The DPP is a three-year program for mid-career professionals aspiring to solve advanced problems in the fields of
architecture, engineering, or construction.
Modes of study include conference and video calls,
web-based learning, field work, professional practice work, international exchange, and institutional meetings and conferences.

Program Overview

Unlike academically founded graduate programs, the DPP is based on the assumption that mid-career professionals can develop doctoral-level research, building on their tacit knowledge acquired through years of professional practice. The cohorts in this program come from various AEC (Architecture–Engineering–Construction) fields, as well as from various states in the US and nations of the world. The program is a collaborative effort with Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse.

We seek self-motivated cohorts who thrive in multitasking situations and are able to manage concurrently the DPP program requirements and their full-time professional practice responsibilities. Thanks to a sophisticated distance-delivery system the program accommodates participation both in residence (Pittsburgh) and remotely.








The contact hours of the courses in the program are delivered as concentrated and intense experiences taking up four weekends, supplemented by a few weekdays, per semester. Each course is designed with specific learning objectives and utilizes eight learning areas:

  1. Research methods
  2. Sustainability and building science
  3. Computational design for building performance
  4. BIM, computational design, and design thinking
  5. Advanced construction
  6. Project management
  7. Integrated practice and systems integration; and
  8. Computational design and manufacturing.

In subsequent semesters, cohorts work with an advisory committee to develop their thesis proposal and final defense.

View the original DPP curriculum and the 2015 DPP addendum.

View the Year 1 Cohort Schedule.

View the Year 2 Cohort Schedule.



For important information regarding Distance Education, please view the University’s Consumer Information webpage.