Outliers, Innovators, Leaders: Welcome

A 15-month program designed for working professionals. Courses are led by UT Austin’s top faculty and cover topics such as leadership, communication, ethics, change management, and decision-making.

Information Sessions

HDO holds information sessions on the UT Austin campus, in cities across the state, and online throughout the year. Click below to RSVP for an upcoming session. Each session covers a variety of topics related to the program.

Capstone Projects

Each semester has a particular focus that prepares students to complete their Capstone Project, which is a research project and presentation requiring students to use their new skills to change real-world situations within organizations.

HDO Master’s Admissions

Fall 2021 Admission

The application for fall 2021 admission is now closed. The application for fall 2022 admission will open in August.

In the meantime, if you are interested in getting started, please complete the brief pre-application form below. We’ll let you know when the application is open and send you resources to prepare you to be a successful HDO Master’s student.

HDO Master’s Degree Pre-Application

Admissions Information

Because HDO Master’s students bring diverse strengths and experiences to the graduate program, the admissions committee carefully considers all criteria supporting a candidate’s application. 
Applicants must possess at least 3-5 years of career-level work experience to be considered for admission. An applicant’s career path should demonstrate professional growth in a particular field or set of related fields. This experience does not have to be with one employer. Student work experiences provide an invaluable addition to classroom discussions and group projects. 

A Completed Application Includes:

A bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a regionally accredited college or university (or a comparable degree from a foreign academic institution)

Official university transcripts

A grade point average of 3.0 in upper-division coursework (and graduate work, if applicable)

An official GRE or GMAT score taken within the past five years (or an approved GRE/GMAT waiver; see below)

International students are required to submit TOEFL scores 

A résumé or CV detailing relevant work and academic experiencer

Three letters of recommendation (these may be professional and/or academic in nature)

Two essays (see prompts below)

Additional Application Resources


Because of the nature of HDO and its students, we offer a waiver for the test requirement in certain circumstances.

Waiver Requirements: (1) An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher in all upper-division coursework and (2) one of the following:

1. Already having completed an advanced degree (MBA, JD, PhD, etc.)

2. Five or more years of career-level work experience

Please note the waiver request system is currently closed. 

Application Process

Complete an online application for admissions and pay the application fee at The application fee is $65 (U.S. citizens/permanent residents) and $90 (International).

Please make sure to choose the Fall 2021 application as your ‘Semester of Entry.’ You will be asked to select your major. Scroll down to ‘Liberal Arts.’ You will find ‘Human Dimensions of Organizations’ under that listing.

HDO Recommendation: Complete the online application as early as possible to allow enough time for recommendations to be completed and submitted before the deadline and for all required documents to be uploaded and officially received by the admissions center.

Within 1–2 business day(s) after submitting and paying for an application, applicants will receive an email message from GIAC acknowledging that the application has been received. The applicant’s UT EID and a temporary password will be included in this correspondence, as well as a link to the Online Admissions Status Check page. From that site, applicants will be provided instructions on how to upload their application documents.

Supporting Application Documents

All materials are submitted online. Please do not send hard copies of the required application materials to HDO. We are unable to return original copies of documents. Submit to the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) via the directions you will receive in an email after you submit your application.

Statement of Purpose: There are two (2) required essays (described as a ‘statement of purpose’ on Apply Texas application).

1. Please explain your interest in joining the HDO program. What particular skills are you hoping to develop through the type of coursework HDO offers?

2. Each HDO student will complete a Capstone Project, which is a research-based study using the lens of humanities or social sciences. The Capstone Project is a student’s opportunity to research an organizational issue in-depth. What research question might you explore through the Capstone?

Responses to both essays should be approximately 500-words.

Three (3) Letters of Recommendation: When you complete the “References” portion of the online application for admission, you will submit the names and e-mail addresses of those you have asked to recommend you. Be sure that the e-mail address is current and accurate. Within 24-hours of your application submission, an automatic e-mail message will be sent to your recommenders. Note: you must submit your application in order for your recommenders to receive their email notification. The e-mail will contain instructions and a secure link to the letter of recommendation website. After you submit your application, you will be able to monitor the status of your pending requests for references through your online Application Status Check (MyStatus) page.

Transcripts: Official transcripts from every senior college you have attended are required. Upload an official copy to the Status Check page. If you are admitted official hard copy transcripts will be required. Do not mail transcripts. For more information/instructions, please see GIAC’s instructions for uploading transcripts.

GRE Scores or an Approved Waiver: An official report of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores must be sent directly from ETS (the Educational Testing Service) to GIAC. (The ETS code for UT Austin is 6882.) HDO offers a waiver request to those who qualify. Please see above for more information.

TOEFL Scores: International applicants must submit TOEFL scores unless they are from an English-only speaking country or have earned a four-year undergraduate degree in an English-speaking country. Detailed TOEFL score submission instructions are available on GIAC’s website. The minimum score considered acceptable for admission by the GIAC is: “A score of 550 (paper test), 213 (computer-based test), or 79 (internet-based test).” Reports must be sent directly from ETS to GIAC. (The ETS code for UT Austin is 6882.)

CV or Résumé: You will upload via your online Application Status Check (MyStatus) page.

Application Status Check

To upload materials to the applicant’s file, edit lists of recommenders, or check on the status of an application, visit the following link: Application Status Check.

“As brilliant as the faculty were, learning from the wisdom and experience of my cohort mates was equally valuable. I’ve relied on the cohort network many times since graduating. Choosing a favorite professor or identifying the most useful course is like asking about a favorite flavor of ice cream. All different; equally delightful; impossible to pick one. My biggest takeaway from HDO is the joy of discovery. The faculty ‘showed us where to look, but not what to see’ (Maori proverb).” 

Lynn Wills (Class of 2019)

HDO’s Outstanding Professor of the Year for 2018, Clay Spinuzzi, discusses why he enjoys teaching in the program and what differentiates HDO and its students from other graduate programs.

Outliers, Innovators, Leaders, Welcome