Lead change by design

A Master of Design degree for mid-career professionals

Complex problems require more than ad hoc approaches. In the current business environment, rigor and evidence are key to realizing new concepts. The Master of Design Methods (MDM) degree program gives you the skills and knowledge to lead creative teams and develop products, services, and experiences that resonate with people while addressing your organization’s needs.


There are two specific tracks to choose from as an MDM student:

Design-Driven Innovation created for professionals of any discipline looking to boost their impact with an astute understanding of how to leverage design and innovation methods within their organization.

Design Strategy created for seasoned design professionals looking to enhance and extend their ability to address the complexities of today’s design challenges.

Common courses include (not all courses are offered every term):

  • Innovation Methods or Analysis + Synthesis in Design
  • Intro to Observing Users
  • Intro to Design Planning
  • Prototyping Methods
  • Experience Modeling
  • Modes of Human Experience or Behavioral Economics
  • Communication in the Planning Process
  • Modeling Complexity
  • Service Systems Workshop
  • Organizational Models of Innovation

Design-Driven Innovation courses include:

  • Diagram Development
  • Strategies for Open Innovation
  • Interaction Design Methods
  • Innovation Methods

Design Strategy courses include:

  • Product Architecture and Platforms
  • Persuasive Interaction
  • Adaptive Leadership
  • Modeling Complexity
  • Designing Futures


  • 2 semesters in the sabbatical (full-time) format
  • 4-5 semesters in the professional (part-time) format (courses typically taken in the evenings)
  • 30 credit hours


Based on 2015-2016 student body, backgrounds and prior education
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Business Consulting
  • Non-for-profit Management
  • Industrial Design
  • Communication Design
  • Marketing
  • Education
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Average age: 38 yrs
  • Female 48% / Male 52%

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 SCJohnson, Wrigley, Northern Trust, UnitedHealth Group, Kraft, and Boeing and consultancies like IDEO, Doblin/Deloitte, and IA Collaborative .

Organizations have employed MDM graduates as:

  • Associate Partner, Director of Strategy
  • Global Director of Experience Design
  • Senior Director of Innovation
  • Senior Service Designer
  • Senior Technologist
  • Director of Strategy and New Business Development
  • Director of Product Development
  • Director of Retail Design
  • Director of User Research
  • Director of Interaction Design

Learn more about our alumni 


Full-time Sabbatical format

Tuition (2016-2017 rate) $29,395 per semester
Student fees, books, and supplies $1,268* per semester
Living expenses (room & board) $6,750* per semester
Health insurance (can be waived) $1,441* per year

Part-time Professional format

Tuition (2016-2017 rate) $1,960 per credit hr
Student fees, books, and supplies $600-800* per semester
Health insurance (can be waived) $1,441* per year


Learn more about Fellowships + Financial Aid

To Apply

Start your application to the Master of Design Methods program today! It only takes a few minutes. If you don’t have all of your materials ready, don’t worry. You can add them when you are. To complete your application you will need to provide the following:

  • Portfolio of work. 5-15 pages that demonstrate critical thinking, innovation management, and problem/concept exploration.
  • Statement of educational objectives. 1-3 pages including career goals and reasons for studying at the Institute of Design. An additional interview (by phone, Skype, or in person) may be required.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae. 8-10 years of professional practice is typical, minimum of 5 years experience (in a leadership or management role) is 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,  IETLS 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


See additional information and commonly asked questions

Apply Now


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Thanks for your interest in the Master of Design Methods program at the Institute of Design. Send us a note and we will be in touch soon.