PhD in Computer Science and Learning Sciences

PhD in Computer Science and Learning Sciences

PhD in computer science and learning sciences

The Joint PhD Program in Computer Science and Learning Sciences builds on enduring and growing connections between research on learning and computation. Rapid technological advances continue to create new and exciting ways to both understand and support learning in all settings and in all stages of life. This program is intended for students with an interest in both fields who would otherwise be forced to choose one area or the other.

Areas of Interest

The possible areas of study are broad and draw from the diverse expertise of affiliated faculty. However, all research must have clear relevance to both Computer Science and Learning Sciences. Example areas of interest include educational data mining; computational modeling as a means to understand complex scientific phenomena; adaptive technology for learning; equity issues in computing; intelligent tutoring systems; and interaction design to support learning.

  • Interaction Design
  • Computational modeling and simulations
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Programming language design
  • Machine Learning
  • Crowd Sourcing
  • Social Computing
  • Cognitive Modeling
  • Learning Analytics
  • Game Design
  • Educational Data Mining
  • Computer Science Education
  • Visualization
  • Learning at Scale
  • Tangible and Ubiquitous Computing
  • Robotics


Note: This page has not yet been updated to reflect any changes or updates for the 2023-2024 application cycle. Please check back in early September when these updates will be completed.

Deadline: December 15

Applications for the PhD program are accepted for fall quarter matriculation only.

Apply Online

Application Materials

All application documents are required to be submitted electronically. We do not accept paper copies of application documents. The following application documents are required:

  • Graduate School online application
  • Resume or CV
  • GRE Scores (optional)
  • TOEFL Scores (international applicants only)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Academic Transcript
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Writing Sample
  • Application fee of $95 submitted online

Writing Sample

The writing sample should be academic in nature and provide evidence of your ability to conduct scholarly inquiry. There is no length limit, but the file size must not exceed 2MB in order to upload. Students typically submit documents such as research papers, honors theses, and course papers.

Academic Transcript

Copies of unofficial transcripts may be submitted during the application process. However, official transcripts are required of all admitted students before the start of the first quarter.

Find out more about post-secondary official transcripts

GRE Scores (optional)

GRE scores must be sent directly from ETS and must be no older than five years at time of matriculation.

More information about GRE scores (send scores via code #1565)

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

English proficiency scores are required of all international applicants. If you have earned a graduate or undergraduate degree from an accredited institution of higher education where the primary language of instruction is English, you are not required to submit a TOEFL score. For the TOEFL, you must score 600 or higher on the paper-based test, 250 or higher on the computer-based test, 100 or higher on the internet based test. For the IELTS, you must receive a score of 7.0 or higher.

Learn more about English proficiency scores for non-native English speakers

Contact Us

Learning Sciences Program School of Education and Social Policy

2120 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Northwestern University

Phone: 847/491-4329