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Network Science PhD Program
Boston, USA

Scholarship / Financial aid: full tuition waiver, full medical coverage and a competitive yearly stipend

Date: 2015 intake

Deadline: February 1st, 2015

Open to: students from around the world with strong interdisciplinary interests

Announcement follows

The PhD program in Network Science at Northeastern University is a new interdisciplinary program that provides the tools and concepts for understanding the structure and dynamics of networks across diverse domains, such as human behavior, socio-technical infrastructures, or biological agents. Students have the opportunity to work with some of the most prominent network scientists in the world, and can participate in cutting edge research activities and work with unique large-scale network datasets. Network Science is deeply interdisciplinary, yet shares a common core, and students in this program both develop expertise in these core concepts, and interact and learn from members of the network science community across a wide range of fields, including computer science, information science, complexity, physics, sociology, communication, organizational behavior, political science, and epidemiology.

Northeastern University is a world leader in Network Science, with prominent faculty in the field such as Albert-László Barabási, Alessandro Vespignani, David Lazer, and Alan Mislove; numerous affiliated faculty; and multiple centers and labs with scores of researchers. A key element of the program involves careful mentoring from these faculty and immediate involvement in the cutting edge research taking place at Northeastern. Current formal concentrations of study, in addition to the core material, include the physical sciences, the social sciences, health science, or computer and information sciences.

We offer a generous complete package for the first year that includes a full tuition waiver, full medical coverage and a competitive yearly stipend as long as the student remains in good standing at the end of the academic year.
See the Overview and the sections on Courses and Requirements for more information.

Program overview

A series of recent reports from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Research Council and Institute of Medicine have highlighted two fundamental directions for future scientific progress – complexity and transdisciplinarity. Working across traditional boundaries, researchers have begun to accelerate the integration of theoretical ideas and research technologies under the set of ideas and approaches that have recently been referred to as Network Science. Research on network connections among multiple types and levels of “actors” offers a potentially powerful mechanism to understand the workings of complex systems across broad areas of science, including information and technology, biological systems, health and health care, local and global political and economic processes, socio-technical infra-structures and sustainability. This perspective requires novel evaluations of, reconfigurations in, and innovations for standard methods of theorizing, data collection and analysis. In order to provide training for the next generation of network scientists that couples deep disciplinary knowledge with interdisciplinary Network Science, the PhD program in Network Science at Northeastern is built on the following core principles:

• In-depth training in disciplines and programs essential to interdisciplinary research. Students are admitted in a track-based program. Current tracks are focused on the physical sciences (physics); social sciences (political science); health science (epidemiology); and computer and information sciences. Additional tracks may be added in the future.

• Common, foundational training in all aspects of Network Science (e.g., approaches, languages, problems) beginning in the first year of graduate training to build an inherently interdisciplinary science and the next generation of researchers.

• Learning to combine theoretical/substantive questions with the appropriate tools and techniques for data collection and analyses. While no student can become expert in all of these tools, a key element will be combining ideas, techniques, and collaborations into the novel interdisciplinary approaches that are paramount to Network Science.

The interdisciplinary nature of the proposed program draws students who are interested in applying network science in different areas and disciplines. Students should be both technically proficient and interested in major scientific challenges and the solution of real world problems using this novel research paradigm. The program provides a path for students to acquire experience and skills in networks while at the same time being knowledgeable in their own track/concentration of investigation. See Courses and Requirements for more details.


We expect applications from talented students from around the world with strong interdisciplinary interests. Application materials include: transcript(s), a personal statement, three letters of reference, general GRE scores, and TOEFL in the case of international applicants (a minimum score of 100 is required).

Financial Aid

We offer a generous complete package for the first year that includes a full tuition waiver, full medical coverage and a competitive yearly stipend as long as the student remains in good standing at the end of the academic year.


To begin the application process, please go to the application portal. Apply now!

Applications are due February 1 for a Fall start.

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