IMT’s PhD program has a duration of three years. English is our working language.

During Year 1 (typically within the first six months) students will attend courses for at least 150 hours, as per Italian regulations. Through constant consultation with SysMA researchers and exposure to hot topics with seminars, invited talks, and other events, students will also shape their own research agenda to pursue for their PhD.

Students will be guided in identifying a supervisor that helps in writing a thesis proposal to be submitted at the end of this year. Examples of research topics can be found here.

The proposal will be presented to a specifically formed committee for individual thesis discussion. The committee consists of the supervisor plus at least two experts on the topic of the thesis.

Years 2 and 3 will mostly be focussed on individual research, including the time allotted to write up the final thesis.

By the end of Year 2 the candidate has to present intermediate results to the thesis committee.

At the end of Year 3 a draft of the thesis has to be submitted and presented to the committee. Once approved, it will be sent for evaluation to two external examiners. Only if the thesis is approved by them the candidate will be admitted to the final exam.


The mission of the track in Computer Science and Systems Engineering (CSSE) is to offer a solid interdisciplinary background to analyze a huge variety of complex systems including adaptive systems, cyber-physical systems, cloud computing architectures, fault-tolerant systems, transportation networks, energy systems, and complex natural networks such as biological networks.

Students may choose from a variety of courses to sharpen the necessary skills needed to take such important issues.

Foundational courses

CSSE’s foundational courses focus on basic tools such as numerical linear algebra and numerical methods for differential equations, computer programming, dynamical systems and control, network theory, numerical optimization, stochastic processes, and machine learning.

Advanced courses

Advanced courses offer an up-to-date view into a selection of current research topics in computer science. These cover the research interests of SysMA’s members as well as of a number of high-profile visiting professors and external lecturers that regularly come to IMT to offer their authoritative perspective on hot subjects.

Further information

A more detailed description of the CSSE track, including the full list of courses, is available here.