Carnegie Mellon University

Doctorate Program in Pure and Applied Logic

The PAL Ph.D. is an interdisciplinary program designed to support students seeking a career in Mathematics (either in industry or academia), but interested in working in an area of logic supported by the Department of Philosophy.

This program is the Philosophy Department component of the CMU Pure and Applied Logic program. As part of the program, students are expected to earn a Master of Science from the Department of Mathematical Sciences by the middle of their third year, and complete a Ph.D. thesis by the end of their fifth year.

Core (2 courses)

Core Seminar I & II are required for all students with no exceptions.

  • 80600 (fall term)
  • 80602 (spring term)

Formal Methods (1 course)

2 Formal Methods Minis (FMM)

  • Excluding 80603 FMM: Tools & Techniques
  • 80604 FMM: Computability Theory
  • 80607 FMM: Topology
  • 80608 FMM: Evolutionary Game Theory
  • 80609 FMM: Classical Logic
  • 80613 FMM: Language and Meaning
  • 80616 FMM: Decisions and Games
  • 80617 FMM: Causation
  • 80618 FMM: Algorithmic Complexity
  • 80619 FMM: Epistemic Logic and Topology

Philosophy Breadth (1 course)

1 course in Philosophy outside the area of specialization.

Master’s degree (~8 courses)

Must be in Mathematical Science or the School of Computer Science. This typically consists of 8 graduate-level courses.

Ph.D. Thesis


  • Including the courses for the master’s degree, this is 12 courses in total.
  • No course may be used to satisfy more than one requirement.
  •  Students who join our department and already have an MSc in Mathematics or Computer Science may apply to have the master’s degree requirement waived. If this is approved, the student’s guaranteed funding will be reduced from 5 to 4 years.

The department's interdisciplinary research thrust affords an unusually broad range of career possibilities. Graduates of the program have been offered positions in Philosophy, Mathematics, Psychology, Computer Science, and Statistics, as well as research positions in industry. This wide range of interesting career opportunities reflects the department's unique dedication to serious, interdisciplinary research ties.

For a complete listing of our graduates and placement record, see our Ph.D. alumni page.