A Transformative Experience

Studying in HDO was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and I know I will see the ROI for decades to come.

– Lisa Dalgliesh (Class of 2019)

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 2024 Admission

The application period for Fall 2024 admission is closed. Our pre-application process for Fall 2025 will open soon.

If you would like to learn more before submitting an application, attend one of the many information sessions scheduled over the next few months. Information sessions are offered online and in-person. HDO staff, including program director Professor Mary Rose, will be on-hand to share information about the program and answer questions. Alumni of the HDO Master’s program will join to speak about the student experience and how the program impacted their careers.


Application Deadlines

January 15, 2024: Early admission deadline for U.S. citizen and permanent resident applicants; Admission deadline for international applicants

March 25, 2024: Regular admission deadline

If you are interested in obtaining employer support for your HDO education, please see our Employer Support Resources page.

Admissions Information

Because HDO Master’s students bring an array of strengths and experiences to the graduate program, the admissions committee carefully considers all criteria supporting a candidate’s application. 

Applicant Requirements:

  • 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 bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a regionally accredited college or university (or a comparable degree from a foreign academic institution)
  • A grade point average of 3.0 in upper-division coursework (and graduate work, if applicable)
  • GRE test scores that are valid at the time you submit your application (taken within the last five years)

Please note that because of the nature of HDO and its students, we offer an opportunity to request a GRE waiver. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher in all upper-division coursework are welcome to submit a waiver request.

Please complete the waiver request form to see if you qualify. 

Applicants who do not have the required 3.0 GPA will need to submit GRE test scores by the admission deadlines.

A Completed Application Includes:

  • GRE test scores (or an approved waiver) – Official GRE scores to be reported by ETS (the Education Testing Agency) to the Office of Graduate Admissions. The ETS code for The University of Texas at Austin is 6882.  See here for submitting official test scores.
  • Official university transcripts
  • International students are required to submit TOEFL scores 
  • A résumé or CV detailing relevant work and academic experience
  • Three letters of recommendation (these may be professional and/or academic in nature)
  • Two essays (see prompts below)

Application Instructions

All students applying for admission to the HDO Master’s program must complete the ApplyTexas online application with the university.

Application Process

Please note, applicants must possess at least 3-5 years of career-level experience to be considered for admission. 

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

Please make sure to select Fall 2024 as your requested semester. You’ll select ‘Human Dimensions of Organizations’ as your major (it’s listed under the ‘Liberal Arts’ area.)

HDO Recommendation: Complete the online Apply Texas application as early as possible. You do not need to wait until you have received your transcripts to complete your application. You will submit your transcripts, essays, resume, etc. after you have officially submitted your application. Your select recommendation letter writers will also be contacted upon application submission.

Within 1–2 business day(s) after submitting and paying for an application, applicants will receive an email message acknowledging that the application has been received. The applicant’s UT EID and 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 application documents.

Required Application Documents

All materials are submitted online. Please do not send hard copies of required application materials to HDO. We are unable to return original copies of documents.

Documents are submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions via the directions you will receive in an email after you submit your application.

All admission documents are carefully reviewed by the admissions committee, but particular consideration is given to the two essay questions and the three letters of recommendation.

  • Essays (Statements of Purpose): There are two (2) required essays. Responses to each essay question should be 500-600 words.

    • Essay Topic 1: We would like to learn why you are interested in HDO and why you view it as a good fit. In this essay, please describe two things: (1) The particular skills you are hoping to develop through the HDO coursework/program; and (2) the type of topic you currently see yourself studying more intensively through our Capstone Requirement.

      • Note: The Capstone Project is a student’s opportunity to research an organizational issue in more depth, using the lens of the humanities and/or social sciences. To learn more about the Capstone requirement and to review topics considered by past HDO students, you may visit this page on the HDO website: For this essay, you do not have to know or commit to any specific project; simply give us a sense of the type of research question that you would like to explore through the program and why it interests you.
    • Essay Topic 2: Think about your professional, educational, or social life and give us an example of a time when you had to collaborate with others who are different from and in which you had your ideas challenged or changed. Describe the situation, the particular challenge to your ideas, and how you responded to this circumstance.
    • Three (3) Letters of Recommendation: When you complete the “References” portion of the application you will submit the names and e-mail addresses of those you have asked to recommend you.

    Note: you must officially submit your admission application in order for your recommenders to receive an e-mail notification with instructions and information for writers on how to electronically submit their letters.

    HDO Recommendation: Encourage your recommenders to submit written letters (vs. only answering a question via the link they are sent) as the admissions committee pays particular attention to recommendation letters. The link will have instructions on how to do this. You are encouraged to select writers who can attest to distinct perspectives of your work experience.  A recommender should be able to discuss how they know you (and for how long), your work abilities, and your capabilities to thrive in the HDO program. These may be professional and/or academic in nature.


    • CV or Résumé: Your document should detail relevant work and academic experience. You will upload via the 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 OGA’s instructions on uploading transcripts.
    • 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 OGA’s website.
      • GRE Waiver: Because of the nature of HDO and its students, we offer a waiver for the test requirement in certain circumstances. To qualify for a GRE waiver, applicants must possess BOTH:
        • a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (or higher) in all upper-division coursework AND 
        • five or more years of career-level work experience

        Please complete the waiver request form to see if you qualify.

        Applicants who do not have the required 3.0 GPA in upper-division coursework will need to submit GRE test scores by the admission deadlines.

    Application Status Check

    Visit this link: Application Status Check to upload materials to your application file, edit lists of recommenders or check on the status of an application.

    Office of Graduate Admissions (OGA)

    View contact information for the Office of Graduate Admissions (OGA) here.

    Utilize this site for specific email addresses for various topics concerning admissions. Please make sure to include your EID in any correspondence for more timely responses.

    You will find detailed information about graduate school admission here.

    “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