Degree Programs

Degree Programs

Designed to expand your career opportunities

The Institute of Design (ID) offers a range of highly respected graduate design programs. Our philosophy is built on expanding the tenets of human-centered design, systems-based design, and holistic design. In this way, we believe our graduates can help identify new ways forward, even in the most challenging times.

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Master of Design (MDes)

Go beyond design thinking. Join future thought leaders, researchers, strategists, and change agents to develop solutions to the most challenging problems of our time, find new ways forward, and create opportunities for organizations to grow and flourish.

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Master of Design + MBA

Our MDes + MBA curriculum offers an exciting opportunity to elevate your skills at the intersection of design, management, and innovation. It is the first program of its kind to combine a user-centered, method-based approach to design strategy and innovation with core business management skills.

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Master of Design + Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA)

The MDes + MPPA dual-degree program prepares students to effectively address dynamic and complex civic and social challenges with rigor, depth, and imagination. This program is ideal for professionals who aspire to lead collaborative, interdisciplinary innovation initiatives within the civic sector.

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Master of Design Methods (MDM)

This rigorous program is ideal for established professionals across a broad range of fields who are seeking to accelerate their careers. You will access vital skills and knowledge applicable to real world challenges within large and small enterprises, from management consulting to design strategy to social innovation.

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ID was the first institution in the US to offer a PhD program in design. For those who are passionate about teaching or conducting fundamental research in the field, we offer an established and growing design-focused doctoral program. Alumni have gone on to lead design programs at other universities and serve as vital change agents at global corporations.

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Our Curriculum

ID is dedicated to preparing students to address increasingly dynamic and complex challenges with rigor, depth, and imagination. Courses cover a wide range of theoretical topics as well as current best practices and methods.

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Our Faculty

With industry-leading expertise, our distinguished faculty bring innovative methods and insight to a highly collaborative and participatory learning environment. Faculty work hands-on with students, putting methods and theory into practice on student projects and faculty research.

Meet our faculty

Life + Career After ID

Our research and alumni have such consistent positive impact on global companies and organizations. As a result, ID students and graduates are highly sought after to lead strategy, research, and design of future products, services, experiences, and business models. Our placement rate is historically over 90% within three months of graduation.

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Join our Graduate Program

Get complete information on application requirements.

Application Deadlines

Spring 2023 admission
October 26, 2022
Fall 2023 admission
January 20, 2023 (early round)
March 3, 2023 (final round)
Admission to the MDes program with Foundation is offered for the fall semester only. 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.

Have a Question?

Visit our FAQ page for more information. If you have additional questions regarding our application process or requirements, please send an email to or call us at 312-595-4900.

Applying from outside the US?

Visit the International Applicants page to view specific information about joining our program from abroad.