Carnegie Mellon University

PhD in ECE in Portugal

Dual degree

The Information and Communication Technologies Institute is an international "virtual" institution with poles in Portugal (ICTI@Portugal) and at Carnegie Mellon University (ICTI@CMU). Interested students may apply for doctoral study in ECE through the ICTI. Those accepted will take courses that have been approved by the Carnegie Mellon ECE Department at a partner institution in Portugal.

Graduates of the program will earn two degrees—one from Carnegie Mellon and one from the Portuguese partner. Admission criteria for the ECE/Portugal PhD Program are identical to current ECE PhD admission standards. Students admitted to ICTI@CMU will be fully funded with tuition and a stipend from the ICTI.


Students in the ECE/Portugal PhD program will undertake a research-intensive study of the fundamentals of electrical and computer engineering. During the course of obtaining the PhD degree, pupils will create and disseminate knowledge of electrical and computer systems. Courses offered in Portugal will typically be taught by Portuguese professors in English. The content, style, and level of each course will be reviewed by Carnegie Mellon.

Degree timeline

The ECE/Portugal PhD degree is a five-year program, with two years on the Carnegie Mellon campus and three years in Portugal. Here is a standard timeline for completion of the program (deviations may be approved on a case-by-case basis):

Year Tasks
First Coursework at one or more of the Portuguese universities.
Second Research and additional coursework at Carnegie Mellon.
Third Thesis research and teaching internship at Carnegie Mellon.
Fourth Thesis research and second teaching internship in Portugal.
Fifth Thesis research and completion in Portugal.

Faculty advising

Students will be supervised by a pair of faculty advisors from Carnegie Mellon and Portugal, who will create and define a research project for each student to complete in pursuit of their degree. Advisors will also assist with course selection and other elements of the PhD program based on the students' background and academic goals. All requirements of the current ECE PhD program apply to the ECE/Portugal PhD program as well.

It is expected the Portuguese advisor will spend up to one semester at Carnegie Mellon during the third year, and the Carnegie Mellon scientific advisor will visit the Portuguese institution at least once during the program.


ICTI@CMU is directed by ECE Professor José Moura with the collaboration of about 40 Carnegie Mellon faculty members. Participants in the ICTI and ECE/Portugal program include professors, researchers, and students from six colleges, eight departments, six research centers, and six institutes at Carnegie Mellon as well as a large consortia of Portuguese research and education institutions, including 12 higher education institutions, four associate laboratories, one applied research institute, and two governmental agencies.

The ICTI also features a research component that focuses on scientific areas, including information processing and networks, critical infrastructure and risk assessment, applied mathematics and technology, innovation, and policy. A robust industrial affiliate program includes the membership of Portugal Telecom, the main telecommunications operator in Portugal; Siemens Networks; and Novabase. Other major national and multinational companies and a number of technology-based firms, including Critical Software, a leading Portuguese software company, are committed to help define the program strategy and direction.

Portuguese partner institutions