PhD Human-Centered Computing – Program of Study
The HCC coursework requirement consists of three major parts: the core classes, a specialization, and a minor.
The core classes form the foundation of the knowledge necessary for this program. Students must have at least one A and at most, two B's in the core courses.
Students must take three electives: two from the area of HCC specialization -- such as the Cognitive Science, Human-Computer Interaction, or the Learning Sciences and Technologies -- and one from another area, for a total of at least nine semester hours. These courses provide students with depth of knowledge in their chosen fields and a breadth of knowledge in another area of computing.
The minor consists of nine semester hours of classes from outside the College of Computing. The nine hours must form one coherent area of study.
In the program, there are four required competencies that must be demonstrated prior to or during the qualifying exam. The competencies are:
- Computing concepts and skills
- Evaluation of human-centered systems
- Written research communication
- Oral research communication
Required Program of Study
Georgia Tech requires all Ph.D. students to complete a coherent minor of nine credit hours outside the major area. Several possible minors are listed here. Some courses listed here could also be taken as electives. Students should choose minor courses in consultation with their advisors and with the approval of the HCC faculty committee.
Industrial and Systems Engineering, Option 1:
Industrial and Systems Engineering, Option 2:
Literature, Communication and Culture, Option 1
Literature, Communication and Culture, Option 2
Literature, Communication and Culture, Option 3:
Psychology, Option 1:
Psychology, Option 2:
This is a partial list, identified by the HCC committee. Courses listed in the possible minor fields of study may also be acceptable unless used to satisfy the minor requirement. Many other courses in the CoC and the other five Georgia Tech colleges are also acceptable. Students should choose electives in consultation with their advisors and with the approval of the HCC faculty committee.
Learning Sciences and Technology
Qualifying Examination (or comprehensive examination)
The purpose of the qualifying examination is for the student to demonstrate:
- Mastery of a body of knowledge relevant to the general area within which the student expects to conduct research.
- The ability to integrate material from different domains, such as from the human sciences and computing.
- An understanding of the processes and concepts used to develop the work products included in any portfolios submitted to demonstrate competencies.
- Any of the four competencies not previously demonstrated.
The "body of knowledge" will be defined by a reading list developed by the HCC faculty for each area of study within HCC. Typical areas would include artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer-supported collaborative work, evaluation methodologies, information security, information visualization, interaction technologies, learning sciences and technology, software, psychology, and virtual worlds. Click here to view the body-of-knowledge list for the various areas comprising the HCC Ph.D.
The student must pass the qualifying examination within six semesters of entering the program. The student must take the examination for the first time no later than during the fifth semester and may retake a failed examination once, within one year.
The qualifying examination consists of written and oral parts and is administered by a faculty committee selected by the advisor in consultation with the student. The committee consists of:
- Three HCC faculty members.
- The student's thesis advisor as a non-voting participant.
The student should choose their dissertation advisors by the beginning of their second year in the program.
Proposal and Dissertation Committee Composition instructions.
HCC Specific Requirements
The student should choose a dissertation advisor by the beginning of the second year of being in the Ph.D. program.
Dissertation Proposal: The student presents and defends a written Ph.D. proposal to a committee of four faculty members, as follows:
- Three from the HCC faculty, including the advisor.
- One from another academic unit on campus (typically the minor field) or an external committee member
After the proposal is accepted, the student is expected to initiate a meeting with the committee at least once a year to review research progress.
Dissertation Defense: The dissertation, when completed, must be publicly defended before a dissertation advisory committee of the above four individuals plus one more member. If all four members of the proposal committee are affiliated with Georgia Tech, that fifth member MUST be from another University. If not, a fifth member from the Institute, but from another academic unit on campus or a second external may be added. It is expected that the dissertation results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and conferences.
"Doctoral students must spend at least two full-time semesters in residence at the Georgia Institute of Technology and ordinarily must complete research for the dissertation while in residence" (Georgia Tech 2009-10 General Catalog).