. in Software Engineering
Ph.D. in Societal Computing (formerly Computation, Organizations, and Society)
Ph.D. in Software Engineering/Dual Degree Portugal
Language Technologies Institute [Department Website]
Ph.D. in Language and Information Technologies
Ph.D. in Language and Information Technologies/Dual Degree Portugal
Machine Learning Department [Department Website]
Ph.D. in Machine Learning
Joint Ph.D. in Neural Computation and Machine Learning
Joint Ph.D. in Machine Learning and Public Policy
Joint Ph.D. in Statistics & Machine Learning
Robotics Institute [Department Website]
Ph.D. in Robotics
Ph.D. in Robotics/Neural Basis of Cognition