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. the doctoral program usually requires two to four years beyond the m.s. degree and emphasizes research. we encourage 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.
course work and seminar requirements
the requirements for the ph.d. in human-centered computing include:
|fundamentals of hcc||3 hours|
|graduate level computer science courses||12 hours|
|courses in people/human condition/hci||6 hours|
|research methods courses||6 hours|
|cognate or specialty area approved by advisor||9 hours|
|pre-dissertation research (pre portfolio, hcc 8880)||6 hours|
|dissertation research||18 hours|
at least 12 credit hours of course work beyond the master’s degree must be taken at clemson. there is also an option for direct-entry students without an m.s. to obtain a master's degree en-route to the hcc ph.d. degree. please talk with the graduate program coordinator for the hcc division for more details on this option.
students without a computing background can be accepted into the program but are expected to take additional courses to acquire programming skills. (for example, dpa 6000 and dpa 6010).
full-time students in the hcc ph.d. program are encouraged to take one seminar (hcc or cpsc 95x0 and 9810) per semester until passing the comprehensive exam (see ph.d. examination requirements below) and one per year until completion of the program.
to earn the ph.d. degree, a student must take and pass three examinations:
to be admitted to ph.d. candidacy a student must pass the comprehensive examination, which in the soc is known as the portfolio. the form of this examination is a portfolio review that is performed by the graduate affairs committee (gac) on behalf of the graduate faculty. this review is intended to certify competency in the core areas of human-centered computing, which are computing, people and research methods. also, the review is intended to promote scholarship, research, and professional skills.
students entering the hcc phd program with an ms must submit their portfolio before the beginning of their fourth semester; students entering without an ms, before the beginning of their sixth.
the student is solely responsible for the contents of the portfolio, and so it is very important to begin the preparation of the portfolio early and to solicit the help of your major advisor in its preparation. when the complete portfolio is submitted it is reviewed by gac, which serves as the examining committee for the comprehensive examination.
a student who is denied admission to candidacy may, at the discretion of the faculty, be given one additional chance to correct the deficiencies that were identified. graduate school regulations require that a student who fails the comprehensive examination a second time be dismissed from the graduate program.
the portfolio must demonstrate that the student has mastery of the hcc core areas and indicate that the student has the ability to conduct original research and make an acceptable written presentation of the results.
the gac will be looking for evidence of specific research skills, including: the ability to identify a problem, evidence of scholarship, critical analysis, and communication skills (e.g., writing and speaking). students are encouraged to include all such evidence in the portfolio.
the ph.d. advisory committee aids the student in developing a degree curriculum, which includes the selection of specific courses and their sequence. at clemson university, a minimum of 30 credits past the masters and 60 credits past the bachelor’s degree are required for the doctoral degree. a minimum of 18 credit hours of doctoral research is required. should the direction of study or research interest change, the student may request the appointment of a new major advisor. coursework leading to the doctor of philosophy degree is planned to give the student a comprehensive knowledge of his/her field of specialization and a mastery of the methods of research. the degree is not awarded solely on the basis of coursework completed, residence, or other routine requirements. the final basis of granting the degree is the student's grasp of the subject matter of a broad field of study, competence in planning and conducting research, and ability to express him/herself adequately and professionally orally and in writing.
dr. eileen kraemer, hcc ph.d. program coordinator