Student Life

Student Life

One of our most deeply-held values at ID is diversity—of culture, thought, and experience. And while ID students come from many different backgrounds, countries, careers, and industries, we develop strong relationships through collaborative work and shared experiences.

Because of this focus on collaboration, you will forge long-lasting bonds, both with fellow students and the larger ID community. Indeed, our alumni community of over 2,400 is active and engaged, supporting you during your study and beyond.

For me, ID is the place where big thinkers meet each other to think bigger.
—Nigel Antony (MDes + MBA 2018)

Support + Access

With an average class size of 16 students, open faculty offices near student and studio workspaces, and the support of an individual advisor, we make every effort to support your unique goals from your first day at ID. Our robust offering of career services will help you plan for life and career after graduation.

My time at ID was the most transformational experience of my life. I am who I am today as a result of this new world that this education and its network have shown me.
—Brianna Sylver (MDes 2003)

Opportunities to Lead

Aside from coursework, students engage in activities centered around culture, personal passions, and skill building. These help build the relationships that support our collaborative environment.

The Institute of Design Student Association (IDSA)

IDSA is responsible for student advocacy and activities at IIT Institute of Design, finding ways to engage with design outside the classroom and connect students to one another and ID administration. The student association annually leads International Food Fest, NOWhaus, and other social functions, like end-of-semester parties. They also take up occasional and ongoing initiatives like the Bauhaus Anniversary Newspaper, ID composting efforts, and site and studio visits at Greater Good, McDonald’s, Capital One, and more. 

To accomplish all this, the ID student body elects 1–2 chairs to five mission-driven committees:

  1. IDSA Studio Committee
    We seek to cultivate a collaborative, inclusive space in the ID studio.
  2. IDSA Advocacy Committee
    We serve as a bridge between the ID student body and the administration, advocating for students regarding curriculum changes, new faculty hires, and more.
  3. IDSA Neighborhood Committee
    We welcome non-designers get to know our work and collaborate with our neighbors—other students and schools on campus, neighborhood businesses and Bronzeville community groups, other universities—to design solutions that address local challenges.
  4. IDSA Industry Committee
    We are dedicated to connecting the ID student body and the greater design industry at large, providing students opportunities to learn from working professionals in fields and roles of interest through events with industry leaders or outreach initiatives with ID alumni.
  5. IDSA Global Committee
    We seek to represent the diversity of cultural, social, and experiential backgrounds at ID, reflect on how our diversity can cultivate a diverse design practice, and work for greater social good through speaker series, film festivals, and international student outreach.

Career Services

With our broad focus on business and social innovation, IIT Institute of Design (ID) has a singular understanding of what different organizations are looking for when recruiting talent. We also help make the connections that create opportunity, with an alumni network that actively recruits ID graduates.

Programs and Networks

Our career readiness programming, including workshops and panels, help you identify an ideal career path and prepare for the job search. With careerID Confab, we welcome recruiters from around the world to meet and interview exceptional students and alumni.

Alumni Pathways
Our engaged network of ID graduates features professionals already working with some of the world’s most innovative companies and organizations.

We have long-standing relationships with a wide range of companies and organizations who seek out our students for valuable internships.

Conferences like Design Intersections offer you the opportunity to meet, learn from, and interact with design thought leaders.

Sponsored classes
Organizations like Feeding America, American Family Insurance, Eataly, and Fidelity Labs work directly with students on a wide range of design areas, from digital to service.

Faculty research
Our courses often integrate faculty research, connecting you with organizations like UChicago Medicine, Cook County Sheriff’s Department, the American Bar Association, and the Chicago Mayor’s Office.

Global immersion
Our multi-week Global Immersion program immerses students in the practical application of methods through project work in another country.

Organizations who employ our graduates include:

Autodesk / Capital One / Conifer Research / Doblin/Deloitte / Ernst and Young / Facebook / GE / Gensler / Google / IBM / IA Collaborative / IDEO / Jump Associates / Lunar / MAYA / Mayo Clinic / McKinsey / Method / Moment / McDonald’s / Nestlé Purina / Salesforce / Samsung / SAP / Steelcase / SC Johnson / Teague / Uber / UnitedHealth Group / Whirlpool / Wrigley

Roles ID graduates have taken include:

Design Strategist / Senior Innovation Strategist / Director of Product Development / Director of Innovation Methods / Director of User Research / Brand Strategist / Director of Interaction Design / Senior Information Architect / Director of Strategy and New Business Development / Digital Enterprise Strategist / Director of Experience Design / Senior UX Researcher and Strategist

Join Our Graduate Program

Get complete information on application requirements.

Application Deadlines

Spring 2021 admission
October 30, 2020
Fall 2021 admission
January 22, 2021 (early round)
March 5, 2021 (final round)
Late applications may be considered, please contact us
Admission to the MDes program with Foundation is offered for the fall semester only. Your application must be completed by 5pm (CST/Chicago time) on the due date to be considered for that round. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.