Collaborative Doctorate

The Collaborative Ph.D. program is designed for engineers, executives, scientists, military personnel, state and federal government employees, and educators who want to pursue a Ph.D. degree part-time while continuing full-time employment. The admission and academic requirements are the same as for NJIT’s regular Ph.D. programs but the collaborative nature of the program allows participants to draw on the combined expertise and resources of the university and their employer. The dissertation research of students in the collaborative Ph.D. is expected to produce original contributions to science, engineering, technology or management and satisfy all quality criteria set by the dissertation committee. The student’s main dissertation advisor is an NJIT faculty member while the research may meet the needs of the student and employer in advancing knowledge in the chosen discipline.

To apply to the collaborative Ph.D. program, candidates must have been employed in their specified field for at least a year. NJIT’s standard criteria for admission will be applied but prior work-related research activity, publications, and honors will also be considered in evaluating prospective participants.


Before applying to the collaborative Ph.D. program, the candidate will seek the employer’s commitment in any of the following ways:

  1. The candidate will be allowed to use the employer’s facilities (e.g., laboratory equipment or computing/IT infrastructure) to carry out dissertation research (NJIT’s Ph.D. program director or potential dissertation advisor must be contacted in advance to discuss the suitability of available resources). Should the student leave the employer, a revised study/research plan may be developed.
  2. The employer may suggest an in-house researcher to serve on the student's Ph.D. dissertation committee. This researcher, who must have a terminal degree in a relevant discipline, must be an active researcher and may serve as the candidate’s dissertation co-advisor; the main advisor will be an NJIT faculty member.  Patent and copyright issues are to be resolved prior to the start of the dissertation research, and preferably after successful completion of the required coursework and qualifying exam. Employers who have a proprietary interest in the student’s dissertation research, including patent, copyright and technology transfer rights, are expected to execute formal IP (Intellectual Property) agreements with NJIT prior to the start of the dissertation research.

The student's Ph.D. dissertation committee and the Office of Graduate Studies determine residency requirements. It is expected that the employer will allow the student to concentrate on dissertation research for at least one year.

For more information about the program or to discuss potential paths that can lead to the degree, contact the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies.