Industry PhD

A Doctoral Program for Full-time Employees

Many working professionals aspire to earn their PhD without leaving their full-time jobs. The Industry PhD program allows employees with Master’s degrees to work full-time while conducting research at their employer site under the guidance of a Northeastern faculty member and advisor from their employer.
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Work is done at company

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Creates opportunities for employee growth and advancement

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Research projects are designed collaboratively to satisfy company and university interests

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Protects the company's intellectual property and confidentiality needs

There are three parallel processes that must be completed to become an Industry PhD student

Advisor MatchingApplicationAgreement
Northeastern’s PhD Network will assist you in finding a faculty advisor.  Together with your Employer Advisor, you will design a dissertation project.Industry PhD candidates must apply to the program of their choice as any applicant would.  You will indicate you are an Industry PhD applicant.  Do not submit an application before working with the PhD Network.And your employer will execute an agreement.  Organization receives IP and confidentiality protections, while Northeastern can publish given protections.  Northeastern is responsible for academic oversight and guidance in degree-granting process.
  1. The Northeastern University Industry/Experiential PhD Program is an academic degree program offered by Northeastern to qualified individuals who obtain advanced-entry admission and wish to pursue their PhD degree while continuing to work full time.
  2. To participate in the program, the student’s employer must execute the attached Program Agreement and pay an annual administrative fee, which covers tuition and certain fees.
  3. In consideration of the student’s status as a full-time employee, the Program Agreement confers certain benefits on the employer, including:
    • Permitting the student/employee to continue working full-time, and to engage in use- inspired research that is aligned to the employer’s business. In most cases, this research will take place at the employer’s site.
    • Allowing the employer to retain all intellectual property developed in the course of the student’s research, in accordance with its internal company policies.
    • Including an individual designated by the employer to serve on the student’s dissertation committee as an “industry advisor” and to monitor the student’s research progress.
  4. The attached template has been carefully drafted with the input of several industry partners to address the employer’s business needs while protecting the integrity of the degree program, the validity of the student’s research, and the university’s accreditation status.
  5. Because this is a Northeastern University academic program, the material terms of the Program Agreement are not negotiable. If the employer has specific operational requirements that need to be addressed by written agreement, the employer may submit an addendum to the Program Agreement, which the university will consider in good faith. However, any terms that seek to change the fundamental operation or academic components of the program or the obligations of the parties will not be accepted.

For more on the program, please fill out our form or contact Dr. Jason Sidman.