PhD Program in Social & Engineering Systems
The Doctoral Program in Social and Engineering Systems (SES) is a unique graduate research program focused on addressing concrete and societally significant problems by combining the analytical tools and methods of statistics and information sciences with engineering and the social sciences.
SES students study problems that correspond to significant societal challenges. This includes analytical research that can be used to inform policy making. Examples of current focus areas include work on combatting systemic racism, climate change, and misinformation in social media, with many other examples that can be explored in SES News.
The Character of the Program
- It is driven by problems of societal interest. The focus of the program is the study of problems that correspond to significant societal challenges. This includes analytical research that can be used to inform policy making. An example of work that falls under this program would be studying systemic risk in the banking system and its impact on the overall financial system. In contrast, profit-maximizing portfolio management does not.
- It involves quantitative methods. Societal problems or policy questions can be addressed from many different angles. However, this program focuses on problems that can be addressed through tools of computing and information sciences, including mathematical modeling and analysis, data science and statistics, and other quantitative methods.
- It relies on real-world data. Research is expected to analyze data from the application domain of interest, and thus training in statistics is part of the program.
- It engages societal aspects of the problem. The research is expected to examine the societal aspects of a problem (e.g., regulations, institutions, human behavior, or economic aspects), using theories and tools from the social sciences.
- Admissions: Info about the admissions process as well as answers to frequently asked questions. (Apply now!)
- Program & Resources: A more detailed look at the program and links to some handy resources for current and prospective students, as well as advisors.
- Funding: IDSS works to make sure all SES students are fully funded. Learn how, including first-year fellowships like the Michael Hammer Fellowship and teaching assistant opportunities with the MicroMasters in Statistics and Data Science.
- +Statistics: Learn how to add the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Statistics to an SES program for an even bigger emphasis on statistics.
- Graduates: A spotlight on the emerging cohort of SES graduates, including links to their work.
- News: SES news stories include examples of current student research and impact.