Complex Networks & Systems Ph.D. Requirements

The complex networks & systems track of the Ph.D. in Informatics includes a focused core of informatics course work, seminars in complex systems, and a strong faculty-supervised research component. When you arrive, you will be assigned a temporary supervisor to help develop your course of study and identify research opportunities before you commit to a dissertation topic and advisor. Independent studies and research rotations, supervised by a faculty member, are an excellent way to investigate new areas of inquiry or deepen your knowledge of a specific subject. Students in this track will also participate in research and events in the outstanding wider community of the Indiana University Network Science Intsitute, with over 150 faculty members who participate in network science and complex systems research and who can serve in interdisciplinary Ph.D. advisory committees.

By the end of your second year or early in your third year, after you have passed your qualifying exams, you are expected to choose a research supervisor and form a dissertation committee. Research assistantships are often available, depending on the external funding of your advisor.

Download the current Ph.D. in Informatics handbook (PDF). We also recommend consulting the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering Bulletin 2017-2018 (use the tabs on the left) and the University Graduate School Bulletin 2016-2017 (use the tabs at the top and left) for more detailed information about these requirements.


A total of 90 credit hours is required for this degree. No more than 30 of those hours can be counted from a master’s degree taken at Indiana University or a graduate program at another university. An additional 6 hours of master’s thesis or capstone project may be counted toward the Ph.D. at the discretion of the student’s program committee, assuming the thesis or capstone project is of sufficient research quality.

Required Informatics Courses (18 cr.)

Theory and Methodology (12 cr.)

Specific course work, including research-oriented independent study, will be determined by the student’s advisory committee.

Electives (12-21 cr.)

Research lab experience may be substituted for classroom courses upon approval of the advisor and the advisory committee.

Minor Requirements (6-12 cr.)

Internal Minor: I609, I709, and I601 or equivalent.

Exteranl Minor: I501, I609, I709, and I601 or equivalent.

All students are required to have an appropriate minor inside or outside the school. Minors will be selected with the advisor’s recommendation.

Dissertation Work (21-30 cr.)

See also the Dissertation Proposal (admission to Candidacy) requirements.