CEU’s Center for Network Science (CNS) offers one of the world’s first PhD programs in the up-and-coming field of network science that provides tools to understand how complex social, political, economic and environmental networks are structured and how they function. Working together with leading network scientists, students learn efficient ways of network modeling and explore terabyte-sized datasets that capture mobile phone calls between millions of individuals; financial transactions between banks and companies or political party affiliations.

QUICK FACT / Professors of the Center for Network Science at CEU have published in some of the world’s leading scientific journals, including the American Journal of Sociology, Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Select Areas of Research

Pursue science with big data: effective methods of collecting, analyzing, modeling, and visualizing networks with millions of people

Understand social processes: friendships and phone calls, spread of ideas, the emergence of order from chaos

Discover secrets of success: how teams innovate, scientist make breakthroughs, entrepreneurs make the first million

Uncover hidden webs: political corruption, terrorist networks, global finance, wirings of the brain

Master the mathematical foundations:  graph theory, dynamic processes and graph limits

Doctor of Philosophy in Network Science

The PhD program in Network Science is a pioneering, research-oriented program. It includes training in theoretical and computational methods and coursework on the basic notions and theories of complex networks, including hands-on experience with large datasets. Students have the opportunity to focus on specific related fields, such as mathematics, economics, sociology, political science or environ- mental science. During their research work, they participate in international research projects. By the end of their PhD studies they develop into independent researchers able to analyze and model empirical data in academia or in various industries.

CAREER PATH / Network scientists are employed in academia, government and business. Applied network scientists work at Internet and social media companies, where they improve users’ online experience by incorporating results of network science to the service. They also serve as consultants developing business infrastructure and specialize in risk mitigation for major financial institutions.


CEU is committed to attracting talented students and scholars from around the world and provides generous merit-based scholarships available to students from any country. Doctoral scholarships include a full tuition waiver and a generous stipend for housing and living expenses. Learn more at www.ceu.edu/financialaid.

Additional PhD Fellowship: Economic Networks - Network Economics

The economy consists of networks of interactions: supplier-customer relationships, contracts, ownerships. Network science is par excellence interdisciplinary, and it provides tools and insights for economist to solve problems in economics and finance. At the same time, economics raises interesting questions for network scientists to consider.

CEU has recognized the importance of the interplay between economics and network science and established two PhD fellowships to promote the study of economic networks. One of the students will participate in the Economics PhD Program and will take extra courses in network science, while the other one will be student of the PhD Program in Network Science and will get additional training in economics.

The PhD candidates will do research on the multilayer network structure of economic-financial transactions. In the first layer, banks and other financial institutions interact with each other through loans, debt and ownership in a sophisticated manner producing a complex network of interdependence. In the second layer, companies interact in supplier-customer relationships. In the third layer, consumers are linked through personal interactions and social media, spreading information and rumors. All these layers are linked: banks and firms through loans provided to firms, consumers buy the products of certain firms and take loans from banks. Recent experience has shown that this complex system is vulnerable: some local disturbance can spread through the whole system. It is of major interest to study how the different layers and interactions affect the stability of the whole. How do we map such a multilayer network in the first place? How do we model propagation? Which local disturbances spread, and which do not? How can these insights guide the regulation of banks, industry and social media? These are fundamental questions of general interest.

You can join this scheme by applying either to the PhD Program in Economics or to the PhD Program in Network Science or to both. If you apply, do not forget to indicate that you are interested in the “Economic Networks – Network Economics” scheme. The general information about how to apply to CEU programs can found here.

You can dowload the flyer (PDF) from here.

General Admissions Requirements

We also encourage you to read all the relevant pages about the admissions and financial aid process in the following sections:




Program Entry Requirements for the Doctoral Program

  • General CEU admissions requirements (see above)
  • Master’s degree in one of a broad range of related disciplines, including physics, mathematics, computer science, sociology, political science and economics
  • Strong interest in interdisciplinary research and willingness to do quantitative studies
  • Detailed account of earlier studies
  • Statement of purpose

More on the specific requirements: https://networkdatascience.ceu.edu/program-specific-requirements