Design, Environment and the Arts, PhD

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The PhD in design, environment and the arts is an individualized, institute-wide, transdisciplinary degree that integrates graduate courses and faculty research with expertise in design; health care and healing environments; history, theory and criticism; and digital culture in design.

Broad in scope, the program is at the cutting edge of creating new knowledge in architecture, design and the arts. It complements transdisciplinary research in other disciplines within the university. The program provides research experience for students wishing to pursue careers in industry as members of interdisciplinary design teams on environmental and energy issues as well as for those wishing to teach in the architecture, design or the arts fields.

Applicants should apply to the concentration appropriate to their area of research interest as applications to the stand-alone degree program are not being accepted at this time.

Program offered

Design, Environment and the Arts, PhD

Offered by
Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts


Plan of study

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

View Plan of Study

Program requirements

Students must be thoroughly familiar with design and the arts and are expected to demonstrate a high level of academic maturity before being admitted to the program. Up to 30 credit hours from a previously awarded master's degree can count toward the requirements of the doctoral program.

Of the 54 credit hours remaining after the master's degree, 12 must be dissertation credit and 12 may be research. These 24 credit hours plus the remaining 30 credit hours must be completed after admission to the program. No transfer credits are allowed to fulfill the 54 credit hour minimum requirement completed after admission to the program.

The student is required to take 15 credit hours in the concentration and a minimum of nine credit hours of specialized coursework outside the area of focus; a minimum of six credit hours in current research and research methods is required.

Each student entering the program is required to submit a plan of study during the first year.