Students in the PhD Studio

Doctoral Program FAQs

  • Candidates who do not have backgrounds in one of the School of Design's area of focus (Communication Design, Product Design, Interaction Design, UX design, Environments Design, Service Design, Design for Social Innovation, design research, design theory) would not be eligible for Teaching Fellowships. They may, however, be considered for the self-funded PhD option. Additional study, such as the School’s MA, MPS or MDes degree could make such candidates eligible for PhD Teaching Fellowships. Please contact us for advice on this matter.

  • Yes. Candidates with expertise on housing, interiors and smaller-scale architecture and an interest in Transition Design may apply and help the School build out its offerings in Environments Design.

  • No. The Human Computer Interaction Institute offers a PhD with pathways in Interaction Design. Consequently, applicants with research topics and approaches that demand significant amounts of coding or more cognitive science based research methods will be encouraged to apply to HCII.

  • In some cases, 3+ years of high-level professional design experience, demonstrated with a portfolio and a well-formulated research proposal may meet the application requirements.

  • In some cases, yes. Applicants with backgrounds in Business and Management, but with additional expertise and experience in Design, and who are interested in Transition Design, should apply to this program and will be encouraged to seek faculty advisers from other areas on campus. We would be particularly interested in candidates with business and management expertise related to Transition Design such as circular economies, sustainable design, and B corps.

  • Carnegie Mellon is a highly ranked research university and there are potential advisors from a wide range of disciplines on the campus. We also have a network of potential advisors who are based in other institutions.

  • No. The language requirements for application to the program cannot be waived. Please review these carefully.

  • No. Unfortunately we do not have the ability to review portfolio materials for each inquiry that we receive. To be considered for the program you will need to formally apply.

  • No. We do not currently offer an online option for our PhD degree. We hope to eventually offer a part time PhD degree but it is not an option at this time.

  • No. The only funding opportunity available is the Teaching Fellowship which requires students to teach 1-2 courses during the academic year.