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Ph.D. in Machine Learning

Advances in the development of automated techniques for data analysis and decision making requires interdisciplinary work in areas such as machine learning algorithms and foundations, statistics, complexity theory, optimization, data mining, among others.

The Ph.D. Program in Machine Learning is designed to train students to become tomorrow’s leaders through a combination of interdisciplinary coursework, hands-on applications, and cutting-edge research.

The Machine Learning Department (MLD) within the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University offers the dual degree Ph.D. in Machine Learning together with Universidade de Lisboa, Instituto Superior Técnico (Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering; Ph.D. in Digital Media; Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering).


This Program tackles all aspects of machine learning, from its theoretical foundations, algorithms and problem framings, to its diverse application.

The program includes multidisciplinarity methodologies ranging from statistics, knowledge representation, planning and control, databases, causal inference, computer systems, machine vision, and natural language processing.

Program and Course Structure

The course structure requirements and contents at CMU are available on the Machine Learning Department website.


The thesis will be co-advised by at least two co-advisers, one from CMU and one from a Portuguese partner University

Type of Degree

The student will be awarded with a dual degree Ph.D conferred by CMU and another by the Portuguese partner University. During the Ph.D., the student should comply with the regulations of both Universities.


Graduates will be prepared for faculty positions, industry research, entrepreneurship, as well as leadership positions in several domains.



5 years (full-time), with up to 2 years at CMU and up to 3 years at a Portuguese University.

Scholarships and tuition

The Ph.D. students enrolled in the dual degree Ph.D. program will receive financial support through an FCT - CMU Portugal Fellowship (includes tuition fees and a monthly stipend).

Application requirements

The dual degree Ph.D. program uses the School of Computer Science online application for admissions.
You must submit the following documents with your application:
• CV (pdf.)
• A statement of purpose — a concise one- or two-page essay describing your primary research interests, related experiences and objective in pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science
• Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required
• English proficiency: If your native language is not English or you have not graduated from a U.S. university, you must submit a TOEFL or IELTS test. Duolingo tests are also accepted in case you are unable to to test for TOEFL or IELTS
• Transcripts from each college and/or university you attended, even if no degree was granted (pdf.)
• Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which are from faculty or recent employers