PhD Program

The university level Interdisciplinary Ph.D. enables research students to train as the next-generation of multidisciplinary researchers and be well positioned to address high impact research questions as trailblazers in new and emerging research fields.

This interdisciplinary degree referred to as the Doctor of Philosophy or the Northeastern University Doctor of Philosophy complements existing Ph.D. programs and is structured to offer flexibility in choice of disciplines and research locations and provides real-world experiences. Students can create an individually tailored program of study for which they can draw from the disciplines supporting their research. Students will also have the flexibility to perform their dissertation research at a location most appropriate for their research program and to draw on the most appropriate disciplines for their research.

This university – level Interdisciplinary Ph.D. supports high impact research through opportunities to:

  • Engage with partners in industry and nonprofit / government organizations as part of their dissertation research;
  • Team with a multidisciplinary group of researchers
  • Create a customized and interdisciplinary research program

The proposed Doctor of Philosophy:

    • Provides an opportunity for students with their Dissertation Committee to design their own interdisciplinary program to address the needs of their research and career goals.
    • Supports research at partners and across the Global University System by having a single Ph.D. degree approved at our regional campus locations, thereby avoiding the need to have each of the University’s Ph.D. programs approved individually by the current and future network locations before student and research demand is demonstrated.
    • Encourages scholars at Northeastern’s partner institutions to serve as course instructors and members on Dissertation Committees.
    • Allows for joint or dual degrees with other institutions of higher education, provided a university level partnership agreement is in place.


Application Materials

In addition to the standard application materials that includes transcripts, references and a personal statement. Each applicant is required to submit a description of the research they propose to pursue.  They must also justify why the proposed research is interdisciplinary.  If through the preliminary application process, it is determined that the research is sufficiently interdisciplinary, the application process will continue and include meeting with Northeastern faculty to revise the original research statement. Admissions decisions will be based on the academic record of the applicant as well as how the applicant is able to evolve their original research statement based on discussions with potential faculty advisors.


Preferred Deadline: January 15.

Preliminary applications will be accepted year-round.

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