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Option in Design, Housing and Merchandising

The PhD in Human Sciences, option in Design, Housing and Merchandising (DHM), is designed to promote breadth, depth and integration of knowledge in apparel design and production; interior design; and merchandising. Graduates develop into scholars who conduct high-quality research, provide relevant instruction and develop effective solutions to address the needs of individuals in diverse communities as they use garments, interact with others in virtual and physical spaces and shop in retail and virtual environments. 



This 60-hour program can be pursued after completing a master’s degree. Students choose from options in interior design, apparel design and production or merchandising.

Coursework includes:

  • Core Content (12-15 credit hours)
  • Research Methods (6 credit hours)
  • Statistics and Analysis (12-15 credit hours)
  • Committee Approved Elective Courses (9-12 credit hours)
  • Dissertation Research (15 credit hours)

Research and Faculty

Doctoral students collaborate with faculty and other graduate students on research projects which integrate theoretical and empirical knowledge to enhance lives.

Nationally known faculty are engaged in collaborative research focused on:

  • Virtual and augmented reality
  • Textile and apparel science
  • Design, development and testing of functional and protective apparel
  • Lighting design
  • Facility management and design
  • Eye tracking and consumer behavior
  • Aging-in-place and dementia caregiving
  • Biophilic and environmental design
  • Biomechanics

Meet our expert faculty

Facilities and technology

College research initiatives



Applications to the program are accepted only for the Fall semester. The deadline to apply is January 31. To apply to the program, please submit the following:

  • Graduate College application
  • Transcripts from all previously attended institutions (3.5 minimum graduate GPA required) 
  • Current resume/vita
  • Professional goal statement (two-pages)
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • Scholarly writing sample 
  • GRE



Full-time students may be eligible for graduate assistantships in the Department of Design, Housing & Merchandising as either as a Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) or a Graduate Research Associate (GRA). These positions are highly competitive and typically awarded in the spring semester. Those granted assistantships are eligible to receive a tuition waiver, health insurance and stipend. 




Financing graduate school


Stipends, Tuition Waivers and Benefits

Assistantship Health Insurance

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