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The PhD in Human-Centered Design prepares students to become interdisciplinary scholars who can apply a variety of methodological approaches at the intersection of technology, human behavior, and design. Students will be able to explore the use of technologies in the context of complex problems through empirical studies and apply results to the design of innovative technologies, strategies, and practices. By working with world-renowned faculty, students will be trained to advance the field of human-centered design through participation in research relevant to both academic and practitioner communities. Students will be prepared for careers in academic institutions, industry research labs, and government and civic organizations.
|Program Requirements||Quarter Hours|
|Total hours required||60|
Students will be able to:
- Design and conduct research studies including determining the appropriate research methodology for the context and implementing research protocols, and analyzing data.
- Engage in academic research discussions, including, but not limited to, conducting literature reviews and engaging in academic writing.
- Translate research findings into principles to design human-centered experiences.
- Create design-based artifacts and experiences in a chosen disciplinary area.
The PhD in Human-Centered Design prepares students to advance the field of digital technology and media design by taking a transdisciplinary and collaborative approach that blends theory with practice. The program embraces a broad diversity of scholarly traditions and creative practices that include design, learning sciences, computer science, human-computer interaction, game design and development, and psychology.
The Foundation Phase
Students entering the program will begin by completing the necessary foundation courses and participating in small-scale research projects led by their faculty advisors. The purpose of the foundation phase is to ensure that students have the appropriate breadth and depth of knowledge necessary to formulate relevant research questions as well as develop skills for conducting research.
|HCD 421||DESIGN AND HUMAN EXPERIENCE||4|
|HCD 450||THEORIES AND METHODS IN HUMAN-CENTERED DESIGN||4|
|HCD 510||RESEARCH METHODS AND PRACTICE OF SCHOLARSHIP||4|
|Select two of the following core studio courses:||8|
|INTERFACE AND EXPERIENCE DESIGN|
|PLAY AND EXPERIENCE DESIGN|
|LEARNING AND EXPERIENCE DESIGN|
|Select one of the following additional research methods courses:||4|
|QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS|
|INQUIRY METHODS AND USE ANALYSIS|
|QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN (with instructor approval)|
Students can waive out of any course (except methods courses which can only be substituted) for which they can prove equivalent course experience. Waivers are defined as when students do not take the course (up to 12 hours; all other courses must be substituted); substitutions are the replacement of one (1) course for another. To request a waiver or substitution, students should present evidence of the equivalent course taken (with a minimum of B-) to their faculty advisor, who will then request approval from the HCD Committee. In rare cases, students may request a waiver due to extensive work experience. To request a waiver, students must present evidence (e.g., work portfolio) to their faculty advisor, who will then make the request to the HCD Committee. In both cases, the HCD Committee will make the final decision on whether a course can be waived or substituted because of course equivalency or work experience.
Design and Production Phase
During this phase, there is one (1) required course and students will work with their advisors to select at least eight (8) specialized courses to develop their design and production skills. Additional electives not listed below may be selected after students receive written approval from both their faculty advisor and the HCD Committee.
|CMNS 545||COMMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGY||4|
|Select at least eight of the following:||32|
|INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL CMN|
|STILL IMAGE WORKSHOP|
|MOVING IMAGE WORKSHOP|
|WEB/MEDIA DELIVERY WORKSHOP|
|GAME DESIGN WORKSHOP|
|PROTOTYPING AND IMPLEMENTATION|
|INTRODUCTION TO USER-CENTERED DESIGN|
|FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION|
|USABILITY EVALUATION METHODS|
|ACCESSIBILITY AND DESIGN FOR DIVERSE USERS|
|SOCIAL INTERACTION DESIGN|
|SOCIAL ISSUES OF COMPUTING|
|MULTIMEDIA NEWS PRODUCTION|
|ONLINE NEWS BUREAU|
|NEW MEDIA AND CULTURE|
|DIGITAL MEDIA ETHICS|
|PERCEPTION AND COGNITION|
|SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SELF|
|SPECIAL TOPICS IN COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY|
|SOCIAL INEQUALITY AND STRATIFICATION|
During the research phase, students will focus on completing their qualifying examinations, candidacy, and dissertation.
- Breadth Examination: By the end of the second year in the program, students will take the breadth examination to assess their knowledge of core concepts and principles.
- Depth Examination: Under the supervision of their faculty advisor and assisted by two additional faculty members, students will lead a small research project from inception to publication of the results in one of the following areas: human-centered design, learning sciences, game design and development, or interactive media.
- Candidacy Phase: This phase begins with successful defense of the dissertation proposal based on a focused research project. Students will enroll in HCD 699 until complete.
- Dissertation Phase: All students must complete a dissertation that provides a significant contribution to the student's intended area of expertise. Students will enroll in HCD 701 until complete. The doctoral dissertation must demonstrate the student's ability to engage in significant research that is recognized by an academic community as exhibited by:
- Relevant and significant research question(s) to a technology-based field
- In-depth literature review of relevant research
- A conceptual framework that serves as the foundation for the research
- Significant research findings and contribution
The designated courses for the research phase are:
|HCD 599||INDEPENDENT STUDY||8|
|HCD 701||CANDIDACY DISSERTATION RESEARCH||0|
PhD students are expected to complete at least 60 credits of graduate-level courses. The length of time students spend in the program will vary depending on the student's background. We anticipate that students will finish on average in 4-5 years.