Prospective & Current Students

Putting Liberal Arts to Work

HDO teaches students to use the disciplines of the liberal arts—the humanities, and the social and behavioral sciences—to understand workplace interactions and how organizations can best serve their employees, customers, and clients.

Advising & Careers

What can you do with an HDO degree? Our majors may move into Human Resources, Organizational Development, Consulting, Nonprofit Leadership, or Civil Service, to name a few possibilities. A degree in HDO prepares you to understand and lead people, manage change, and influence decision-making in any number of organizational settings.

Liberal Arts In The News

A collection of recent news and opinion pieces on the importance of liberal arts education for workplace success. Check back regularly for new entries!

Prospective & Current Students

The three videos below provide an introduction to the HDO Bachelor’s Degree, an overview of HDO courses and the organization of the major, as well as a discussion of various career paths for HDO majors.

In addition to the videos below, we asked some Human Dimensions of Organizations majors to describe the Bachelor’s degree, in their own words:

“HDO majors research the secret ingredient of success for any profession or organization: the humans. Understanding the subtle rhythms and patterns of human interaction can help us better understand why we act the way we do, and how we can cultivate proactive relationships with each other. This introspective system is valuable not only to an individual but also to a company as a whole. The more we understand about the people we interact with—be they friend, family, coworker, or even stranger—the better we can all work together, and the more we can all achieve together.” – Clint Stepp, HDO Major

“I chose HDO as my major because it allows me to specialize in my interests while exposing me to different perspectives offered within a liberal arts education. As I became more exposed to the professional world, I have realized how important it is to develop exceptional soft skills to connect with others and solve problems. HDO has taught me how to evaluate my own strengths and personality, so I can better cooperate with different types of people because understanding the motivation behind how people think and react is necessary to become a courageous leader.” – Maryam Blooki, HDO Major

“HDO creates the ultimate team player. With its traditional liberal arts curriculum and its focus on synthesizing the different areas of study, students grow in their ability to entertain different perspectives. When it comes to working with others, the HDO approach looks different. Unlike business education, HDO fosters a ‘we’ mentality as opposed to a ‘me’ mentality. Instead of winning, it promotes collaboration. Instead of competition, it preaches strategy. This major doesn’t constrain one to any specific field or job; that’s the beauty of it. With these classes, I can apply what I’m learning in the classroom to my personal life and can see how they are preparing me for professional life.” – Emily Tabor, HDO Major

Interested in learning more about HDO’s Bachelor’s Degree? Contact Assistant Professor of Instruction, Dr. Amy Nathan Wright

The HDO bachelor’s program focuses on understanding organizational dynamics and behaviors—how organizations work—which is an essential skill in today’s rapidly changing work environment. To succeed, leaders need more than good functional skills; they need to communicate well across silos, understand complex organizational interdependencies, and adapt to ambiguous and rapidly changing business environments.

Bjorn Billhardt, CEO, Abilitie; HDO External Advisor

HDO’s Founding Director and Psychology Professor Art Markman provides an overview of the HDO Bachelor’s Degree.

“Most employers look for people who are human-oriented and can later learn the skills needed for a specific job. HDO fosters personal development and creates well-rounded individuals.”

Emma Steiner

“HDO students stand out because they are equipped to change the world.”

Sydeney Veatch

“HDO doesn’t limit you to just one area of education, it empowers you to learn about many topics. I like to do a lot of things, and this major allows me to do that.”

Ellen Finke

Students with a deep knowledge of these areas of study are well-suited to address the problems that factors like globalization, regulation, linguistic diversity, and cultural differences can cause.

The HDO Bachelor’s Degree provides a broad-based exploration of liberal arts as applied to organizations. It allows students to:

• Develop effective, persuasive oral and written communication skills;

• Understand ethical behavior in the workplace;

• Broaden their knowledge of the types of cultures that influence organizations;

• Measure human behavior to inform decision-making, and

• Consider how key lessons from the humanities and the social/behavioral sciences can be applied in organizational settings.

It is this last learning outcome that distinguishes HDO from the traditional disciplines that make up UT Austin’s College of Liberal Arts.

Putting Liberal Arts to Work