In addition to the HCD certificate, HCD offers a doctoral degree. The independent PhD program is geared for students with a strong interdisciplinary direction. The program is intended for highly-motivated and self-directed students interested in design and research. Applicants must already have a Masters degree and applications for the iPhD require close contact with existing Virginia Tech faculty in multiple departments to help develop a multidisciplinary PhD proposal and plan of study. This track strikes a balance between intellectual enquiry into creative processes and actual production of creative work. The admission process to the iPhD is based on first identifying a faculty committee from multiple disciplines and colleges. The student then develops with the committee a proposal for a research topic. Those proposals must include their proposed research focus, goals, plan of study, coursework, a planned schedule for exams and research, and the applicant’s advisory committee members. The proposal is vetted by the Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies, drawn from across the University. To find out more, check out the iPhD program at the Graduate School’s website.