Doctor of Philosophy

Human Centered Design

Human Centered Design  


The Ph.D. 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.

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Admission Process

The graduate application process involves completing an online application, sending in your transcripts and submitting any supplemental material (e.g., letters of recommendation, certifications, etc.). To learn more about the process, visit our Graduate Admission page for more information.

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Flexible Curriculum

In collaboration with their advisors, HCD students select courses and electives that align with their research interests, allowing for a highly customized program of study. The flexible curriculum also allows students to select courses that will help them become well-rounded scholars who can teach and conduct research in a variety of disciplines.

Interdisciplinary Research Opportunities

DePaul's urban location and faculty research areas provides HCD PhD students the unique opportunity to work with international scholars in translating theory into practical solutions that impact urban environments. Students can work with a variety of faculty across the university as well as labs in the School of Design including (but not limited to) the Play for Change Lab, the Technology for Social Good Resarch & Design Lab, and the Wellness and Health Enhancement Engineering Lab (WHEEL).

Addressing Real World Problems

HCD faculty are trained in learning sciences, social computing, and design and are experienced in applying that knowledge in areas such as software development, curriculum design, education technology, and game development to address social issues that plague society. Students will have the opportunity to work closely with faculty that use Chicago's urban context to inform their research, with many faculty working with the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, and various neighborhoods and organizations throughout the city. This affords an integrated learning experience where students learn inside and outside of the classroom and design technologies that have a direct impact.

CDM School of Design

The CDM School of Design has a vibrant group of faculty who work within interdisciplinary modes with design at their core in the areas of software development, product design, learning design, and game development. As a school, faculty and students work together to integrate existing and cutting-edge technologies and social practices into visualizations, games, apps, products, processes, and experiences.

Human Centered Design

Graduates will be prepared to engage in research that integrates theories from various fields, processes of human interaction with digital media, and designing technologies for specific purposes (e.g., activism, social impact, entertainment, learning, health). Students will graduate with publications and other forms of dissemination of their work in international conferences, journals, and venues that support the advancement of fields including (but not limited to): social computing, human computer interaction, games, health informatics, and learning sciences. Students will be prepared for academic positions (e.g., departments such as information sciences, computing, design, learning sciences), industry research labs, and government and civic organizations.