Carnegie Mellon University

Requirements for the PhD in Machine Learning

  • Completion of required courses, (6 Core Courses + 1 Elective)
  • Mastery of proficiencies in Teaching, Conference Presentation, and Research skills.
  • Successful defense of a Ph.D. thesis.

Teaching
Ph.D. students are required to serve as Teaching Assistants for two semesters in Machine Learning courses (10-xxx), beginning in their second year. This fulfills their Teaching Skills requirement.

Conference Presentation Skills
During their second or third year, Ph.D. students must give a talk at least 30 minutes long, and invite members of the Speaking Skills committee to attend and evaluate it.

Research
It is expected that all Ph.D. students engage in active research from their first semester. Moreover, advisor selection occurs in the first month of entering the Ph.D. program, with the option to change at a later time. Roughly half of a student's time should be allocated to research and lab work, and half to courses until these are completed.

Master of Science in Machine Learning Research - along the way to your PhD Degree.

Other Requirements
In addition, students must follow all university policies and procedures.

Rules for the MLD PhD Thesis Committee (applicable to all ML PhDs):
The committee should be assembled by the student and their advisor, and approved by the PhD Program Director(s).  It must include:

  • At least one MLD Core Faculty member
  • At least one additional MLD Core or Affiliated Faculty member
  • At least one External Member, usually meaning external to CMU
  • A total of at least four members, including the advisor who is the committee chair