Ph.D. in Intelligent Systems Engineering

Engineering for the 21st century and beyond.

Explore how to engineer small-scale, networked, and mobile technology that changes lives and the world—and is rich with opportunity for discovery.

Prospective students may be interested in exploring ISE People and ISE Research encompassing

Our first class of Ph.D. students will begin in fall 2016 (we’re also in the early stages of developing an M.S.). From the start, our students will push the boundaries of what engineering can be—from innovating with big data and intelligent systems to tapping into synergies in hardware and software, including those inspired by living systems. Sensor and detector technologies, signal processing, and information and control theory, and user interface design are at the foundation of our design-centered approach.

Along the way, you’ll have all the advantages of a new program: a broad view of what engineering is and will be, an intentionally interdisciplinary ethos, and the opportunity to make your mark with high-priority research.

You can choose among six tracks for the Ph.D. in Intelligent Systems Engineering. We developed these tracks with input from industry leaders:

  • Bioengineering
  • Computer engineering
  • Cyber-physical systems
  • Environmental engineering
  • Molecular and nanoscale engineering
  • Neuroengineering

You may also specialize in Intelligent Systems

A multidisciplinary approach that leverages IU’s strengths

Our Ph.D. program combines the strengths of the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering—one of the largest, broadest, and most accomplished schools of its kind—with those of Indiana University Bloomington. IU’s world-class supercomputing and cyberinfrastructure resources and its longstanding strengths in fields such as science, technology, business, and law add a valuable multidisciplinary aspect to your education.

Faculty at the forefront

Distinguished Professor Geoffrey Fox is our department chair. We’re currently building the ranks of our faculty, starting with the more than 100 IU Bloomington faculty members who have engineering degrees.


Required courses include two to three courses in applied mathematics and computing, two to three courses that build your breadth of knowledge in engineering and applied science, and four courses that will help you gain depth of knowledge in your chosen track. You will also need to pass a qualifying exam and complete a minor, a thesis proposal, and a dissertation defense.

Careers in research and academia

The Ph.D. program will prepare you to work as a postsecondary teacher or as a researcher in academia, government, or industry. Positions that are related to our program tracks—including computer and information research scientist, postsecondary engineering teacher, medical scientist, bioengineer, and environmental engineer—are all projected to have double-digit growth in the nation.