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Current Students

PhD Course of Study

The following timeline applies to students enrolled in the HCDE PhD in Autumn 2018 or later.

Year 1

In their first year, PhD students in Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) will progress through a common set of general coursework along with seminars. Students are required register for the required foundation courses listed below. Students with departmental funding must be enrolled full time (minimum 10 credits per quarter). *For recommendations on additional credits, contact the HCDE advising team at



HCDE 541: Grant Writing for Career Development 2
HCDE 543: Empirical Traditions in Human Centered Design & Engineering 4
Additional elective credits* 4
Autumn Credits: 10



HCDE 542: Theoretical Foundations in Human Centered Design & Engineering 4
HCDE 544: Research Methods I 4
Additional elective credits (option for Directed Research Group) 2
Winter Credits: 10



HCDE 545: Research Methods II 4
HCDE 546: Design Thinking 4
Additional elective credits (option for Directed Research Group) 2
Spring Credits: 10

Course descriptions are available PhD Course Descriptions page.

Students who have already completed one or more of the courses specified here should work with the Graduate Program Coordinator to identify appropriate alternative credits for registration.

Year 2

In the second year of the program students will continue selecting elective courses. Elective courses provide an opportunity for focused specialization, and it is important that students work closely with their PhD advisory committee chair in selecting relevant courses. Students must select a total of 12 credits within a concentration in collaboration with their advisory committee chair, along with 11 credits of free electives. 

More about electives »

PhD Course of Study Form

The Course of Study Form is a document which must be updated and signed by the student and faculty advisor each year as part of the annual review.