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Dual Doctoral Program

Dual Doctoral Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering

The CMU-Portugal collaborative scientific program includes a dual doctoral program in the area of Electrical and Computer Engineering. This PhD is to be offered by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at CMU and by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), Universidade Técnica de Lisboa (UTL).

After successful completion, graduates will be awarded two PhD degrees: One by Carnegie Mellon and another by Instituto Superior Técnico.

The main focus of this doctoral program is on Networked Sensors, Communication, and Decision Systems.

The dual doctoral program is structured so that students spend part of their time at CMU and at one of the Portuguese partner Institutions.


Students in the CMU-Portugal Ph.D. Program in ECE will undertake a research-intensive study of the fundamentals of electrical or computer engineering. During the course of obtaining the Ph.D degree, pupils will create and disseminate knowledge of electrical and computer systems. Research areas include Wireless Sensor Networks, Embedded Distributed Systems, Real-Time Computing, Robotics, Image Processing and Computer Vision , Control and Decision Systems.

Courses offered in Portugal will be taught in English by Professors of the partners institutions.

For a full list of available courses and PhD requirements see Carnegie Mellon’s ECE page

Courses offered at IST will change each year, depending on the student’s preferences and scientific profile.

Degree Timeline

The doctoral program is designed to take up to five years to complete. Students are required to fulfill course requirements covering fundamentals and applied topics in the relevant areas of their research program. Typically, each student will spend the first year in Portugal taking the courses on fundamentals. The next 1½ /2 years are spent at CMU to complete the course requirements, the qualifying examination, the PhD Thesis Proposal, and one of the teaching internship requirements. The final 1½ /2 years are spent in Portugal. Since the beginning, the student will be involved in research activities related with the theme of his/her thesis.

Faculty Advising

Students will be supervised by two faculty advisors, one from Carnegie Mellon and the other from one of the Portuguese partners. Carnegie Mellon and IST have several teams already cooperating and developing joint work and projects, so that joint advising provides a richer research environment.

Students will choose their advisors during the first year of the program. If the application results from prior colaboration or joint work, the advisor’s name can be indicated in the application form. All requirements of the current ECE Ph.D. Program at Carnegie Mellon and at Instituto Superior Técnico apply to the CMU-Portugal Ph.D. Program in ECE, as well.

PhD Grants

The Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation (FCT) through CMU-Portugal Program will provide PhD grants for the Dual PhD Program in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Students will have an FCT grant while in Portugal and a CMU grant while in the US. Tuition will be covered by the scholarships. A call will be opened in due time.

Who can apply (for Grants)?

Candidates need not to have their degrees finished at the application deadline. Students in their final year are encouraged to apply, since degrees can be finished until the PhD program begins.

Which background ?

Candidates can hold a degree in Engineering, Math or Physics. Besides the traditional Electrical Eng. profile, the wide area of sensor networks, communication and decision systems provide an enormous variety of challenges either purely theoretical (involving geometry, large scale nonlinear optimization, combinatorics …) to mostly applied.

How to apply ?

Though students must be admitted in both engineering colleges (IST/ECE-CMU) FULL APPLICATIONS (with documentation) MUST be submitted to the Carnegie Mellon University website only(red box below).

Also, please fill the IST form below (only the form, no documentation) and send it to the program coordinator at IST by email(

Admission Tests - Please read

All applicants must do and submit the TOEFL and GRE scores to CMU. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and GRE (Graduate Record Examination) are requirements and quite relevant in the selection process. Applicants should prepare them carefully.

To register and obtain all information about GRE and TOEFL visit or contact the program coordination (cmuportugal-ece AT

Applications that are not complete (e.g., missing GREs or TOEFL) will still be considered evaluated, with decisions pending on conditional submission of all required materials. You may send the tests after the application.

You will need these codes to have them sent to Carnegie Mellon University.

Carnegie Mellon’s Institution Code: 2074

GRE Department Code: 1203

TOEFL Department Code: 66