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The main goal of the programme is to motivate students to take-up their research in the Cognitive Sciences and/or the Knowledge Engineering related areas. The emphasis in Cognitive Sciences suggests a basic interest in understanding the phenomena associated with Learning mechanisms, Natural Language Understanding, Mind and Intelligence, Perception, etc.

The Ph.D. program in Artificial Intelligence aims to provide the basis for a solid and strong research profile. Students completing the program are typically well qualified for teaching and research positions with colleges and universities as well as with national and international industries and laboratories. The program covers many topics of research related to the design, analysis and use of Artificial Intelligence systems.


Acceptance Profile:

The ideal background is a degree in Computer Science (such as this) and a Master in Artificial Intelligence (such as this). However, students with degrees and masters in related areas such as Engineering, Mathematics, Statistics, etc may be accepted with the requirement of taking selected courses from the Master in Artificial Intelligence.



The doctoral program is designed to allow a full-time student entering with a Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence and a degree in Computer Science to complete the degree within three years (five years for part-time). However, it is not uncommon for doctoral programs to take somewhat longer.

PhD general information

Related official courses that include most of the bridging courses:
Master in Artificial Intelligence

Quality Mention (reference code and attainment years):
MCD2003-00129 (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)

Doctoral programme that it replaces (and reference to the MEC Quality Mention if applicable):

Basic and/or associate units at UPC involved:



The Artificial Intelligence PhD programme was created in 1985. It is an interdisciplinary academic joint venture that is passionated by academic excellence.

The main goal of the programme is to motivate students to take-up their research in the Cognitive Sciences and/or the Knowledge Engineering related areas. The emphasis in Cognitive Sciences suggests a basic interest in understanding the phenomena associated with Learning mechanisms, Natural Language Understanding, Mind and Intelligence, Perception, etc.

The interest in Knowledge Engineering suggests a motivation to understand how intelligent behaviours can be created. That is to build machines able to perform cognitive actions as: learn, understand a conversation or a text in Spanish or Catalan.

The main topics are: Autonomous Agents, Reasoning, Machine Learning, Natural Language, Planning, Robotics, Knowledge Based Systems, Soft-Computing, etc.

The program is an active and full member of the Catalan Association for Artificial Intelligence (ACIA).

Justification of the necessity of the programme:

Artificial Intelligence is nowadays one of the most active research areas in the Computer Science field and it has a long interdisciplinary tradition.

Research in this area in Catalonia, Spain, Europe and the world grows a very high speed. For example, in the Sixth Framework Programme there are specific funding lines for AI and their results are already present in everyday life.

In Catalonia this area of research is very active and there exists a scientific association with more than 200 members.

To provide in-depth insight into most active Artificial Intelligence research lines with a strong emphasis on theoretical aspects.

To provide the basis for a solid and strong research profile, which allows students to develop their doctoral work as well as preparing them for their integration in the academic or industrial sectors.

Regulation for the development and evaluation of the thesis:
The regulations that apply are available at: (only catalan version) NORMATIVA DOCTORADO UPC

Number of entry places per academic year:

Infrastructure and facilities that must be available for the students to be able to carry out research:
Accepted students will have a working desk, internet access, printing facilities, library access and other infrastructures.

Specific criteria for selection and admission to the programme's research stage and the criteria for assessing student's merits (if applicable):
The PhD Program on Artificial Intelligence as a policy prentends to assure equality of opportunities to grant access to highly qualified applicants to higher education. As a principle, our University aplies the same policy to international students, although there are some specific requirements designed to maximize their possibilities of success in the PhD Programm.

Applicants should be aware that there are specific requirements to access to the Artificial Intelligence PhD Program. Tests, interviews and project proposals as well as recommendation letters maybe part of the application process. In general, the Artificial Intelligence PhD Program will evaluate each candidate on the basis of his/her CV.

Main qualifications required for admission, if any:

  • Barchelor and/or a Master in Computer Science, Mathematics
  • Candidates holding a CV in other similar areas can be accepted after considering his/her CV

Procedure established for periodically monitoring students (if applicable):
Each student has a tutor that is directly assigned by the Academic Committee. The tutor is in charge of the academic supervision of each student until the moment that a researcher or a professor becomes the student's advisor.

Activities organised by the programme aimed at complementing the methodological or scientific training of the students:
The PhD Program on Artificial Intelligence organizes a reserach seminar to bring the cut-of-the-edge research topics on each one of the intensifications.

Requisites for complementary methodological or scientific training courses, if any (the official master's degree programme that these courses belong to must be specified):
When necessary complementary formation will be held at the Artificial Intelligence Master Program.

Time limit (if any) for carrying out bridging courses and criteria for expelling students if they fail to comply:
A student will have two opportunities to accomplish the recommended complementary courses. This time will depend on the periodicity and availability of the recommended courses.

Specific procedure established for assessing thesis proposals (if any):
The Postgraduate Commission of the department of Languages and Information Systems has to give their conformity to the deposit of the thesis, issuing a report. In order to make it, the department will ask the opinion of external reviewers about the quality of the research conducting to the doctoral thesis, for comparison with other institutions of research. Those reviewrs will be anonymous.

In case it is considered necessary, the Postgraduate Commission of the CS department can interview the candidate with the aim of clarifying any question related with the contents of the thesis. The director of the thesis can be present during the interview. If the Commission refuses to give their conformity in the deposit, the process can be repeated, after proceeding to the amendement of the signaled problems.

Requirements established for proposing the appointment of the chair of the examination panel and other panel members (if these requirements are different from and complementary to those established by these regulations):
The Doctorate Program follows the general regulations related to the process of doctoral theses dissertation established in the UPC. Additionallly, and as a rule:

  • One of the 5 members of the committe will be from the Department of CS, preferably the Secretary.
  • The President will be, preferably, a professor, a teacher or an investigator|researcher of equivalent category.
  • One of the substitutes will be a member of the Department or of the UPC.