We are building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community. We particularly want applications from people who are interested in addressing the perspectives or needs of groups that have been historically underserved by academic research, computing, and digital media.
Apply for a Ph.D.
We recruit new Ph.D. students to Michigan in two programs:
See the above links for rules and details, but here is some general informal advice:
- The deadline is usually December 1 every year.
- The GRE exam isn’t required.
- If the application fee (US$70-90) is a barrier to your application, we will waive the fee. Write to the relevant graduate program’s email address (see links above) for help with this.
- The Ph.D. is full-time. Part-time degrees are not possible.
- The Ph.D. takes about 4 years to complete. Usually the first 2 years involve mostly coursework, the last 2 years involve mostly research.
- You do not have to pay tuition to get a Ph.D. Successful applicants are paid for 4 years as apprentice teachers and/or researchers. During this time you will make about US$45,000 per year for about 8 months of work each year. Summer funding is also possible. You also receive health, life, and dental insurance (some details are here).
- You don’t need a master’s degree to apply, but it may help you stand out from other applicants.
- You DO need a bachelor’s degree to apply, but it does not have to be in these particular fields. You can apply with any bachelor’s degree if you make the case that you have some relevant background or experience.
- We offer additional funding and incentives to those students whose admission will reduce disparities in graduate education. You do not need to apply separately for this funding, you will automatically be considered.
- You do not need to be a US Citizen to be admitted, or to receive the funding described here. International students are common.
- It’s OK if you don’t e-mail your prospective advisor(s) in advance, or if you do e-mail them and they don’t respond. Your application will still be considered seriously. A lot of profs don’t answer these e-mails because they receive so many, or they reach out only to admitted Ph.D. students not prospective ones.
Application advice specific to this lab group:
- Either qualitative or quantitative skills/interests are relevant to us.
- You do not need to be a computer programmer.
- You do not need to have gone to a fancy school for your undergraduate degree.
- You should list Prof. Christian Sandvig as a potential advisor, and one other professor who is appointed in the relevant department and has similar interests to yours.
- It is probably NOT to your advantage to list many professors on your application unless you are sure they are relevant — if you list a professor that is not actually relevant to your stated interests, they may read your application and review it negatively, hurting your chances for admission.
- Although a writing sample is not required, to work in this lab group you should really submit a writing sample.
- These positions are competitive, but you can succeed by having a strength in one of a wide variety of areas. For example, impressive work experience (or other achievements) can outweigh middling grades earlier in your life.
- Since the Ph.D. is a research degree, your description of what you want to achieve with the Ph.D. (the statement of purpose) should focus on research.
Join As an Undergraduate
Enrolled University of Michigan students may also join the lab group if we are recruiting.
We are not recruiting new undergraduate students at this time.