Design (Ph.D.)

This is a top-rated graduate program for those seeking to teach or conduct fundamental research in the field of human-centered design.

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IIT Institute of Design's Doctor of Philosophy in Design is a top-rated graduate program for those seeking to teach or conduct fundamental research in the field of human-centered design. The first in the United States to offer a Ph.D. in design—and the only design school in the country devoted completely to graduate students—IIT Institute of Design (ID) has been instrumental in determining design’s future and demonstrating its significant role in cultures, organizations, and nations.

ID’s Ph.D. alumni have gone on to lead noted design programs at universities all over the world and practice at global corporations. By pursuing rigorous research in specialized areas, our candidates directly participate in some of today’s most exciting design-focused work.

The research component of the program grows as the student progresses. A dissertation created from this work should make a substantial and original contribution to design knowledge.

Program Overview

ID's Ph.D. in Design is a top-rated program for those seeking to teach or conduct fundamental research in the field of human-centered design. The first in the United States to offer a Ph.D. in design, today ID is the only U.S. design school devoted completely to graduate students.

Career Opportunities

IIT Institute of Design Ph.D. alumni have gone on to lead noted design programs at universities all over the world and practice at global corporations, including:

  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Intel
  • KAIST
  • McDonald’s Corporation
  • Motorola
  • Parsons School for Design
  • Steelcase

Completion of the Ph.D. program requires six semesters (107 credit hours) in addition to an existing master's degree. Full-time residency is required for the first four semesters.

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Applicants must have a graduate degree with a minimum of 32 credit hours and are required to submit three letters of recommendation, a portfolio, statement of interest, and a resume or curriculum vitae. There is no minimum work experience requirement, although two to four years of professional experience is preferred. ID considers full-time internships, volunteer work, and freelance projects as formal work experience. TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for any applicant with an undergraduate degree from an institution where the primary language of instruction is not English. We do not require a GRE or GMAT score for any application. However, if you have a score you would like to submit we are happy to include that in your application evaluation. We will accept either the GRE or the GMAT.