Close this search box.

Ph.D. in Societal Computing

The Ph.D. Program in Societal Computing is a computer science based multidisciplinary program that aims to train computer scientists to understand the bigger picture in which computation operates and to create technology from this broader vantage point.

The Software and Societal Systems Department (S3D) within the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University offers the dual degree Ph.D. in Societal Computing together with Universidade de Lisboa, Instituto Superior Técnico (Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering; Ph.D in Electrical and Computer Engineering).


This Program aims to tackle the complex challenges at the intersection of computation, society, and policy. 

With a multi-disciplinary approach, the Ph.D program in Societal Computing prepares tomorrow’s leaders to design technologies addressing societal needs and guide their implementation.

Program and Course Structure

The Program and course structure requirements and contents at CMU are available on the Software and Societal Systems 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 in technology policy; innovative entrepreneurship, as well as leadership positions, in industrial domains such as Big Data, Cloud Technology, Robotics and Web Technology.



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 optional
• 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