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Future Students

PhD Curriculum

Students in the HCDE PhD program complete a minimum of 90 credits of coursework and research as they progress toward degree completion. The first two years are primarily focused on academic course work as the foundation for ensuing research. The remainder of the program is focused on extensive research and program milestones. 

The 90 credits include

  • 6 credits of core courses
  • 12 credits of methods courses
  • 12 credits of theory courses
  • 10 credits of Directed Research Groups
  • 23 credits of free electives
  • 12 credits within a concentration developed collaboratively by the student and the advisor (drawn from the methods, theory, directed research, and free elective categories)
  • 27 credits of dissertation research 

Students who enter the PhD program with a previous graduate degree relevant to HCDE can petition to have up to 30 credits transferred toward the doctoral program upon approval of the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Required core courses

Additional requirements

  • HCDE 596: Directed Research (minimum total 10 cr)
  • 4 credits or more of methods electives
  • 8 credits or more of theory electives
  • 23 credits of free electives
  • 12 credits within a concentration to be developed collaboratively by the student and the advisor, drawing on courses in methods, theory, and free electives as well as directed research
  • 27 credits of HCDE 800 Doctoral Dissertation

Completing an MS in HCDE alongside a PhD
Some HCDE PhD students complete a Master of Science in HCDE in addition to their PhD. There are two options: a research-oriented master's that is earned after completing a portion of the PhD requirements, or a practice-oriented master's, which is a separate degree with different goals and, consequently, additional requirements. View the MS HCDE requirements for PhD students.