15-Month Program • Weekend Classes • Distance Learning Option


Human Dimensions of Organizations (HDO) is an innovative graduate program at UT Austin designed for working professionals. 

By exploring diverse disciplines such as psychology, history, literature, sociology, philosophy, and anthropology, with some of the University’s best professors, an HDO Master’s degree will give you the tools to: 

  • Discern the root causes of why businesses and nonprofits actually work, and why they often don’t. 
  • Understand how and why the key components of organizations—people—behave and work the way they do. 
  • Develop leadership skills to create lasting and effective change in organizations of any size or type. 

HDO courses are led by UT Austin’s top faculty and cover topics such as leadership, communication, ethics, change management, and decision-making.

HDO’s practice-oriented curriculum draws on disciplines in the humanities and social and behavioral sciences. This multidisciplinary approach develops students into well-rounded “internal consultants,” ready to tackle a wide range of organizational challenges. There are no exams; assessments are designed to provide students with practical skills for professional success. 

Each cohort consists of experienced professionals from a diverse range of fields, allowing for an exchange of problems and solutions across sectors. All students complete a Capstone Project, allowing them to draw on what they’ve learned to tackle an organizational problem of their choice.


“Innovation can’t simply be ordered up. To create and sustain an innovative culture, you have to go beyond being managers to becoming leaders. HDO can play a fundamental role in this transformation.”

– Craig Wynett, Chief Learning Officer, Proctor & Gamble; HDO External Advisor


Upcoming 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, including:

  • Program Overview & History
  • Course Structure & Curriculum
  • Advisors & Faculty
  • Assignments & Capstone Project Examples
  • Admissions & Tuition
  • Q & A

HDO has concluded its information sessions for the fall 2018 recruitment period. Information sessions for the fall 2019 recruitment period will be announced soon. If you are interested in learning more about the Master's program and discussing how it will help you meet your professional goals, please contact Lewis Miller to set up a call with our Associate Director.

If you can’t join us at one of our live sessions, please visit our Virtual Info Session (Flash required), which features a video presentation by HDO Director Dr. Art Markman, slides with key programmatic details, admissions information, and details on how to apply.

Visit an HDO Master’s Class

Get firsthand experience of the curriculum you can expect as an HDO Master’s Degree student. Faculty and current students are welcoming and happy to answer your questions about the program during breaks.

If you are interested in visiting a class, please complete this brief form (including an up-to-date résumé and/or LinkedIn profile link) and we will follow up to confirm your visit.

Upcoming Class Meeting Dates

Fall 2018 class visit dates will be posted soon. To be notified when dates are available, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between an HDO Master’s Degree and a…?

Do I have to follow the curriculum as is? Can I take fewer/more classes per semester than the curriculum indicates?

When are classes held?

How much work experience do I need to be a successful HDO applicant?

What type of people are admitted to the Master’s program?

How much time should I expect to devote to studying/classwork per week?

Does the program offer students coaching/counseling on how to best use the HDO degree to advance my career?

How much is tuition for the program?

Is there financial aid for this program? Are there scholarships or fellowships available?

How do current HDO students cover the cost of tuition?

(for UT employees) Can I use the Staff Educational Benefit to cover tuition for the program?

HDO Admissions is Highly Selective

Because HDO Master’s students bring diverse strengths and experiences to the graduate program, the committee carefully considers all criteria supporting a candidate’s application. Applicants must possess at least three years of career-level work experience to be considered for admission.

Incomplete applications are not considered by the admissions committee. Each candidate will be carefully considered by the committee and may be asked for an interview (by phone or in person). Interviews are by invitation only.

Fall 2018 Admission

Apply Now

Application Deadlines:
Early Decision Deadline: January 15, 2018
Regular Admission Deadline (International Applicants): March 1, 2018
Regular Admission Deadline (U.S. Applicants): April 1, 2018
There are a limited number of spots available for each HDO Master's cohort. Admissions decisions for January (Early Admission) applicants will be made prior to the April deadline (Regular Admission), offering early applicants the chance to join HDO before the cohort reaches capacity.

Fall 2019 Admission Pre-Application

The application for fall 2019 admission will be open soon. In the meantime, if you’re interested in getting started, please complete the brief pre-application form. 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.


A Completed HDO Application Includes:

To view detailed application procedures for the HDO Master's Degree program, click here.
  • 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 above)
  • Foreign students are required to submit TOEFL scores
  • A résumé or CV detailing relevant work and academic experience
  • Two essays based on the following questions:
    • Describe a problem in your career or workplace that might be addressed by skills developed in HDO coursework. How do you think a degree in HDO would help you deal with such challenges? Responses should be approximately 500 words.
    • HDO will give you research skills and opportunities to use them. In approximately 500 words, describe an organizational issue that you hope to explore in the HDO program. To review topics considered by past HDO students, click here.
  • Three letters of recommendation (these may be professional and/or academic in nature)
  • Payment of application fee (due upon submission of application)


The cost of the HDO Master's Degree for the entire 15-month program is $60,000.* This flat fee includes all of the following items:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Lodging and meals during intensive start-of-semester weeks in Austin, TX
  • All textbooks and other course materials
  • Group and individual sessions with HDO's Career Coach
  • Program software, technical infrastructure and access to research databases
  • Access to The University of Texas at Austin resources
*A $1,000 surcharge will be added for Distance Learners.

Tuition Payment Schedule

Payment Period Amount and Due Date
Deposit $1,500 (due upon acceptance of admission); non-refundable
Fall I Tuition $16,500 (due August 1)
Spring Tuition $14,000 (due January 1)
Summer Tuition $14,000 (due May 1)
Fall II Tuition $14,000 (due August 1)
For information on available financial aid, click here.

HDO’s curriculum is unique in its balance of the conceptual consideration and practical application of ideas.

Our coursework requires students to examine real-world challenges through a variety of disciplinary lenses. Students will learn to draw on a range of approaches to analyze, consider, and improve the structure and function of organizations.

HDO's External Advisory Board assisted faculty in developing the HDO Master's Degree curriculum and continues to provide feedback to ensure that HDO classes address key issues facing today's business and nonprofit organizations.

The degree requires 36 credit hours spread across four successive semesters: Fall, Spring, Summer, and the following Fall. These classes include a two-semester core course; nine courses offering depth in topics relevant to the degree; and 6 hours dedicated to the completion of a Capstone Project during the final semester of the program. All courses are required and taken in a prescribed sequence.

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, The University of Texas at Austin confers a Master of Arts in Human Dimensions of Organizations.

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.

Course List

Fall I Semester: 11 Total Credit Hours

HDO 381: Individual Perspectives on the Human Dimensions of Organizations (3 Credit Hours)

HDO 383: Society, Culture, and Diversity (3 Credit Hours)

HDO 390: Qualitative Research in Organizations (3 Credit Hours)

HDO 285: Organizational Ethics (2 Credit Hours)

Spring Semester: 12 Total Credit Hours

HDO 380: Cultural Perspectives on the Human Dimensions of Organizations (3 Credit Hours)

HDO 384: Organizational Inertia, Decision-Making, and Change (3 Credit Hours)

HDO 382: Approaches to Leadership (3 Credit Hours)

HDO 391: Quantitative Research in Organizations (3 Credit Hours)

Summer Semester: 7 Total Credit Hours

HDO 386: Persuasion and Argumentation (3 Credit Hours)

HDO 287: The Structure of Organizations (2 Credit Hours)

HDO 289: Writing and Researching Organizations (2 Credit Hours)

Fall II Semester: 6 Total Credit Hours

HDO 695: Capstone Project (6 Credit Hours)

Course Descriptions and Availability Are Subject to Change.

Attend classes in real time, from anywhere in the world.

For those unable to commute to Austin, HDO has developed a distance learning program for its Master’s degree students. There is a one-time $1,000 surcharge for distance learners. This fee covers the technology that enables HDO’s distance learners to be fully interactive with their in-class colleagues.

Distance learners attend class in real time via our virtual classroom and participate actively in classroom discussions. Distance learners are also required to be on campus for the intensive weeks at the beginning of the Fall I, Spring, and Summer semesters; however, they may participate in all other class meetings virtually.

Selecting the distance learning option does not lock you into this choice for the duration of the program. Distance learners are always welcome to attend classes in-person when their schedule permits.

Distance learners are required to successfully complete the same requirements as students taking courses on campus. Because distance learners may join HDO courses from anywhere, this option is ideal for those looking for international networking opportunities.

Information for Prospective Students and Employers

Brochure: Master's Program (Prospective Students)

View the brochure below. Click here to download.

Brochure: Master's Program (Employer's Guide)

View the brochure below. Click here to download. 

HDO Professional Training 

View the brochure below. Click here to download.

If you have questions regarding the HDO Master’s degree or would simply like to discuss particular issues related to the program, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Each staff member's areas of specialty are listed below, but feel free to reach out to any of us.

Dr. Art Markman, Founding Director
markman@utexas.edu | 512-471-3820
Key contact for discussing program history, curriculum, employer support, applicability to your current role and/or professional goals

Dr. Amy Ware, Associate Director
amy.ware@utexas.edu | 512-232-7338
Key contact for discussing program structure, applications/admissions, distance learning, class visits

Lewis Miller, Marketing Coordinator
lewismiller@utexas.edu | 512-232-8330
Key contact for discussing information sessions and other recruitment events, HDO's Professional Training options for groups and individuals 

Rolee Rios, Program Coordinator
rrios@austin.utexas.edu | 512-471-9140
Key contact for discussing applications/admissions, registration, tuition and financial aid

Jessica Crawford, Senior Administrative Associate
jessica.crawford@austin.utexas.edu | 512-232-7343
Key contact for meeting and other scheduling requests, tuition questions, upcoming event information


Who should apply to the HDO Master’s program?

The HDO program is tailor-made for working professionals. Our degree program is offered on a distinct schedule so that students can maintain their careers while working toward their degree. Applicants must have at least three years of career-level work experience to be considered for admission.

In the video below, HDO’s Founding Director, Dr. Art Markman, explains how working professionals will benefit from pursuing an HDO’s Master’s degree.


In the video below, Dr. Elizabeth Richmond-Garza explains how the program provides a unique education experience and highlights why she is so passionate about teaching in HDO.