Our Doctoral Program in Computer and Communication Sciences provides a rich intellectual environment with a distinctively international focus. Our graduate students collaborate with our internationally recognized faculty and benefit from the vibrant intellectual environment, the generous resources, and the exceptional network of academic and industrial partners that distinguish our school. We value a working culture of close interaction between students and faculty within a flat organizational structure. The diversity and ambition of our student body is on par with top research universities worldwide, and our alumni pursue stellar international careers as academics, scientists, and entrepreneurs.
Admission to our program is centralized and highly competitive. The program is entirely in English with a duration of 4-6 years. During their first year, students should take at least one advanced course, participate in research projects, and pass a candidacy exam. Doctoral students also participate in the teaching activities of the school as teaching assistants and therefore acquire teaching skills. The program supports all admitted students financially at competitive salaries.
Applications must be submitted prior to December 15. This is the primary deadline for admission to the program, with an invitation to our Open House for the fellowship recipients. There is a secondary round of admissions starting April 15 where a relatively much smaller number of candidates who did not apply in the first round are considered.
Application, Step by Step
At the time of enrollment with this doctoral program, an applicant should have a Master’s degree or a 4- or 5-year Bachelor’s with a strong background in computer science, communication systems, electrical engineering, mathematics, physics and/or related fields.
The usual start of this doctoral program is in September. Candidates are invited to submit their applications prior to December 15 (of the previous year) for the first round of admissions. The latter is the primary deadline for admission to the program, with an invitation to our Open House for the fellowship recipients. There is a secondary round of admissions with a deadline on April 15 where a relatively much smaller number of candidates who did not apply in the first round are considered.
- Grade records from all attended universities, at undergraduate (BS) and graduate (MS) level
- Diplomas, as far as already available
- Curriculum Vitae (CV), in English
- Statement of Purpose, in English
- Recommendations (3 in all cases) form a very important part of the application documents, please follow the corresponding instructions carefully
- Copy of your passport or official identity document showing your name in full.
If diplomas and grades are not originally in English, French, German or Italian, please provide copies of certified translations into English. All documents must be in unprotected PDF format, max. 2MB per document.
Note: We recommend that you go through the webpages of the EDIC affiliated labs to identify the research areas and to familiarize yourself with the work of the faculty members that are of most interest to you. You will need to include this information in the application form as well as your Statement of Purpose (see EDIC PhD Presentation).
When submitting the form, specify the cumulative GPA at the time of application exactly in the format provided by your school on your transcripts, without attempting to rescale it to 0-100 or 0-4 or adapt it to any specific system. Do not give the GPA of the last semesters only, nor the GPA of your major only, but use the cumulative GPA. If your school does not compute an official GPA, please simply compute an average of all your grades, ideally with grades weighted by the number of credits of the courses. If you come from the German system, do not worry: we do know that 1.0 is the best possible grade.
We expect that you are proficient in spoken and written English. If your are not a native English speaker, we require that you submit the results of a recognized English-language test (see list below) by the chosen application deadline: December 15 or April 15.
Self-reported scores need to be recorded on the application form. A scanned PDF copy of the test results should also be uploaded when submitting the application.
Accepted English-language tests and minimum score requirements:
- TOEFL iBT internet-based: 100 (*)
- IELTS Academic: 7
- CEFR: C1
- Cambridge C1 Advanced: grade B
- Cambridge C2 Proficiency: grade C
- TOEIC (L&R): 850
- Michigan ECPE: 840
The results of the GRE general test (*) are not mandatory but recommended.
(*) Applicants should request ETS to send their scores electronically to EPFL. EPFL’s institution code is 3253 for both TOEFL and GRE reports; no department code is needed. Supplementary paper copies from ETS are not required.
To be admitted as a doctoral student in the EDIC program, two conditions must be fulfilled:
- You are accepted by the EDIC Admission Committee.
- You are awarded an IC School Fellowship or are chosen for direct hiring by a lab.
The preliminary selection by the EDIC Admission Committee (condition 1 above) takes place shortly after the application deadline.
Among the accepted applications, the best ones are offered a one-year IC School Fellowship. In 2019, 45 fellowships were available. If you are offered a fellowship from the first admission round (December 15 deadline), you will receive an invitation to visit EPFL for a few days to participate in the EDIC Open House.
Fellowship students are unaffiliated during their first year. This gives them the opportunity to take courses and get acquainted with various labs they are interested in. For fellowship students, hiring into a lab occurs at the end of the first semester or later in the year.
The accepted applications which are not awarded a fellowship are made available to the EDIC affiliated labs for direct hiring. If a professor is interested in your application, he/she will contact you and might invite you for an interview. Based on the outcome of this interview he/she might make you a hiring offer. In total (fellowship students and direct hirings), around 50-55 doctoral students start in EDIC each year.
The application process is fully electronic, including the recommendations letters (no hard copies). Messages will automatically be sent to referees when you submit your application in the system; they will then be invited to complete their recommendation online. Therefore, submit your application early enough in order to leave your referees enough time to complete this task before the chosen deadline (i.e., December 15 or April 15).
As a courtesy, you should ask your referees ahead of time if they are willing to supply a recommendation letter to support your application. Doing so will also give your referees time to consider what they wish to say and, if they wish, to discuss your plans with you.
You will be notified by email when each referee has provided his or her recommendation to the doctoral program. The system allows you to send one reminder per referee
Submitting an application is free of charge.