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Master of Design + MBA

Master of Design + MBA

The Master of Design + MBA program combines a user-centered, method-based approach with core management education. This program is ideal for professionals who aspire to lead collaborative, interdisciplinary innovation initiatives within global organizations. In this unique program, MDes + MBA students pursue two graduate degrees simultaneously, one with ID and one with Illinois Tech Stuart School of Business.

At ID, you’ll learn to shape compelling opportunities by developing insight from multiple perspectives, exploring options through aggressive prototyping and critique, and identifying valuable directions that prompt action and support resilient change. You’ll apply design knowledge through hands-on projects and real-world challenges, both individually and in team collaborations.

Students without formal design education and students still working on their English fluency are welcome and supported through our programs.

To learn more about our MDes + MBA program and the potential career opportunities it can provide, complete this form.

166% Average Salary Increase
Over 90% Placement Rate in First 6 Months
14:1 Students/Advisor
16: Average Class Size


Designed to see the previously impossible.

The MDes + MBA is a two-year, 78-credit hour degree program with customizable study. 48 design credits are completed through ID and 30 business credits are completed through the Stuart School of Business.

The MDes curriculum is organized across three stages of study: Entry, Core, and Concentration. Each stage contains a collection of courses (modules) arranged to deliver the highest educational impact for ID students.


MDes curriculum wheel showing main areas including Design research & insight, Product-Service delivery, Innovation strategy, and Product management
Entry Modules

These modules will help you fill any gaps you may have in your education or practice and will orient you to ID’s specific philosophy and culture. All students are advised which courses in these modules are most appropriate for their situation and goals.

Core Modules

These modules develop your critical competency for nearly any design practice. Core courses help you deeply understand complex challenges, creatively explore options, and develop impactful and resilient solutions. Students are expected to establish competence and demonstrate mastery in each Core module by the end of the program.

Concentration Modules

Concentration modules focus on application skills and are oriented toward specific design roles such as Design Research and Insight, Product-Service Delivery, and Innovation Strategy. Students are encouraged to choose 1–3 concentration modules but can take courses within any of the concentrations.

Marty Thaler and students in a workshop.

Designed to roll out “aha” at scale.

All courses at ID explore methods and apply theories to real-world problems. Naturally, critical and ethical conversations regularly arise as students get their hands dirty—prototyping, making ideas real, and then seeing those ideas in action.

ID courses come in four structural types: Bootcamps, Seminars, Workshops, and Studiolabs. These course types describe how the course is conducted, and the commitment needed to maximize learning. Full-time students take a balance of each course type during a semester (e.g., one studio + 2 workshops + 4 seminars).

Student Work


Designed to expand your perspective.

ID alumni make up a strong network—a uniquely skilled set of more than 2,400 people across 32+ countries who deal with difficult issues and navigate them with clarity, purpose, and discipline.

This vibrant network is invaluable to ID students and graduates.

Career Support

Designed to accelerate your career.

Career preparation is just one reason why our MDes graduates increase their salaries by 166 percent, on average, versus their pre-ID salaries.


Choose additional sequences:
yEar 1 yEar 2
Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring
Design Course Design Course Business Course Design Course Design Course
Design Course Design Course Business Course Design Course Design Course
Design Course Design Course Internship (Optional) Design Course Design Course
Design Course Design Course Design Course Design Course
Business Course Business Course Business Course Business Course
Business Course Business Course Business Course Business Course

Estimated Costs

Expense Cost
Tuition (2024-2025 rate) $28,902 (per semester, does not include summer session), $31,151 for English program per semester
Estimated class costs and supplies $850 (per semester)
Estimated living expenses (room & board) $8,250 (per semseter)
Health insurance $2,070 (per year)

STEM Qualification

The MDes + MBA degree qualifies as a STEM degree which allows international students to apply for a 24-month extension to the typical 12-month optional practical training (OPT) period. This means students completing this degree may be eligible for up to three years of work in the US. Please see the US government’s website for more information.


Fall 2024 Admission

January 19, 2024 (priority admission)
March 1, 2024 (final general admission)

Spring 2025 Admission

October 26, 2024 (final admission)

Admission to the MDes program with the Foundation or English sequence is offered for the fall semester only.

Request More Info

Request More Information

Please complete the form to request more information or if you have additional questions regarding our application process or requirements.