Skip to Sub-menu

PhD Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD HES Architectural Studies) degree is designed for individuals who are interested in acquiring the knowledge and skills that are needed to conduct substantive, innovative, and original research that contribute to the theoretical and methodological foundation of architecture and interior design, and the dissemination of this research through teaching, publication, and practice. To this end, the curriculum is structured so that students move gradually from overview of architectural research to the identification and pursuit of major and minor areas of specialization and, finally, to highly specialized original dissertation research. This framework promotes stimulating intellectual discourse among individuals with varying research philosophies and interests.

Both faculty and students interact within this framework to develop an enhanced understanding of how specialized research contributes to the definition and evolution of an improved theoretical and methodological basis for architectural studies.

Doctoral study in Architectural Studies, College of Arts and Science, is research based and expands knowledge in the “major” areas of either environment and behavior or design with digital media. The major area is defined as that area of specialization in the Doctoral Program within which the student is expected to write his/her dissertation.

Doctoral study in Environment and Behavior explores the relationship between people and their physical, social and cultural environments. Doctoral study in Design with Digital Media expands knowledge in the “major” area of digital media.

Students commonly choose a “supportive cognate area” which is intended to reinforce the development of an understanding of the discipline. Supporting cognate area courses are selected from a broad spectrum of disciplines providing students with the opportunity to design an individualized program of study that capitalizes on their unique interests and talents.

The PhD program leads to the written doctoral dissertation. The dissertation is distinctive because it demonstrates the ability to conceive and execute scholarly research, and it makes a contribution of “new knowledge” to the discipline. Research is conducted in one emphasis area. Specific course work is chosen on the basis of subject matter and the type of research method selected: quantitative, qualitative or a combination of both. The University of Missouri requires a minimum of 72 semester hours beyond the baccalaureate degree for the PhD. The doctoral program committee provides departmental approval of the student’s plan of study (Form D-2). When completed, it will:

  • Prepare the student for research or scholarly investigation in the chosen field of study.
  • Satisfy the credit-hour requirement of the department.
  • Satisfy any special requirements (cognate area and research skills) imposed by the department or area program.
  • Satisfy the Graduate School’s requirement for a minimum of 15 hours of course work at the 8000/9000 level (exclusive of research, problems and independent study experiences).

The committee also recommends to the Office of Graduate Studies, as part of the plan of study, any request for transfer of graduate credit. The student must substantially complete the course work outlined in the plan of study to the satisfaction of the doctoral program committee and the Office of Graduate Studies before being declared ready for the comprehensive examination.