Doctor of Philosophy in Design

The Ph.D. in Design at the Institute of Design is an exemplary program of coursework and academic research in an international environment for supporting top candidates in the field. We have an outstanding record of achievement by our alumni, many of who are engaged at the highest levels of research and teaching. The Ph.D. leads to a dissertation that will extend the body of knowledge in design theory and process.

Requirements

The Ph.D. candidate must have a master’s degree in an area relevant to design. The program requires a minimum of three years of study beyond the master’s degree. For the first four semesters, students must be enrolled at a minimum of 12 credit hours at the Institute of Design. Satisfactory reading knowledge of Chinese, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish must be met before the student applies to take the comprehensive examination.

Schedule

The program begins with three or four semesters primarily of coursework with some research credit hours, followed by a qualifying exam based on the courses. After passing the qualifying exam, the student continues to work on a research proposal that demonstrates sufficient understanding of the research area, a novel significant concept as a basis for Ph.D. research, and well-organized research methods and processes. A Ph.D. examination committee will then be formed to approve the proposal during the comprehensive exam. Upon completion of the dissertation, the Ph.D. candidate will present the research results to the examination committee for the degree to be granted by the university.

Curriculum

Total: 107 credit hours
Coursework: 59 credit hours (including maximum 32 credit hours transferrable from master’s program)
Language examination
Comprehensive examination
Dissertation research: 48 credit hours

Research

48 credit hours
The research component starts small and grows as the student progresses through his or her candidacy. The dissertation created from this work is intended to create a substantial and original contribution to design knowledge. Typically, 12 credit hours are earned over the first three terms; the remainder is earned over, at minimum, three additional terms.

Coursework

59 credit hours
Coursework includes credit hours transferable from the master’s program. The maximum credit hours transferrable is 32. Classes include full- or half-semester courses selected from the university’s course offerings to complement objectives of the student’s program. They include 15 credit hours of required courses and 12 credit hours of elective courses as determined by the adviser. Most coursework credits are earned within the first three terms of enrollment.

Required Courses (15)
IDN 571Systems and Systems Theory in Design1.5
IDN 574Design Process and Knowledge1.5
IDN 685Ph. D. Principles and Methods of Design Research1.5
IDN 687Ph. D. Philosophical Context of Design Research1.5
IDN 689Ph.D. Research Seminar (taken twice)6
PSYC 545Graduate Statistics I (or equivalent)3
Elective Courses (44)
Select 44 credit hours44
Ph.D. Research (48)
IDN 691Research and Thesis for Ph. D. Degree48
Total Credit Hours107