Computer Science PhD Program

NYU Shanghai invites applications from exceptional students for PhD study and research in Computer Science. Two programs are available: one offered in partnership with the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science and the NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences; and the second offered in partnership with the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and the NYU Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
Participating students are enrolled in either the NYU GSAS Computer Science PhD program or the NYU Tandon Computer Science PhD program, complete their coursework in New York, and then transition to full-time residence at NYU Shanghai where they undertake their doctoral research under the supervision of NYU Shanghai faculty.

Highlights of the Program

  • NYU degree upon graduation
  • Graduate coursework at NYU New York, either at the Courant Institute or Tandon Department of Computer Science and Engineering
  • Research opportunities with and close mentorship by NYU Shanghai faculty
  • Access to the vast intellectual resources of the NYU Computer Science community
  • Cutting-edge research environment at NYU Shanghai, including the Center for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, activities such as a regular program of seminars and visiting academics, a thriving community of PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, and research associates, and links with other universities within and outside China
  • Financial aid through the NYU Shanghai Doctoral Fellowship, including tuition, fees, and an annual stipend equal to stipends received by all NYU Computer Science PhD students
  • Additional benefits exclusive to the NYU Shanghai program, including international health insurance, housing assistance in New York, and travel funds

Supervising Faculty

  • Siyao Guo

    Siyao Guo

    Theoretical Computer Science, Cryptography, Computational Complexity

  • Keith Ross

    Keith Ross

    Online Social Networks, Data Analytics, Data Privacy, Computer Networking

  • Gus xia

    Gus Xia

    Computer Music, Artificial Music Intelligence, Human-Computer Interaction, Bio-Music Computing

  • zheng zhang

    Zheng Zhang (on leave)

    Large-Scale Distributed Computing, Machine Learning, Deep-Learning

Recent Publications by NYU Shanghai Faculty 

  • Yiming Zhang, Quan Ho Vuong, Kenny Song, Xiao-Yue Gong, Keith W. Ross, Efficient Entropy for Policy Gradient with Multidimensional Action Space, International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR) workshop, 2018
  • Marshall Ball, Dana Dachman-Soled, Siyao Guo, Tal Malkin, Li-Yang Tan:  Non-Malleable Codes for Small-Depth Circuits. In Proceedings of the 59th Annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS), 2018
  • Loss Function for Multiset Prediction.  Sean Welleck, Zixin Yao, Yu Gai, Jialin Mao, Zheng Zhang, Kyunghyun Cho.
  • G. Xia S.Dai. "Music Style Transfer: A Position Paper", 6th International Workshop on Musical Metacreation, June 2018
  • Haizhong Zheng, Minhui (Jason) Xue, Hao Lu, Shuang Hao, Haojin Zhu, Xiaohui Liang, and Keith Ross, Smoke Screener or Straight Shooter: Detecting Elite Sybil Attacks in User-Review Social Networks, Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (NDSS), 2018
  • G. Xia, C. Jacobsen, Q. Chen, X-D. Yang, and R. Dannenberg. “ShIFT: A Semi-haptic Interface for Flute Tutoring.” in Proc. 18th The International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, USA, June 2018
  • Salman Beigi, Andrej Bogdanov, Omid Etesami, Siyao Guo: Optimal Deterministic Extractors for Generalized Santha-Vazirani Sources.  In Proceedings of the 22nd International Workshop on Randomization and Computation (RANDOM), 2018
  • Sandro Coretti, Yevgeniy Dodis, Siyao Guo:  Non-Uniform Bounds in the Random-Permutation, Ideal-Cipher, and Generic-Group Models.  In Proceedings of the 38th International Cryptology Conference (CRYPTO), 2018
  • Saliency-based Sequential Image Attention with Multiset Prediction.  Sean Welleck, Jialin Mao, Kyunghyun Cho, Zheng Zhang. In NIPS 2017. NVAIL Pioneering Research Award (NVIDIA)
  • S. Dai, G. Xia. "Computational Models and MusicXML Definitions for Common Pipa Techniques", Late Breaking Demo, the 18th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference, Oct 2017
  • Yanqiu Wu, Tehila Minkus, Keith W. Ross, Taking the Pulse of US College Campuses with Location-Based Anonymous Mobile Apps, ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology (ACM TIST), October 2017

Structure of Program

Participating students complete the PhD degree requirements set by their respective department (either Courant or Tandon CSE) and in accordance with the academic policies of their respective school (either NYU GSAS or NYU Tandon). Each student develops an individualized course plan in consultation with the Director of Graduate Study at the student’s department and the student’s NYU Shanghai faculty advisor. A typical sequence follows:

Summer 1
in Shanghai


Begin program with funded research rotation, up to 3 months preceding first Fall semester, to familiarize with NYU Shanghai and faculty as well as lay a foundation for future doctoral study.

Year 1
(Fall and Spring)
in New York


Complete PhD coursework in New York alongside other NYU PhD students.

Summer 2
in Shanghai


Return to Shanghai for second funded research rotation to solidify relationships with NYU Shanghai faculty and make further progress in research.

Year 2
through Year 5
in Shanghai


Under supervision of NYU Shanghai faculty advisor, pursue dissertation research and continue coursework. Depending on each student’s individualized course of study, return visits to New York may also occur. Complete all required examinations and progress evaluations, both oral and written, leading up to submission and defense of doctoral thesis.

To learn more about the NYU GSAS PhD program degree requirements, please visit this page.

To learn more about the NYU Tandon PhD program degree requirements, please visit this page.


Current Students

Name Research Areas Supervising Faculty
Ruitang Chen Computer Music, Machine Learning Gus Xia
Tianyao Chen Artificial Music Intelligence
Structure Analysis of Sequences
Gus Xia
Che Wang Reinforcement Learning Keith Ross
Yanqiu Wu Data Mining, Deep Reinforcement Learning Keith Ross
Sean Welleck Structured Prediction, Deep Learning Zheng Zhang
Yiming Zhang Deep Learning, Reinforcement Learning, Generative Models Keith Ross

Application Process and Dates

The choice between the NYU GSAS or the NYU Tandon Computer Science program is for each student to decide. Students may apply to either or both.

Applications are to be submitted either through the NYU GSAS Application portal or the NYU Tandon Application portal. Within each portal, students should select the Computer Science PhD as their program of interest, and then indicate their preference for NYU Shanghai by marking the appropriate checkbox when prompted. Applicants will be evaluated by a joint admissions committee of New York and Shanghai faculty. Application requirements are set by each department (either Courant or Tandon CSE) and are the same as those for all NYU PhD applicants; however, candidates are recommended to elaborate in their application and personal statements about their specific interests in the NYU Shanghai program and faculty.

The NYU GSAS Application portal is now open for Fall 2019 admission, and applications are only accepted for Fall admission. The deadline for NYU GSAS is December 12, 2018, and the deadline for NYU Tandon is December 15, 2018.



Contact Us

Interested students are welcome to contact Xiaoyun Du, program coordinator of the NYU Shanghai Computer Science PhD, via email at with any inquiries or to request more information.