Design - Online and Distance Education

Design

 
Doctoral Degrees | Design | Courses

Courses

The structure of the DDes program allows design professionals to complete the degree program through distance education. Students have an opportunity to work on interdisciplinary courses and individual research projects remotely while continuing to fulfill professional and personal obligations if and as necessary.

The Doctor of Design program comprises a 57-credit, six-semester learning sequence tailored for the pursuit of original design-based investigations. Other requirements include the preliminary comprehensive exam (comps), the final exam (defense), and a final research product (dissertation).

Similar to the PhD in Design program, the DDes program introduces research design and its methods in the first year. Required online coursework is typically completed in the first two years; students then delve deeply into independent inquiry. Full-time students craft a detailed design research proposal and prepare for the preliminary exam during the second year. The remainder of the program is dedicated to original investigation towards the final dissertation or equivalent alternative product in design research.

Students work closely with an individual mentor and are guided by supporting committee members with varied expertise. Doctoral programs require a minimum of four (4) graduate faculty members, including the graduate advisor (mentor) who serves as chair or co-chair of the committee. The Chair must be a member of the College of Design faculty who has Graduate school status; at least one other member must be a faculty member of the College of Design.

Additional committee members may be recruited from other NC State Colleges (e.g. Agriculture, Engineering, Education, etc.) and/or from UNC system-wide faculty (e.g. UNC Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Charlotte, etc) and/or Duke University. External committee members may be invited from other universities by appointment (with director approval). Technical consultants from industry may also be invited to work with students. For more on committee composition, visit the Graduate School Handbook.

The DDes program is developed as a flexible and customizable course of study to meet the needs of our students. Students may elect to study full-time or part-time. The plan of study must be coordinated with the program director. *The following plan of study is based on full-time enrollment.

Note: DDN 740 and DDN 741 are prerequisite courses and not all courses will be available every semester.

Below describes the typical plan of study:

Semester 1 (9 credits) Fall

  • DDN 740 Research in Design (online course): 3 credits
  • DDN 741 Case Study Analysis in Design (online course): 3 credits
  • DDN 883 Directed Study (with mentor): 3 credits 

* Students may choose up to three 1-credit modules, either spring or fall, to fulfill DDN 744 requirement.

Semester 2 (9 credits) Spring/Summer

  • DDN 742 Design Practice Legacy as a Learning Endeavor (online course): 3 credits
  • DDN 744 Interdisciplinary Issues in Design Research: Topics vary (online course): 3 credits
  • DDN 883 Directed Study (with mentor): 3 credits

Semester 3 (9 credits or 12 credits) Fall

  • DDN 743 Design Practice Leadership and Ethics (online course): 3 credits
  • DDN 890 (Option) Preliminary Comprehensive Exam (not counted toward required 54 credit hours): 3 credits
  • DDN 893 Supervised Research (with mentor): 6 credits

Semester 4 (9 credits or 12 credits) Spring/Summer

  • DDN 745 Design Innovation and Entrepreneurship (online course): 3 credits
  • DDN 890 (Option) Preliminary Comprehensive Exam (not counted toward required 54 credit hours): 3 credits
  • DDN 893 Supervised Research (with mentor): 6 credits

Semester 5 (9 credits) Fall

  • DDN 895 Dissertation Research (with mentor and committee): 9 credits

Semester 6 (9 credits) Spring/Summer

  • DDN 895 Dissertation Research (with mentor and committee): 9 credits
  • Final Exam (Dissertation Defense): held on campus during workshop period

Pace to Degree

The DDes program offers great flexibility to meet the needs of our students.

The following are four approaches to finishing the DDes degree. It is possible to change the pace of your enrollment (part-time or full-time) throughout your plan of study.

For details on each of these options, view the Curriculum Structure document.