School of Computing

The Ph.D. Program in Human-Centered Computing

The objective of the Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Human-Centered Computing (HCC) degree program is to prepare our graduates for advanced research positions in industry and the academy. The program is designed for students who offer evidence of exceptional scholastic ability, intellectual creativity, and research motivation. The HCC Ph.D. degree is viewed as a certification by the faculty that the student has a solid foundation in Human-Centered Computing and has performed original research in the area. The basis for gaining the degree will be the student's grasp of computing, people, research methods and a cognate or specialty area. The graduates will have extended the frontier of knowledge in at least one area of computing as it relates to a human condition or concern by way of innovative research. The students will demonstrate the ability to express ideas adequately and professionally in oral and written language. Although only four courses are required, the doctoral program usually requires two to four years beyond the M.S. degree.

The doctoral program emphasizes research, and the SOC encourages prospective candidates to involve themselves in research under the supervision of a faculty member at the earliest possible opportunity. In addition to research activities in various areas of computing and people, there are many opportunities for interdisciplinary and interdepartmental research. 

The Major Advisor and Advisory Committee

Selection of the Major Advisor is by mutual consent of the Ph.D. student and the advisor. The Major Advisor, who must be a full-time tenure track member of the School of Computing faculty, should be selected before the Portfolio, which is the comprehensive examination for SOC. The Ph.D. student should carefully select his or her Major Advisor on the basis of technical and personal compatibility. Either the student or the Major Advisor may terminate the advisee/advisor relationship in the event that research interests change or the advisor and student later find themselves incompatible. 

The Ph.D. Advisory Committee assists the student in formulating an appropriate program of study, approves this program of study, approves the dissertation proposal, and conducts the dissertation defense. The Major Advisor serves as chair of the student's Advisory Committee. The student, in consultation with the Major Advisor and in accordance with Graduate School requirements, must select at least two additional faculty members to serve on the Advisory Committee. One of these members may be selected from outside the SOC. One additional member of the student’s Advisory Committee will be appointed the Director of Graduate Affairs (DGA) for the Human-Centered Computing Division.

Ph.D. Requirements

Ph.D. students must satisfy requirements in three areas: