"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." — Nelson Mandela

program or department head

Department Head

Soolyeon Cho, PhD
Interim Associate Dean of Research, Doctoral Programs and Global Engagement
Professor of Architecture
Director of Building Energy Technology Lab (BETlab)
T: (919) 515-8357, E:

The College of Design at North Carolina State University initiated the PhD in Design Program in 1999. Today the program includes more than forty students from all over the world pursuing research focusing on the questions that transcend and unite the design disciplines.

The mission of the Doctor of Philosophy in Design is to advance knowledge in design through research and scholarship. This mission is built on the recognition of fertile common ground among the design disciplines and on the need for specificity and depth within them. The PhD program, therefore, values a broad range of research interests that aim to improve the human condition. A recent external review of the program stated that:

“The PhD in Design at North Carolina State University is outstanding.  By all metrics, the program competes favorably with other North American PhD programs.  The College of Design has carved out a powerful and highly respected research arena (design), and the PhD program is built around the strengths of the College and the faculty.”  2013 External Review Team