Master of Design
The Master of Design (MDes) program welcomes students from around the world who examine the world from a keen, critical viewpoint and desire to make real change at a systemic and strategic level. Following the program, they become thought leaders, researchers, strategists and change agents at many of the most influential global organizations.
“Whenever and wherever I travel around the world I meet many alumni who are leading design research. Institute of Design always opens up new paradigms like planning, methodology, human-centered design and strategy in design research and education through distinguished leaders like Jay Doblin, Charles L. Owen, and Patrick Whitney.”
Executive Vice President, LG Electronics
ID alum 1985
The MDes program is a two-year, 54-credit-hour degree program intended for those seeking professional knowledge at the highest level in the planning and design of new communications, products, services, environments, and systems. Students may construct their own curriculum after taking a core of methods courses focused on observing and understanding users in specific contexts, analyzing complex information, developing and exploring alternative solutions, and prototyping future innovations and scenarios. Examples of individual courses of study include communication design, product design, strategic planning, user research, design methods research, and systems design.
In addition to experienced designers, the school encourages students with no formal design training to apply to the program, offering a one-year “foundation” program of introductory courses providing prerequisite skills and experience. Students entering without any previous formal study of design or a portfolio will normally take three years to complete the Master of Design program. ID seeks to admit a class with approximately 50% of the students with design degrees and 50% from non-design backgrounds such as business, engineering, liberal arts, and architecture.