Entry courses are intended to help a student fill any gaps they have in their education or practice coming into the school and also serve to orient students to ID’s specific philosophy and culture.
Foundation courses are for students that do not have any formal education in design. The courses are pre-set and taken concurrently. Foundation covers the essential design theories and techniques required to succeed at the master’s level in design.
Students without an undergraduate degree in industrial or communication design are required to enroll. Some students with design degrees may be required to take Foundation courses to build competency in certain areas.
Fundamental courses are for students that have small gaps in their prior education or experience. These courses also underpin many of the advanced courses offered. Students will take these courses along with other electives in their respective programs.
English + Design
The English + Design program allows talented international designers to pursue a graduate degree at ID. This unique program of study combines English for Special Purpose (ESP) instruction with graduate level design education. English courses are taken concurrently with MDes courses during the first two semesters.
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, Illinois Tech offers intensive English programs.
Students specifically placed in this program are required to take all of the English courses listed as a cohort, though the courses are open to all MDes students.
Core courses are grouped into modules which are key to developing a student’s critical competency for nearly any type of design practice they wish to pursue. The modules include courses to deeply understand complex challenges, to creatively explore options, and to develop impactful and resilient solutions.
By the end of their program, MDes students are expected to establish competence and demonstrate mastery in each module.
Assessment & Critique
Leadership + Acceleration
Prototyping to Learn
Concentration course modules are focused on hard skills and oriented towards specific design practice roles like Design Research, Product-Service Delivery, Innovation Strategy, and Product Management.
Students are encouraged to focus on 1-3 concentration modules as a part of their overall plan, though students are free to take courses within and among any of the concentrations as they desire.