PhD Programs

The Northeastern PhD Network is designed to build community among PhD students, providing students with support and resources university-wide to enhance their educational experience and career preparation.

Shared values unite PhD-centered activities at Northeastern:

  • Excellence with purpose: All PhD programs combine academic rigor with societal impact, preparing critical thinkers to tackle the world's most challenging problems.
  • Innovative thinking: Our education programs, mentoring activities, and research scholarship develop novel content and pathfinding approaches.
  • Crossing boundaries: PhD students transcend disciplinary and international boundaries during their innovative educational journey.
  • Integrative education: The integration of scholarship and research training with collaborative fieldwork and professional development provides a uniquely experiential education.
  • Inclusive diversity: Students and faculty from diverse cultures and backgrounds drive excellence by bringing a wide range of perspectives to our distinctive programs.

At Northeastern, every PhD student has opportunities to acquire experience beyond traditional dissertation research. Exposure to and integration with our many industry and academic partners—through internships, fieldwork, and other collaborations—and in authentic settings—from laboratories, startup companies, and nonprofit institutions—lead to research with greater impact and broader career opportunities, both within and beyond academia.  The PhD Network works with internal and external partners to grow and facilitate opportunities for PhD students.

Explore the PhD Network website to learn more about:

  • Resources that support PhD students’ educational, professional, and personal lives
  • Events created especially for PhD students, both at Northeastern and through our partners
  • Funding in support of fellowships, internships, and conference attendance

Northeastern’s Experiential PhD programs enable students to expand critical inquiry, learn, work, and chart a path to professional success through authentic opportunities at organizations in industry, government, and the nonprofit sector. Beyond the comfort zone of their own university research group, PhD students encounter immersive experiences that help shape their research perspective. They also bring fresh ideas and talent to their host organizations.

The immersive Experiential PhD transforms the educational experience by:

  • Challenging students to solve problems in the context of society’s needs and limitations, a mission that will help shape the questions they raise and answer through their dissertation research

  • Equipping students for a lifetime with creativity, cultural agility, and professional skills—public speaking and communications, project management, leadership, and teamwork—they’ll need to turn discoveries into solutions

  • Enriching fields of expertise by introducing new mentors and collaborators to each student’s professional network, host institution, and university research laboratory

  • Developing frameworks for research and dissertations that transcend traditional discipline-specific boundaries by expanding context and content—new perspectives have an impact from start to finish

Experiential PhD offers major benefits to both students and institutional partners. As students work to solve complex problems and chart careers as future innovators, their host institutions gain advantages like these:

  • A deeper engagement in rapidly evolving fields of research

  • Access to university facilities and senior faculty expertise

  • Opportunities for senior leadership to mentor and co-publish with students and to serve on their dissertation committees

  • A chance to recruit emerging talent

  • Opportunities to partner with Northeastern, an entrepreneurial research university known for its innovative collaborations with academia, government, and industry

Northeastern is one of the only universities in the world to offer students options for learning and pursuing research outside of their primary research group in all of its doctoral degree programs. These real-world placements are highly flexible and customizable, tailored to meet the needs of both Northeastern’s PhD students and our institutional partners.