Design, Environment and the Arts (Healthcare and Healing Environments), PhD

The health care and healing environments concentration under the PhD program in design, environment and the arts focuses on the integration of evidence-based design, sustainable science and best practices benchmarks when planning health care facilities. Facility-related responsibilities supported by this area cluster into seven functional work units:

  • facilities analysis (physical and environmental)
  • human factors and user needs
  • interior planning and design
  • programming (long-range planning)
  • research methodologies
  • space management and planning
  • strategic planning

This multidisciplinary program integrates the principles of medical and clinical innovations, interior architecture, human health services, communication studies, architecture, and behavioral and engineering sciences. Students in this program will be mentored by local health care design consultants, teaming with nursing students and working directly with real clients and corresponding with forward-thinking health care research centers. Graduating students will be able to address contemporary issues facing the health care industry, address health care environments on multiple levels, apply evidence-based research techniques and effectively communicate with clinicians.

Upon graduation, students may pursue advanced positions in the following arenas:

  • elite consulting firms as facility programmers
  • large health care systems and corporations as strategic planners
  • leading manufacturers and vendors as expert representatives
  • planning divisions in architectural and planning firms as medical planners
  • research centers as decision-makers

Degree Offered

Design, Environment and the Arts (Healthcare and Healing Environments), PhD
Design & the Arts, Herberger Institute for


Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

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