Dual Degree Ph. D. Programs

The Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program (CMU Portugal) offers top dual degree Ph. D. programs in cutting-edge focused areas of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Upon the Ph. D. program completion, graduates receive two degrees, one from CMU, and another degree from the partner university in Portugal. All courses are conducted in English, both in Portugal and at Carnegie Mellon. Scholarships are available on a competitive basis.  

Two countries, two diplomas, one world-class education and research experience!

With an international education and credentials, the CMU Portugal dual degree graduates are in an excellent position to build their careers at an international level. You can read more about our current Ph. D. students and Ph. D. alumni to learn of their achievements in the Program and beyond.

1. Doctoral Programs Available

Below is a list of fields of doctoral programs available through the CMU Portugal Program, and their respective application deadlines. Each link will take you to an overview of each doctoral program, containing also a link to the application home page.

2. Application Deadlines 

The application deadlines for the doctoral program scholarships calls are December 14, December 15, January 1, and January 15, depending on the application deadlines of each Ph. D. program, as described above. 

3. How to Apply

Prospective students apply directly to the program they are interested in.

The CMU Portugal Program has a decentralized admission process. Each Ph. D. program manages its own application process. To apply, determine which dual degree Ph. D. Program you are interested in and then apply directly to that program as instructed on its webpage. The application deadline varies depending on the selected Ph. D. program.

There is funding available within the CMU Portugal Program. Please see section 5 for more information about financial support. 

 3.1 Admission Requirements

Any interested candidate should confirm the exact admissions procedures with Carnegie Mellon University for the specific dual degree Ph. D. Program they are interested in.

As a general guideline, students must do the following to apply for a program: (Please note that the admissions requirements will vary from department to department and the information indicated below is general.) 

  • Complete online application form for admission to graduate programs.
  • Take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test and have scores sent directly to CMU.
  • All students whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Scores are sent directly to Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Submit a Resume.
  • Submit a Statement of Purpose.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation.
  • Pay the non-refundable application fee.
  • Submit official Transcripts of prior academic record, indicating first class or equivalent standing.

GRE test 

On the following website - http://www.ets.org - you can register for the GRE test. In Portugal, this test can be taken in Lisbon and Coimbra. To meet the application deadline, we recommend applicants to take the required tests by September. GRE Scores are valid for five years; older scores will not be considered.

Fluency in English 

The TOEFL is required for international applicants whose native language is not English. More information can be found on the following website: http://www.ets.org  

4. Selection

Admission is highly competitive. The evaluation is essentially based on the merit and motivation of the applicant. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate good English fluency. 

The evaluation panels will review the submitted applications, weighting the review elements and ranking the candidates. Individual interviews are foreseen as a selection method for the final phase. 

5. Financial Support

 5.1 CMU Portugal Doctoral Program Scholarships 

In the framework of the CMU Portugal Program, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia and Information and Communication Technologies Institute have a call open for applications for Ph. D. scholarships, taking place in Portugal and at CMU, in the fields outlined above, in section 1.  

Application Process

The applications for CMU Portugal Ph. D. scholarships take place jointly with the applications to the doctoral programs and the application process is the same. Please see above, in section 3 more information on how to apply. 

The dual degree Ph. D. scholarships of the CMU Portugal Program are granted in association with its Entrepreneurial Research Initiatives (ERIs), for research work within their scope.

Research Topics

Research topics available for Ph. D. Scholarships, as well as the supervisors at both CMU and Portugal, are defined by the CMU Portugal Program, in association with its Entrepreneurial Research Initiatives (ERIs). Some research opportunities can be found here.

Hence, candidates do not need to present a work program or an adviser's support letter and CV at the time of application. However, candidates are required to present recommendation letters and a motivation letter where they should justify the reasons for applying to one of these programs and their research topics selection.

Financial assistance is granted on the basis of the student’s potential for scholarship and creative research, and their fit with the research topics available. 

Scholarships Support and Duration

The dual degree Ph. D. programs have a typical duration of 5 years, in order for the student to meet the requirements of both universities involved, thus spending three years in Portugal and two years in the United States of America. Typically, students start the coursework in a Portuguese university – currently there are eight Portuguese universities involved (Aveiro, Católica Portuguesa, Coimbra, Lisboa, Madeira, Minho, Nova de Lisboa, and Porto) – then spend a period of time at CMU, in Pittsburgh, in the United States of America, and finally return to Portugal to complete the Ph. D.

The Ph. D. students enrolled in the dual degree Ph. D. program will receive financial support in a form of a Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program Fellowship that will cover tuition fees paid directly to the institution and a monthly stipend.

While staying in Portugal, the accepted candidate will receive the fellowship directly from FCT. While pursuing their studies at Carnegie Mellon, the Ph. D. students will receive the FCT funding through the home department of the doctoral program in which they are enrolled.

Once the candidate accepts the admission offer, instructions on the steps to be followed will be provided.

Awarded scholarships shall start on the beginning of the 2018/2019 academic year.


Find out more by downloading our Calendar and Application Process Guidelines.
For further information on the call for applications for doctoral program scholarships for the academic year 2018/2019, please refer to the Announcement published on FCT’s web page.
5.2 Other Sources of Financial Assistance 

As an alternative to direct funding from the CMU Portugal Program, candidates to the dual degree doctoral programs may be able to secure financial assistance through a regular FCT Ph. D. studentship supplemented by additional funding at CMU. Prospective students apply directly to the program they are interested in. Please see above, in section 3 more information on how to apply.

Candidates interested in exploring this and other alternative sources of financial assistance should contact potential advisors in Portugal and at CMU. More information about FCT Ph. D. studentships, and the application process, in particular, is available here.  

Thank you for your interest in the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program!   

Please take a look around to learn more about the CMU Portugal Program. If you have any questions, please visit our F.A.Q. and News pages. Should you still have any unanswered questions, feel free to contact us via email: info@cmuportugal.org.