• Our MBA program provides a larger view to design-focused students and gives them the necessary business skills to bring innovation to market.

  • Students regularly present ideas to their peers.

Master of Design + MBA overview

IIT’s Master of Design + Master of Business Administration (MDes + MBA) is the first program of its kind. It marks an important milestone in the co-evolution of design, management, and innovation. MDes + MBA students pursue two graduate degrees simultaneously, one with ID and one with IIT Stuart School of Business.

The MDes + MBA program combines a user-centered, method-based approach to innovation with core management education. MDes + MBA graduates are uniquely qualified to lead collaborative, interdisciplinary innovation initiatives in global organizations.

Students with a bachelor degree in design can graduate after two years (including summer sessions for MBA courses). Non-designers complete a two-semester Foundation program along with the MDes program. MBA courses can be taken during Foundation.

The Master of Design degree qualifies as a STEM degree which allows international students to apply for a 24-month extension to the typical 12-month optional practical training (OPT) period. This means students completing this degree may be eligible for up to three years of work in the U.S. Please see the U.S. government’s website for more information.


The Master of Design is a two-year, 54-credit-hour degree program. Over 80% of the courses in the program are electives (seminars and workshops) allowing students to customize their program of study. Students can choose courses ranging across communication design, product design, strategic planning, user research, interaction design and systems design.

See the full list of courses offered for the Master of Design and MBA programs.


Based on 2017-2018 student body, backgrounds and prior education
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Philosophy
  • Humanities
  • Fine Arts
  • English Literature
  • Economics and Finance
  • Architecture
  • Business Consulting
  • Non-for-profit Management
  • Industrial Design
  • Interaction Design
  • Communication Design
  • Marketing
  • Education
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science
International representation
  • China
  • India
  • Korea
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Mexico
  • Taiwan
  • Colombia
  • Australia
  • Phillipines
  • Average age: 29 yrs
  • Female 52% / Male 48%

Learn more about our students


Students and graduates of ID become members of a very accomplished, well-connected network of people spanning the globe. Graduates of ID hold positions of influence in companies such as Steelcase, Motorola, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, Salesforce.com, SCJ Johnson, Samsung, McDonald’s and design consultancies like Doblin|Monitor, Fjord|Accenture, Ziba Design, IA Collaborative, IDEO, Jump Associates, and gravitytank.

Organizations have employed ID graduates as:

  • Design Planner/Strategist
  • Senior Innovation Strategist
  • Director of Strategy and New Business Development
  • Director of Product Development
  • Director of Innovation Methods
  • Director of User Research
  • Brand Strategist
  • Director of Interaction Design
  • Senior Information Architect
  • Senior UX Designer

Learn more about our alumni 


  • 4 semesters, including summer sessions, depending on MBA scheduling (1 semester additional with the Foundation program, MBA can be taken in parallel)
  • 42 credit hours for Institute of Design (15 credit hours additional with the Foundation program)
  • 36 credit hours for Stuart School of Business
  • Full-time residency is required for the Master of Design program


Tuition (2018-2019 rate) $29,675** per semester
Student fees, books, and supplies $1,268* per semester
Living expenses (room & board) $6,750* per semester
Health insurance $1,483* per year


**due to variations in how MBA courses are scheduled/taken additional tuition may be necessary for summer terms. 

Learn more about Fellowships + Financial Aid

To Apply

To participate in this unique program, you will be asked to complete one application that will be reviewed separately by the Institute of Design and the Stuart School of Business. To complete your application you will need to provide the following:

  • Portfolio of work. 5-15 pages that demonstrate critical thinking, problem/concept exploration, and proposed solutions.
  • GRE/GMAT test scores. (GRE minimum 310/340 or 3.0/6.0,  GMAT minimum 600/800 or 3.0/6.0)
  • Statement of educational objectives. 1-3 pages including career goals and reasons for studying at the Institute of Design and the Stuart School of Business. An additional interview (by phone, Skype, or in person) may be required.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae. 2-4 years of professional practice is typical, but not required. Full-time internships, volunteer work, and freelance projects will be considered.
  • Transcripts from all prior degrees. Degrees must be from an accredited educational institution with a minimum cumulative GPA 3.0/4.0 or equivalent. For international applicants without a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited English-language university, a TOEFL or IETLS test is required. (TOEFL minimum 100,  IELTS minimum 7.5, Scores below will be required to enroll in English programs.)
  • Letters of recommendation. Three letters from professional or academic references commenting on your goals and abilities.
  • Application fee. $100.00


Special considerations for Master of Design + MBA

  • Requests for test score waivers must be made separately through each school
  • Any available fellowships or scholarships are awarded separately by each school


See additional information and commonly asked questions

Apply Now

Application Deadlines

Spring 2019 admission
September 21, 2018 (early round)
November 2, 2018 (final round)

Late applications may be considered, please contact us.

Fall 2019 admission
January 18, 2019 (early round)
March 1, 2019 (final round)

Admission to the MDes program with Foundation is offered for the fall semester only. Your application must be completed by 5 p.m. (CST/Chicago time) on the due date to be considered for that round. You will receive an email confirmation when all of your materials have been received. Admission decisions will be communicated roughly four weeks after this confirmation.

More Information

For more information or if the application deadline for your desired start date has passed, please contact:

IIT Stuart School of Business

If you have additional questions about the MBA portion of this program, please contact Alexandra Case