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Master of Design Methods

Master of Design Methods (MDM)

An executive master’s program for established professionals, Institute of Design’s Master of Design Methods provides a creative alternative to the MBA. Offered primarily online with occasional in-person events, ID’s MDM brings together a cohort of experienced professionals from diverse industries.

As a learner and leader, you’ll become a strategy expert, equipped to propel your organization forward with the latest design methods.  And you’ll discover how to use design to see, and build, what’s next. To learn more about our Master of Design Methods and the potential career opportunities it can provide, complete this form.


Abstract Kaplan image

By the Numbers

92% Placement Rate in First 6 Months
12:1 Students/Advisor
16: Average Class Size
35: Average Student Age
10: Average Years of Professional Experience

Professional Experience

Simon Dunne (MDM 2023) at MDM Immersion

Designed to accelerate your career.

Ideal applicants for the MDM program have approximately 10 years (8 minimum) of professional experience, including experience in leadership positions. Most applicants find themselves charged with innovation initiatives, or are looking to build or expand innovation capacity within their organizations.

At ID, you’ll learn from faculty focused on the intersection of design and business. ID faculty are both scholars and business practitioners, and they bring their industry experience into the classroom.

Our part-time remote format allows you to take material from one evening’s class to work the next day. To complete the degree in nine months, a full-time sabbatical format is possible.


Advanced curriculum for today’s organizational challenges.

The MDM program and its courses are structured with immediate applicability in mind. Coursework combines theory and hands-on applications to explore emerging innovation methods, market insight, and human-centered design.

Small class sizes create a deeply collaborative environment.

Explore MDM courses.

View of ID building from the courtyard

Areas of Study

See All MDM Courses

Courses include:

  • Systems and Systems Theory
  • Behavioral Design
  • Business Models and Value Webs
  • Innovation Frontiers

Courses include:

  • Adaptive Leadership
  • Implementing Innovation
  • Strategic Communication
  • Plausible and Responsible Futures

Courses include:

  • Analysis + Synthesis in Design
  • Principles and Methods of Understanding Stakeholders
  • Modes of User Experience
  • Evidence-Based Design


Mid-term Immersions and Reflections

At the midpoint of your fall and spring semesters, you’ll be invited to MDM Immersions, 3-day in-person events.

During immersions, students come together in Chicago for an immersive exploration of contemporary topics. You’ll meet your peers and share experiences across multiple organizational contexts and challenges (for-profit, socially-oriented, entrepreneurial, and others) with faculty members and visiting experts.

Recent immersion topics include:

  • Fall 2021: Design + AI
  • Spring 2022: Design + Climate Change


Alumni Kathleen Brandenburg and Vijay Kumar at Fernando Franco talk

A Global Network

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.

In the past 15 years, over 175 students have earned the MDM degree and hold positions of influence at prestigious companies and design firms, such as Apple, Mayo Clinic, McKinsey, Steelcase and others.


yEar 1 yEar 2
Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring
Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (1.5 credits) Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (3 credits)
Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (1.5 credits) Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (3 credits)
In-person Immersion (1.5 credits) In-person Immersion (1.5 credits) In-person Immersion (1.5 credits) In-person Immersion (1.5 credits)

Estimated Costs

Expense Cost
Tuition (2023-2024 rate) $1,958 (per credit hour)
Estimated class costs and supplies $325 (per semester)
Estimated health insurance (can be waived) $2,070 (per year)


Spring 2024 Admission

October 27, 2023

Fall 2024 Admission

January 19, 2024 (early)
March 1, 2024 (final)

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.