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Master of Design + MPPA

Master of Design + MPPA

The Master of Design + Master of Public Policy and Administration (MDes + MPPA) dual-degree program prepares students to address dynamic and complex civic and social challenges effectively. This unique program—the first of its kind in the nation—is ideal for professionals who aspire to lead innovation initiatives within the civic sector. Students pursue two graduate degrees simultaneously, an MDes through ID and a MPPA through the Stuart School of Business.

By gaining the knowledge and skills related to public and nonprofit management and policy analysis, you’ll learn to move fluidly between strategic thinking and creative doing. Through hands-on projects, collaborations, and individual work, you’ll get both the depth required to be leaders in your field and the breadth required to contend with modern-day challenges.

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

By the Numbers

166
166% Average Salary Increase
90
90% Placement Rate
14
14:1 Students/Advisor
16
16: Average Class Size

Curriculum

Designed to see the previously impossible.

The MDes + MPPA is a two-year, 69-credit-hour degree program with customizable study. 45 design credits are completed through ID and 24 business credits are completed through 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.

Students working at workshop

Designed to roll out “aha” at scale.

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).

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

Alumni

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 expand your career opportunities.

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

Timing

Choose your Entry Modules:
yEar 1 yEar 2
Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring
Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (3 credits) Internship (Optional) Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (3 credits)
Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (3 credits)
Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (3 credits)
Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (3 credits) Design Course (3 credits)
MPPA Course (3 credits) MPPA Course (3 credits) MPPA Course (3 credits) MPPA Course (3 credits)
MPPA Course (3 credits) MPPA Course (3 credits) MPPA Course (3 credits) MPPA Course (3 credits)

Estimated Costs

Expense Cost
Estimated tuition (2021-2022 rate) $26,490 (per semester)
Estimated class costs and supplies $650 (per semester)
Estimated living expenses (room & board) $6,750 (per semester)
Estimated health insurance $1,896 (per year)

STEM Qualification

The MDes + MPPA 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.

Deadlines

Fall 2023 admission

January 20, 2023 (early round)

March 3, 2023 (final round)

Spring 2024 admission

October 25, 2023

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

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