Doctor of Philosophy with a Major in Human-Centered Computing

Department website:

Human-Centered Computing (HCC) is the interdisciplinary science of designing computational artifacts that better support human endeavors. HCC students examine issues - such as computer-supported collaborative work and learning, human-computer interaction, human-robot interaction, learning sciences and technology, and mobile and ubiquitous computing - that lie at the intersection of human concerns (such as anthropology, cognitive science, human factors, industrial design, media studies, psychology, and sociology) and computing studies (such as artificial intelligence, computational perception, databases, graphics, information security, networks, programming languages, and robotics).

Students must complete a core of the three courses described below. The required courses will help students develop the first two of the four competencies that must be demonstrated; these competency areas are

  • computing concepts and skills,
  • evaluation of HCC systems,
  • written research communication, and
  • oral research communication.

In consultation with their advisors, students must also complete at least three elective courses, including at least one outside the area of HCC specialization. Areas of elective study may include, but are not restricted to,

  • artificial intelligence,
  • cognitive science,
  • collaboration,
  • human-computer interaction,
  • information security,
  • learning sciences and technology,
  • software,
  • software engineering, and
  • visualization.

Students must also pass a written and oral qualifier (comprehensive examination) and submit and receive approval for a dissertation topic and committee. Students may then be admitted to candidacy.

For more information about the HCC program, visit

All PhD programs must incorporate a standard set of Requirements for the Doctoral Degree.

Core Courses
CS 6451Introduction to Human-Centered Computing3
CS 6452Prototyping Interactive Systems3
CS 7455Issues in Human-Centered Computing3
CS 8001Seminar1
CS 8802Special Topics2
Minor 16
Total Credit Hours27

Concurrently, each student develops a research portfolio under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The submission of a conference- or journal-quality paper, and a conference-style presentation, satisfies the competencies of written and oral research communications.


The Ph.D. minor consists of six semester hours of classes from outside HCC. Thus, a Ph.D. minor within the College of Computing (but outside HCC) is also possible. The six hours must form one coherent area of study. If a course has a CS section and a non-CS section, then students should register for the CS section and not count it towards a minor. A minor may also include courses from outside Georgia Tech, for example, courses at Emory University or Georgia State University.


Artificial Intelligence
CS 6476Introduction to Computer Vision GR3
CS 6601Artificial Intelligence3
CS 7476Advanced Computer Vision3
CS 7610Modeling and Design3
CS 7620Case-Based Reasoning3
CS 7632Game Artificial Intelligence3
CS 7633Human-Robot Interaction3
CS 7637Knowledge-Based AI3
CS 7650Natural Language3
CS 8803Special Topics (Computational Creativity)3
CS 8803Special Topics (Expressive AI)3
Cognitive Science
CS 6795Introduction to Cognitive Science3
CS 7695Philosophy of Cognition3
CS 7697Cognitive Models of Science and Technology3
CS 7790Cognitive Modeling4
Human-Computer Interaction
CS 6454Qualitative Methods for Design of Human Computer Interaction3
CS 6456Principles of User Interface Software3
CS 6750Human-Computer Interaction3
CS 7450Information Visualization3
CS 7470Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing3
CS 8803Special Topics (Computers, Communications & International Development)3
Learning Science & Technology
CS 6460Educational Technology: Conceptual Foundations3
Social Computing
CS 6465Computational Journalism3
CS 6470Design of Online Communities3
CS 6471Computational Social Science3
CS 6474Social Computing3
CS 7460Collaborative Computing3