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Language Technologies Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
School of Computer Science

Ph.D. Program in Language and Information Technologies

The Ph.D. program in Language and Information Technologies is focused on understanding and extending the state of the art in computational linguistics, information retrieval, multimedia information retrieval, natural language processing, machine translation, speech procesing, text mining, and other topics related to analysis of unstructured information, for example computational biology, machine learning, and software engineering of intelligent systems.

Overview of the Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. in Language and Information Technologies consists of several components:

  • Successful completion of courses in four focus areas;
  • Successful completion of elective courses;
  • Mastery of certain proficiencies; and
  • A program of research culminating in a Ph.D. thesis.

Please see the LTI Policies and Procedures for a more detailed set of rules concerning this program.

Typically during their first two years in the program, students spend 50% of their time doing coursework and 50% of their time doing research under the supervision of their Ph.D. advisor. In subsequent years, the majority of their time is spent doing research, although they may take additional courses when appropriate. Typicaly a student completes a Ph.D. proposal in the third or fourth year, and completes a Ph.D. dissertation in the fifth or sixth year.

Beginning in their first semester, Ph.D. students are expected to do research that extends the state of the art in a particular scientific area and that can be published in the most competitive peer-reviewed conferences and scientific journals. Although scientific publications are not an explicit program requirement, students who are extending the state of the art typically publish their results.

Ph.D. Advisors

Students are matched to advisors 3-4 weeks after they enter the program. This gives students time to attend talks given by faculty and to meet individually with potential advisors. We believe that it is important for students and faculty get to know each other before this important decision is made.

Students may change advisors during their Ph.D. career, for example, if their research interests change. However, it is more common for a student to stay with the same advisor throughout their Ph.D. career.

Financial Support

Most Ph.D. students receive some form of financial support that covers most or all of their tuition and a monthly stipend. Typical forms of support include external fellowships, research assistantships (RAs), and teaching assistantships (TAs).

Language Technologies Institute • 5000 Forbes Ave • Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3891 • (412) 268-6591