PhD Archives - Graduate Studies at Northeastern University
The PhD in Computer Science equips you to conduct state-of-the-art research in computer science, either in academia or in industry. You will assimilate ideas and concepts from theoretical studies and from in-depth, hands-on design, and programming of both large time-sharing systems and single-user microcomputers. Your experience and dissertation qualify you for a range of high-end careers in the field.
The PhD in Personal Health Informatics at Northeastern University prepares students to lead research and development of new person- and patient-facing technologies that will transform healthcare delivery within the U.S. and around the world. The program combines a strong foundation in human-computer interface technology and experimental design in health sciences with a research program focused on exploring how technology designed with a patient- or person-facing perspective might transform healthcare delivery. It brings together students who have a strong health science background and a desire to develop innovative technologies with students who have strong technical backgrounds and a passion for using technology for disruptive innovation in the health care industry.
In addition to focusing on technology to support healthcare, wellness, and coping with chronic conditions, the program provides a strong foundation in health science and experimental methodology in the health sciences, with practical experience gained during the program by immersion in one or move of Boston’s outstanding medical research institutions. Highly trained professionals with the skills and knowledge and experience to lead transdisciplinary teams in the design and validation of new health technologies are increasingly in demand in academia, industry, government, and non-profit public health organizations.
Information Assurance (IA) concerns the protection of information systems by ensuring data privacy and integrity, user authenticity, and legitimate use of system resources. IA professionals understand the relationship between information technology and people, systems, society, policy, and law. This interdisciplinary Master of Science and PhD program are offered jointly by the College of Computer and Information Science, the College of Engineering and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities and are the only such programs in New England. The National Security Agency/Department of Homeland Security have jointly designated the University as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research and Education. Graduates can expect to work in federal, state and local government agencies as well as commercial and financial organizations. The DoD Information Assurance Scholarship Program, as well as the NSF Cyber Service Scholarship Program, is available to full-time students with concentrated studies in information assurance and cyber security.
As a counseling psychologist trained at Northeastern University, you may find yourself in any number of varied and fascinating settings. With the broad-based training and placement experience you undertake at Northeastern, you can serve clients in a variety of clinical settings and give them attentive, focused care to help them recover from trauma and ongoing conditions. Northeastern's is the only such program that allows you to select concentrations like forensic counseling, child and adolescent counseling, health psychology, or cultural, gender, and political psychology.
School of Nursing
Northeastern’s School of Nursing offers Master’s, Ph.D. and D.N.P. degree programs to accommodate a range of backgrounds and academic and professional goals.
As a student in the Bouve College of Health Sciences, you will be led by senior faculty and leaders in the industry. Northeastern’s affiliation with over 100 institutions enables you to select the best fit for your clinical rotations. Our programs are nationally recognized, including our Nurse Anesthesia program, which ranks in the US News and World Report’s top ten.
Explore our website for details on each of our programs, and join the nursing field’s finest, by joining us at Northeastern.
Direct Entry Nursing (MS)
Nursing Anesthesia (CRNA; MS)
Nursing Administration (MS)
Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing (MS)
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS)
The Bioengineering program at Northeastern draws on faculty across the University and reflects the significant strengths of bioengineering research in multiple areas. Students accepted to the program will complete a rigorous core curriculum in basic bioengineering science followed by completion of an immersion track curriculum. There are currently seven tracks from which to choose: 0) Committee-guided, custom track, I) Bioimaging and Signal Processing, II) Biomechanics and Mechanobiology, III) BioMEMs/BioNANO , IV) Biochemical and Bioenvironmental Engineering, V) Motor Control, and VI) Biocomputing.
A PhD in chemical engineering prepares you for a career in academics or as a senior researcher in a huge range of industries. The program requires both course work and a dissertation that is the result of original research. The supportive program in the College of Engineering encourages active learning in the lab and in the field. The master's degree requires both course work and a thesis. Noncredit seminar courses expose you to professionals in the field and give you the chance to learn about related topics.
Civil engineering is a broad field and Northeastern offers you the opportunity to sample many of its components. You can earn a master's or PhD in civil engineering with a focus on construction management, environmental engineering, geotechnical/geoenvironmental engineering, structural engineering, and transportation engineering. You can complete the degree requirements on a full- or part-time basis.
Computer Engineers apply expertise in computer hardware, software, and algorithms to impact a number of technological areas. Northeastern's PhD program in Computer Engineering offers the opportunity to pursue cutting-edge research in the following areas: computer architecture, fault tolerance, security, embedded systems, VLSI, algorithms, data mining, testing, parallel computing, machine learning, machine vision and software engineering.
As a student in the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program at Northeastern University you will gain the knowledge and skills needed to identify and examine health problems that impact urban and underserved populations. Upon graduation from the program you will be able to assume a position as a nurse researcher, educator, and scholar in a school of nursing, clinical agency, research center, or other health care organization. Your preparation as a clinical nurse researcher will position you to participate in cross-disciplinary research teams that describe, design, and test interventions to improve health care for individuals, families, and communities living in a wide array of metropolitan settings.
The interdisciplinary specialization is intended to meet the needs of students interested in combining courses and skills from two areas of specialization. At least one of the specialization areas must come from within the college. The second area may come from a department in another college at Northeastern University, such as Biology, Chemistry, or Engineering. Dissertation coadvisers are arranged for students who elect this option.
Students may begin to consider this option by discussing it with a faculty member in the college representing one of their areas of interest and by informing the PhD program director's office. The two areas of academic concentration are reflected in the course work, cumulative exams, and dissertation work undertaken. Students take the usual required courses. Specialization and General Elective Core courses are approved by the coadvisers. Students electing the interdisciplinary option must fulfill the same requirements as all other PhD candidates.
Master of Science:
Increasingly, scientific work is becoming interdisciplinary. In response to this trend, this interdisciplinary program has been set up which allows the student to focus on more than one area in biomedical science. The program is appropriate for both those entering as well as those currently employed in the field, including research technicians, clinical laboratory workers, science teachers and science administrators. For those currently employed, the program can enhance their performance in a present position or open up new employment opportunities. Graduates of the program will be well prepared to enter related PhD programs at the University.
This specialization offered by the Center for Drug Discovery (CDD) trains students in the design and synthesis of novel biologically active compounds and in the study of their mechanisms of action using biochemical, biophysical and pharmacological approaches. The CDD's excellence in teaching has been recognized by the award of a Training Grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for predoctoral and postdoctoral training in development of medications. These will be targeted to treat drug abuse and other indications such as neuropathic pain, obesity and neurodegenerative disorders.
Students earning a PhD degree in pharmaceutics will be thoroughly versed in the fundamentals of physical pharmacy and pharmaceutics in addition to being trained in several more specialized areas such as:
- biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics
- drug metabolism
- pharmacokinetic/toxicodynamic/pharmacodynamic correlation
- novel drug delivery systems
With exposure to these various facets of pharmaceutics graduates are poised to understand and assimilate the field of modern pharmaceutics. A PhD in pharmaceutics is a research degree. While course work plays an important role, students become a real participant in the science of pharmaceutics in the laboratory. Faculty research covers a broad range of scientific interests including: pharmacokinetic toxicodynamics of anticancer agents, use of biomaterials and synthetic polymeric systems in design of drug delivery systems, passive and active targeting of therapeutic agents, cardiovascular targeting of drugs, novel delivery systems for proteins and peptides and mathematical modeling of endogenous compounds.
Master of Science:
Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery Systems Description
Just as cars are useless without roads, drugs are useless without an effective delivery system. The Bouve College of Health Sciences' pharmaceutics faculty and students are developing the pathways that bring drugs and DNA therapies directly to the target cells.
The PhD pharmacology specialization allows a student to specialize in the study of the actions of drugs. In addition to developing a sound knowledge base through course work and seminars, the program is designed to strengthen the student's ability to comprehend and to evaluate critically the current literature, allowing the conduct of significant independent research. Recent graduates with a PhD in pharmacology have found employment in academic or industrial research positions.
Master of Science:
Graduate education in pharmacology embodies the principles and mechanisms of drug action on biological systems. Through course work, seminars, and conferences, students gain exposure to both classical and recent approached that have led to the development of current theories of drug action. Pharmacology should not be confused with pharmacy, which is a professional degree allowing a licensed individual to dispense drugs.
Graduate-level psychology programs are offered through two Northeastern colleges:
- The Ph.D. in Psychology through the Department of Psychology, College of Science (Please visit here for more information)
- 5 areas of Applied Psychology through the Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, Bouve College of Health Sciences
Master’s, Ph.D. and Certificate Programs in Applied Psychology through the Bouve College of Health Sciences
The Bouve College of Health Sciences’ programs in Applied Psychology integrate science and practice to prepare students for counseling and psychology professions in educational, governmental, community, organizational and private settings.
Of them, two Ph.D. programs prepare those interested in professional psychology for specialized careers in academic, practice or licensed psychologist positions.
College Student Development and Counseling (MS/Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study)
With a focus on counseling, on college student development and on the background of the student affairs field, this program provides emerging professionals with the academic and experiential background to lead student personnel programs that enrich the academic experience of college students.
School Counseling (MS)
Northeastern’s focus on experiential learning, its urban location and its immediate access to suburban communities situates students in the guidance counseling program with the widest range of opportunities to engage in supervised practicum. Students often specialize in kindergarten to middle school or middle to senior high school levels, and are eligible for Massachusetts state provisional certification upon graduation.
School Psychology (PhD/MS/ Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study)
This program develops highly competent school psychologists to conduct psychological, educational and behavioral assessments that enable them to design effective interventions and to implement counseling for children, parents and school staff. Northeastern’s distinctive field placements, applied research programs and collaborative faculty position graduates to enter the field knowing a wide range of assessment, prevention and counseling approaches.
Counseling Psychology (PhD/MS/ Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study)
Northeastern’s three programs in Counseling Psychology educate practitioners and Licensed Mental Health Counselors through small classes and clinical training. Master’s degree students choose to concentrate in:
- Health Psychology;
- Forensic Counseling;
- Early Intervention;
- Child and Adolescent Psychology; or
- Cultural, Gender and Political Psychology
Ph.D. candidates expand their mastery of counseling psychology practice and research in a variety of settings by working with children, adolescents, families and adults. Both the MS and Ph.D. programs meet the Massachusetts state licensure requirements.
Early Intervention (Certificate)
The Early Intervention specialization can be pursued as an independent certificate program or as a concentration integrated into a graduate program in speech-language pathology, audiology, school psychology, counseling psychology or physical therapy. Coursework and practicum experiences prepare students to work with infants and toddlers to improve known disabilities and to assess risks for developmental delays.
As a school psychologist, you have the high quality training and psychological skills to understand the problems of students and provide assessment, consultation, and counseling services. You help at-risk students and implement prevention services. You know how to intervene effectively with the enormous range of challenges that confront children, parents, teachers, and administrators. You are dedicated to making students' lives as productive and enjoyable as they can be.
The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University offers a PhD in Criminology and Justice Policy. This program prepares students for academic careers as well as careers in research and policy development. The program is small and student-centered with the goal of preparing students for academic and policy placements. For full-time students it is expected that students entering the program with a bachelor's degree will be able to complete the program in five to six years and students entering with a master's degree will be able to complete the program in four years.
Industrial engineers use a variety of mathematical and computer methods to study, improve, and optimize processes in a wide range of manufacturing and service settings. Students with a bachelor's degree in engineering, mathematics, or science may apply for the master of science in industrial engineering degree program. Both degrees can lead to advanced work in robotics, corporate planning, or workstation design; the PhD also qualifies you for academic and research work.
The Master of Arts degree in applied economic policy analysis is designed to serve the need for a terminal graduate degree for professional economists, government officials, and economic consultants, and to lay the groundwork for students who wish to pursue the PhD degree. Approximately twenty students enter the program each year. Whether we are in periods of economic growth or decline, periods of increasing regulation or deregulation, or in Republican or Democratic administrations, public and private sector employers are looking for PhD-trained economists in applied areas. The doctoral program in applied economics at Northeastern University is small and focused, with specialization in two fields: Industrial Organization and Labor Economics.
Graduate faculty members in the English Department at Northeastern University cover a spectrum of traditional literary fields from the medieval period to postmodernism, as well as composition and linguistics. In addition, many faculty members conduct research that cuts across the subjects and methods of traditional fields, including research on the Atlantic literary world from the Renaissance to the present; cultural studies, including material culture, film, studies in gender and ethnicity, and cultural theory; and rhetoric. In keeping with the broad interests of its graduate faculty, the Department of English offers a range of graduate degree programs. The Ph.D program is for full time students only.
Boasting an energetic faculty that has achieved national and international recognition for its research, the Department of History at Northeastern University offers three programs of graduate study. The Ph.D. and MA programs focuses on global approaches to historical analysis in research and teaching, and the Master of Arts with a certificate in Public History is geared toward students who wish to work in historical organizations. The Doctoral Program is one of few Ph.D. programs in the country that specifically emphasizes world history as a primary field of study, and for its particular strengths in gender, social, and cultural history. Recently, the AHA Committee on Graduate Education cited Northeastern's World History Program as being in the vanguard of these studies. Each of the two Master's programs provides training to students who translate their Northeastern degrees into rewarding careers in teaching or into admission to leading doctoral programs in history throughout the country. The MA in Public History has achieved special recognition as one of the best of its kind nationally, preparing students for careers in museum and archives administration, historical preservation, editing, and in public history filmmaking and media. In all areas, the Department emphasizes close mentoring of students, training in a range of research methods and methodologies, and practical experience in teaching. Graduate students participate actively in the History Department Seminar, where they, along with faculty, are invited to present their research. Benefiting from Northeastern's location in Boston, students can take advantage of multiple research opportunities offered by a wealth of archives and libraries in the Boston area. In recent years the Department has been able to provide significant financial aid to more than eighty percent of incoming students.
The Ph.D. in Law & Public Policy is an interdisciplinary public policy program that provides a comprehensive view of the policy making process and its outcomes from a law and social science perspective. Our interdisciplinary focus means that students come from a variety of backgrounds. Students quickly find that engaging in a classroom with other students who hold degrees such as the MBA, JD, MPH, or other social science degrees is quite an intellectually stimulating experience. Areas of policy emphasis include Health Policy, Sustainability and Climate Change, Crime, Law, and Justice, Labor Market Analysis and Workforce Development Policy, and Urban Policy. Many graduates are in tenure-track academic positions, others are well-placed in government, the court system or policy research positions.
The Political Science Department offers graduate programs designed for students interested in learning more about the political world around them and for those seeking careers in academia, government, nonprofit organizations, and other related fields in politics, policy, and public management.
Our PhD in Political Science covers four fields: American government, comparative politics, international relations, and public policy. Through a combination of theoretical foundations and practical applications, our PhD program prepares students as practitioners, researchers, and teachers. Doctoral students concentrate on a primary and secondary field, while also developing core skills in research. This curriculum acts as a foundation for our PhD candidates in the writing and defending of their dissertations.
Our Master of Arts in Political Science focuses on the core scholarly areas of political science. Students specialize in one of four concentrations: American government and politics, comparative politics, international relations, or public policy. Courses in the MA program serve as a foundation for work in a doctoral program or as preparation for a career related to politics, the government, or public policy.
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Northeastern University is home to an exciting interdisciplinary graduate program that leads to a Ph.D. in Sociology. The scholarly interests of our faculty are diverse. Ongoing research projects range from quantitative analyses of inter-group attitudes to comparative and historical investigations of regional, national, and globally-based institutional changes. Within our graduate program, this diversity is organized around four overarching themes that represent key 'areas of concentration': globalization and international studies; urban affairs and community studies; gender studies; and social justice, conflict, and inequality.
For those whose interests span more than one area of engineering, the Graduate School of Engineering offers the opportunity for an interdisciplinary master's or doctorate that involves substantial work in two or more departments. You and your adviser will develop an appropriate course of study that combines in-depth study and original research that shows how the fields combine to create a new whole.
Mechanical engineering involves designing ways to transmit the energy that powers the modern world. Our master's and doctoral programs allow you to concentrate in materials science and engineering, mechanics and design, or thermofluids engineering, with an eye toward a career in developing new technologies like energy conversion, solar energy, and environmental control.
The Law and Public Policy (LPP) graduate program, offering both an MS and PhD, is designed for students who want a solid background in public policy as well as law. This is an interdisciplinary public policy program that prepares students for careers in government, nonprofit and legal organizations, and research. After completing the Juris Doctor (JD), MS students take one year of courses in LPP, ending with a capstone course. Students examine a full range of strategies for creating policy change, including legislation, litigation, the ballot box and civil action. Students engage in policy analysis and applied research that develops real-world solutions to public policy challenges. The PhD path is an interdisciplinary public policy program that provides a comprehensive view of the policy making process and its outcomes.
The biology department combines a broad knowledge base with an in-depth study of specialized areas, and emphasizes close interaction between graduate students and faculty to develop the skills required for creative independent research. Faculty research includes biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, physiology, ecology and evolution.
M.S. - The department offers thesis- and non-thesis based advanced degrees with concentrations in analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, and in interdisciplinary fields such as polymers, materials, and bio-related chemistry. Ph.D. - This program is designed for students who have earned a bachelor's or a master's degree in chemistry and who wish to earn a doctorate in chemistry degree. The program of study includes some course work but the primary emphasis is on the completion of an original research project, its articulation in a well-written thesis and its subsequent defense before a panel of department faculty. This is a full-time degree program that typically takes 5-6 years to complete. Financial support (teaching assistantships or research assistantships) is normally provided for students admitted to this program throughout their period of study who are found to be making good progress toward their degree. Applicants for this degree-granting program are expected to have an earned B.A., B.S., or M.S. in chemistry or to have completed the equivalent coursework with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better from an accredited college or university.
The Department of Mathematics at Northeastern University is internationally known for its mathematical research and education. The graduate programs offer MS and PhD degrees in Mathematics, as well as an MS degree in Operations Research (in conjunction with the MIME department), and an MS degree in Applied Mathematics. Students with an MA or MS degree in mathematics should apply directly to the Ph.D. program. Students without an MA or MS in mathematics, who would like to enter the Ph.D. program, should instead apply to the MS program. Once students complete their MS degree requirements they may then apply to the Ph.D. program. The majority of students who obtain an MS degree in our program continue on into the Ph.D. program and obtain the Doctorate. It is the hope and expectation that students entering our program will continue the Ph.D. The programs are designed to provide students with a broad overview of current mathematics and a strong command of an area of specialization. Graduate students work with internationally recognized faculty in a range of research programs in both pure and applied mathematics. In addition, numerous seminars and colloquia at Northeastern and in the Boston area give students ample opportunity to learn about important recent advances in mathematics.
The Northeastern physics department performs advanced research in condensed matter, fundamental particles and fields, biophysics, and complexity. The MS program gives you an understanding of physics' basic theoretical structures as preparation for conducting cutting-edge research.
The Ph.D. program in the psychology department covers a wide spectrum of contemporary behavioral science within a close-knit community of faculty and students. The program offers four distinct areas of experimental emphasis: behavioral neuroscience, language/cognition, perception, and social/personality. (The program does not offer training in clinical or counseling psychology.) The objective of the Ph.D. program is to prepare students for careers in research and teaching in psychology. To accomplish this goal, the department takes a mentoring approach whereby the graduate students are apprentices in faculty laboratories, working closely with their faculty mentors throughout their time in the program.
A program of study is determined by the candidate and the Dissertation Committee. A typical program consists of 24 semester hours of course work beyond the Master of Science degree. The PhD program, however, must consist of at least 16 semester hours of course work. The exact nature of the program of study will vary among candidates depending on the dissertation subject area and the candidate's preparation. The program will include one minor area of study consisting of at least 8 semester hours of course work beyond the Master of Science degree in an area other than that in which the candidate is concentrating. The minor may be in another discipline within electrical and computer engineering or the minor area may be in another relevant technical or scientific discipline. The candidate must achieve an overall minimum 3.000 QPA and a 3.000 QPA in the minor area.
The risk of developing diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes are attributable to a complex combination of factors such as diet, physical activity patterns, and environmental factors, combined with genetic factors. The provision of adequate health care and preventive measures in an environment fraught with health disparities has become a formidable challenge. Traditionally, public health is understood to implicate the critical functions of state and local public health departments such as preventing epidemics, containing environmental hazards, and encouraging healthy behaviors. Population health encompasses traditional public health, but emphasizes the full range of the health of individuals. Unlike traditional public health promotion or health education approaches that often target individual risk factors, population health intervention research looks further upstream at policies and barriers that affect the capacity for whole populations to make change. Population health intervention research is not just about evaluating a specific program aimed at individuals; it looks at the broader policy framework within which an intervention is developed; it is the whole context. It seeks to step beyond the individual level focus of mainstream medicine and public health by addressing a broad range of factors that impact health on a population-level; such as environment, social structure, and resource distribution. The Ph.D. program in Population Health will provide education and experiential opportunities to students who will become engaged researchers, going on to lead efforts to meet the health needs of the population and ending health disparities.
Because population health is inclusive, our program will emphasize interdisciplinary and team science, with a solid base of research methods; followed by one of three concentrations: 1) Nutritional epidemiology; 2) social determinants of health; and 3) health services research and policy. Students will have the ability to tailor the program to their interests through selection of interdisciplinary faculty dissertation committees.
In line with Northeastern University’s mission to educate students for a life of fulfillment and accomplishment, this program will give students a skill set that allows them to address population health issues in a more holistic, multidisciplinary way, using team science approaches. Additionally, the mission of Northeastern University to create and translate knowledge to meet global and societal needs will come to full fruition with a Ph.D. program that creates the next leaders in research whose work results in applicable solutions to improving the health of populations.