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Doctoral studies

The Department of Computing Science offers programs for doctoral studies in Computing Science and in Computational Science and Engineering. We strive to create an inspiring environment in which our doctoral students can pursue interesting research and develop their personality.

If you are interested in doctoral studies, look out for announcements of open PhD student positions! A PhD education is 48 months and requirements are listed in the announcements. Our goal is that every doctoral student is a member of an active research group consisting of researchers in different stages of their scientific careers who can help each other by providing input and inspiration.

The department organizes a Doctoral Students' Day once every semester. On this day, the doctoral students of the department present their research questions and results in a comprehensible way for the rest of the department and other interested people. This event has quickly become popular, among other things because the presentations give rise to interesting discussions and useful comments. In many cases, unexpected relations between different lines of research become visible.

How to Become a Doctoral Student

In the Swedish system, a doctoral student is usually an employee of the department that admitted him/her. Roughly speaking, this is regulated by Swedish law, which also limits the time for doctoral studies to 48 months full time. Admission is only possible if financing can be guaranteed. In the great majority of cases, this means that the department employs the doctoral student for four years. If other duties such as teaching are included in the position, this time is extended proportionally.

Announcement of Open Positions

All open positions for doctoral students are required to be publicly announced, and every student who fulfills the requirements can apply. Therefore, it makes no sense to apply for admission to doctoral studies without referring to a specific announcement of open positions. Instead, you should check every now and then whether an appropriate position is announced, and apply if this happens, following the instructions given in the announcement. Open positions are usually part of some externally funded project, which means that they are directed towards specific research areas. Information about individual research areas at the Department of Computing Science, and their currently running projects, can be found here.


To be admissible, you need at least 240 ECTS credits of completed university studies (four years of full time studies), including at least 60 ECTS credits of advanced courses within Computer Science. Note, however, that these are only the minimal formal requirements. For each position, the applicant who appears to be the most promising candidate for the position in question will be selected, taking into account all relevant aspects. In particular, your application should make clear why you are specifically well qualified for doctoral studies in the area the position is targeted on and what your motivation is for pursuing doctoral studies.

Form of Studies

Doctoral studies are characterized by a high degree of freedom. They include both taking individually selected courses and thesis work. Courses may be both ordinary courses and individually designed courses, for instance reading courses. The most usual type of doctoral thesis in Sweden is the cumulative thesis consisting of a number of published research articles centered around a common question or research problem. However, it is also possible to write a monograph.

The final highlight of your doctoral studies is the public defense, during which you will be engaged in a scientific dialogue with a specialist in your field, the so-called opponent. A grading committee decides upon the final outcome, which can be either pass or fail (i.e., there are only these two grades).

Open positions

Open positions
Open positions

Umeå University welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds and academic disciplines

Contact Doctoral studies