PhD Programs

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is awarded from a department and represents the culmination of a significant amount of work, imagination, and perseverance by you. The degree is earned once your thesis advisor and doctoral committee agree that you have demonstrated independent thought and research, made original contributions to the fundamental knowledge in a given field, and have produced a substantial body of information in the form of a dissertation publishable in a refereed journal(s). The dissertation documents your research and is expected to be a scholarly work.

Rensselaer awards the doctor’s degree in recognition of high achievement in scholarship and independent investigation. The Ph.D., under the auspices of the Office of Graduate Education, is awarded when the dissertation is directed toward making an original contribution to fundamental knowledge in a particular field or in an interdisciplinary field. A dissertation that is scholarly, creative, original, and publishable may deal also with the relation of a discipline to educational problems and objectives within the field. The Doctor of Engineering degree, under the auspices of the Professional School of the School of Engineering, is awarded when the student proposes an engineering problem of substance and develops a solution to it in a creative and distinguished manner.

Rensselaer Signature Research Opportunities:

School of Science School of Engineering School of Architecture
School of Management School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences  

School of Science -
Research –
Faculty –

Department of Biology

  • Molecular, Cell and Development Biology
  • Neuroscience
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Computational Biology
  • Ecology and Environmental Sciences
  • Microbiology
  • Structural Biology
  • Cancer Biology
  • Stem Cells

Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology

  • Chemistry
  • Chemical Biology and Biochemistry
  • Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
  • Physical and Computational Chemistry
  • Organic and Medicinal Chemistry
  • Polymer and Materials Chemistry
  • Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry.
  • Biotechnology
  • Nanotechnology
Computer Science
  • Algorithms and Theory
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Bioinformatics
  • Computational Science and Engineering
  • Computer Vision, Graphics and, Robotics
  • Data Mining and Machine and Computational Learning
  • Database Systems
  • Pervasive Computing and Networking
  • Programming Languages and Software Engineering
  • Security
  • Semantic Web
  • Social Networking
Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences
  • Geology and Hydrogeology
  • Inorganic
  • Igneous Experimental Geochemistry Seismology
  • Solid Earth Geophysics Isotopic
  • Organic Geochemistry metamorphic Petrology
  • Geochemistry Lithoshere Dynamics
  • Tectonophysics Paleoceanography
  • Micropaleontology Environmental
  • Freshwater Geochemistry

Information Technology & Web Science

  • Database & intelligent Systems
  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems Engineering
  • Software Design
  • Networking
  • Information Security
  • Financial Engineering
  • Human Computer Interaction

Department of Mathematical Sciences

  • Acoustics
  • Applied Geometry
  • Approximation Theory
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biomathematics
  • Chemically-Reacting Flows
  • Computational Logic
  • Dynamical Systems
  • Environmental Problems
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Inverse Problems
  • Machine Learning
  • Math Education
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Multiphase Flows
  • Nonlinear Materials
  • Nonlinear Analysis
  • Nonlinear Waves
  • Operations Research and Mathematical Programming
  • Optimization
  • Perturbation Methods
  • Scientifics Computing

Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Optical Physics
  • Biological Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Particle Physics



School of Engineering -
Research -
Faculty -

Department of Biomedical Engineering

  • Biomechanics
  • Biomaterials
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Imaging or Electrical Instrumentation

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

  • Geotechnical
  • Structural
  • Transportation
  • Environmental

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

  • Advanced Materials
  • Biochemical Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Drug Delivery
  • Interfacial Phenomena.
  • Mass Transport.
  • Molecular Simulations
  • Polymers
  • Process Control, Design, and Optimization
  • Separation and Bioseparation Processes
  • Molecular Theromodynamics
  • Systems Engineering
  • Nanotechnology
  • Systems Biology
  • Transport Phenomena

Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

  • Decision Technologies for Adaptive Supply Chains
  • Social Networks/Data Mining
  • Soft Computing/Computational Optimization
  • Maritime Safety Systems
  • Bayesian Decision Systems
  • Stochastic Process in Supply Chain
  • Simulation Based Optimization
  • Network Optimization
  • Material Flow Logistics
  • Database Systems
  • Statistical Forecasting/Exploratory data Analysis

Department of Electrical,  Computer Systems Engineering

  • Control, Robotics and Automation
  • Communications, Information and Signals and Systems
  • Computer Engineering, Hardware and Architecture
  • Microelectronics, Photonics, VLSI, and Mixed-Signal Design
  • Computer Networking
  • Image Science: Computer Vision, Image Processing, and Geographic Information Science
  • Energy Sources and Systems
  • Plasma Science and Electromagnetics

Department of Materials Science & Engineering 

  • Nanomaterials
  • Materials Characterization
  • Materials for Energy
  • Electronic Materials
  • Advanced Processing & Synthesis
  • Computational Materials
  • Metals
  • Composites
  • Corrosion / Electrochemical Materials
  • Glasses / Ceramics
  • Materials / Biology Interface
  • Polymeric Materials


Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering

  • Multiscale/Computational Modeling
  • Nanostructured Materials and Properties
  • Aerodynamics
  • Propulsion
  • Nuclear Physics / Nuclear Reactor.
  • Design
  • Advanced Nuclear Materials
  • Heat Transfer and Energy Conversion
  • Fluid Mechanics (Computational Theoretical, and Experimental)
  • Medical Imaging, Health Physics
  • Dynamics and Vibrations
  • Manufacturing
  • Fission Systems & Radiation Transport

School of Architecture -
Research -
Faculty -

Concentrations in:

  • Acoustics
  • Built Ecologies
  • Lighting

School of Management -
Research -
Faculty -

Concentrations in:

  • Finance, organization and Risk Analytics
  • Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Innovation and technology Entrepreneurship
  • Production and Operations Management
  • Management of Information Systems
  • New Product Development and Marketing

School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences -
Research -
Faculty - 

Cognitive Science Department

  • Computational Cognitive Modeling
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Perception and Action
  • Vision Science
  • Cognitive Engineering
  • Social Simulation and Multi-Agent Modeling
  • Theoretical Neuroscience
  • Computational Linguistics
 Department of Economics
  • Ecological Economics
  • Environmental Economics
  • Input-Output Analysis
  • Climate Change
  • Energy Economics
  • Industrial Ecology
  • Evolutionary Economics
  • Economics of Technological Change
  • Econometrics
  • Electric Power Systems Economics
  • Renewable Energy

Arts Department

  • Electronic Arts
  • Experimental Art and Music
  • Computer Music
  • Video Art
  • Community Media
  • Tactical Media
  • Performance Art
  • Inetactive Media Art
  • Game Design

Department of Language, Literature and Communication

  • Communication
  • Rhetoric
  • Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
  • Media Studies
  • Game Studies
  • Visual Design
  • Writing Studies
  • Literary Theory

Department of Science and Technology Studies

  • Technology Studies
  • Science Studies
  • Policy Studies
  • Ecological Economics, values and Policy

Click here to view over 100 graduate programs in more than 50 disciplines that attract top students, researchers and professors. Fueled by significant support from government, industry, and private donors, Rensselaer promises a truly unique experience, a world-class education, in an environment tailored to the individual.