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)
A 15-Month Program for Professionals with Weekend Classes, a Distance Learning Option, and Courses Led by Top UT Austin Faculty
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.
Student work experiences provide an invaluable addition to classroom discussions and group projects. Master’s program applicants should possess at least 3-5 years of career-level experience.
An applicant’s career path should demonstrate professional growth in a particular field or a set of related fields. This experience does not have to be with one employer or in a particular role.
A distance-learning option is available for students unable to commute to Austin. Students participating in the distance-learning option attend class in real-time via our virtual classroom and participate actively in classroom discussions.
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.
“I loved the multi-disciplinary approach which provided the opportunity to learn from a variety of areas within liberal arts. HDO brought together people from a diverse variety of backgrounds and industries which allows the discussion of real-world topics from different perspectives. The small cohort setting creates an environment for building relationships past the classroom. I admire the passion and commitment by the professors for personal and professional growth of the cohort.”
Dr. Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, winner of HDO’s 2019 Outstanding Professor of the Year award, explains how the HDO Master’s Degree provides a unique education experience for working professionals and highlights why she is so passionate about teaching in the program.
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.
Every leader has a lens by which they view the world, and what they see guides their decisions and actions. To me, more important than the tactical understanding of any framework or process is one’s ability to take in, interpret, and accept information broadly; especially information that may not align with our own perspectives. The most valuable thing that I gained from my cohort and professors was the journey of broadening that lens; it gave me a more adaptive lens by which to view the world.
HDO’s Founding Director and Psychology Professor, Art Markman, explains how working professionals will benefit from pursuing an HDO’s Master’s degree.
“This program helped me learn to use my voice – to realize that my own experiences can contribute to the greater conversation. It also broadened my horizons by allowing me to meet people who do not work in my industry and have completely different backgrounds. I’m glad I had the chance to learn from my classmates and open my eyes to the world more in the process.”