Department of Interior Design

PhD Program

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@UF-ID The difference is inside the PhD

The College of Design, Construction and Planning (DCP) offers an interdisciplinary program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Design, Construction and Planning. This program prepares students for careers in MANY areas. According to the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), “Designers work in a wide range of settings, both commercial and residential.” PhD degrees allow for further specialization as well as adding higher quality opportunities in research and teaching.

Consistently ranked nationally, UF’s interior design program is recognized as a leading program in the U.S with a strong international draw. We are known for our research excellence and are unique in offering an Interior Design concentration for a PhD. You can develop advanced research skills to position you as an expert in your chosen field.

The PhD engages you in research to develop a specialization in the design of the built environment. In addition to coursework, the main requirement for the PhD degree is a written research dissertation, adding to the greater body of knowledge. 

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General Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy is a research degree and is granted on evidence of general proficiency, distinctive attainment in a specialized field, and particularly on ability for independent investigation as demonstrated in a dissertation presenting original research. Consequently, doctoral programs are more flexible and varied than those leading to other graduate degrees. The Graduate Council does not specify what courses will be required for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. The general requirement is that the program should be unified in relation to a clear objective, that it should have the considered approval of the student’s entire supervisory committee, typically comprised of a chair and three committee members, and it should include an appropriate number of credits of doctoral research.


If you want to further specialize in an area of interior design research to be an expert in your field, then you found your place here at UF-ID.


Program Description

A minimum of 90 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree is required for the Ph.D. degree in all fields. These include a 10 credit hour core and a minimum of 15 credit hours for the dissertation. Graduate credits earned at UF may be transferred into the doctoral program at the discretion of the supervisory committee and by petition to the Graduate School. No more than 30 credits of a master’s degree from another institution will be transferred to a doctoral program. All master’s degrees counted in the minimum must have been earned in the last seven years. Each student must develop with his or her temporary committee a plan of study during the first semester in the Ph.D. program.

At the core of the PhD curriculum are courses individualized to your research needs. By the end of their first year in the program—or second year for students with a master’s degree in a field other than design—each student must select a three-member supervisory committee to guide their course choices as well as thesis selection, study, and production. The program concludes with the successful completion, public defense, and publication of the student’s dissertation work. Research dissertations are comprehensive documents covering context, literature review, research methods, findings, and study conclusions on a topic of relevance to the interior design discipline. Past research theses created by PHD students can be viewed from the George A. Smathers Libraries electronic theses and dissertations database.

Descriptions of PhD Courses

The descriptions of courses comprising the departmental offerings are documented in the Graduate Catalog. There are numerous opportunities for additional courses open to graduate students in the College of Design, Construction, and Planning, some of which may be subject to pre-requisites. Please review the Graduate Catalog for course listings in Landscape Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning, Building Construction, Historic Preservation, and Architecture.

Visit the College of Design, Construction and Planning’s Doctoral/Ph.D. program sites for more information.

Related Items and Links

DCP Ph.D. Program

Graduate Catalog

Graduate Handbook

International Graduate Students

Office of Minority Programs

Office of Research, Technology and Graduate Education

Ph.D. Admissions

Students With Disabilities