English + Design

As part of our mission to nurture a diverse and global student body, the English + Design program allows talented international designers to pursue a graduate degree at IIT Institute of Design (ID). This unique program of study combines English for Special Purpose (ESP) instruction with graduate level design education.

Curriculum + Courses

First semester (typical) Second semester (typical)
  • Advanced Reading and Writing for Design I
  • Advanced Listening and Presentation in Design I
  • Prototyping Methods*
  • Fundamentals of Visual Communication*
  • Advanced Reading and Writing for Design II
  • Advanced Listening and Presentation in Design II
  • Building and Understanding Context workshop*
  • Product, Communication, or Interaction workshop*

*Design electives that can be modified with approval of faculty and advisors.

  • Students with TOEFL scores between 80-100 may be required to enroll in the English + Design program.
  • For those students with TOEFL less than 80 or equivalent, IIT offers intensive English programs. Learn more.


  • The program is taught over two semesters, concurrently with MDes coursework
  • Students in the ESP + Design program complete 12 additional credit hours of instruction while pursuing their design courses. It is possible to complete both the English and Design coursework in two academic years.


Below are the main costs associated with the MDes program. Download this guide for a more detailed breakdown and links to financial aid resources.

Tuition (2021-2022 rate) $24,501 per semester
Miscellaneous class costs and supplies $650* per semester
Living expenses (room & board) $6,750* per semester
Health insurance $1,896* per year



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.

International Applicants

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