PhD in Network Science

The Network Science doctoral degree at Northeastern is supported jointly by the Khoury College of Computer and Information Sciences, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, College of ScienceBouvé College of Health Sciences, and D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Our interdisciplinary program provides the conceptual and mathematical tools needed to describe and predict networks in an ever-evolving field. You’ll learn a range of network-based approaches, and will become proficient in relational (graph-based), mathematical, and algorithmic techniques, as well as fundamental network theories that can be used to explain mechanisms and processes of networks across domains—in physical, technological, informational, and social systems.

As the only Network Science program based in the U.S., our curriculum provides a scholarly experience that is truly one of a kind. The program fosters intellectual and quantitative agility, enabling you to combine theoretically-driven inquiries with data collection and analytic tools and theories—while also understanding when, and in what contexts, particular techniques are appropriate and meaningful.

You’ll also engage in intensive research early in your doctoral experience, on projects led by renowned faculty from our innovative Network Science Institute.

The Power of Your Degree

The Network Science PhD program empowers students to gain the technical and problem-solving skills necessary to become thought leaders of the next century. The network perspective leverages the deep interconnectivity and complexity of our world, and the investigations into human or physical phenomena you’ll undertake often involve multiple types of connections and many levels of “actors.” Once you understand the structure and function of those connections, you’ll be able to explain the behavior of any element embedded in a system of other elements.

The field draws on theories and methods from many disciplines, including graph theory from mathematics, statistical mechanics from physics, data mining and data visualization from computer science, inferential modeling from statistics, social structure from sociology, and information structure from informatics. Network science—and, in turn, our Network Science PhD Program—offers powerful theories and methods that integrate and extend advances from these fields to many real-world applications.

Network Science Focus Areas Include:

  • Disease, health and health care, biological function, and ecology
  • Political and economic processes
  • Social and technical infrastructures
  • Team performance and group decision-making
  • Evolution of knowledge acquisition and innovation

It is expected that graduates will be well-prepared to enter competitive careers in industry, academia, non-profits, and government agencies.