Student Life

ID student creating an interactive physical prototype.

ID student coding an interactive software interface.

ID student making a physical model.

ID faculty and student working on an installation prototype.

ID student working in the shop.

ID student workspaces.

ID students in the photo studio.

ID faculty giving a desktop crit.

A student receives feedback during a critique.

Student groups participating in a prototyping exercise.

Student Life

One of our most deeply-held values at IIT Institute of Design (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 2400 is active and engaged to support 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—to date—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. For that, I am eternally grateful.”
– 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.

  • Our Student Advisory Board, led by a new crop of students each year, is charged with bringing resources, social activities, and networking opportunities to our community.
  • The members of socialID are our resident party planners and joy bringers, organizing events like the International Food Fest, the Untalent show, international holiday celebrations, and the highly anticipated end-of-year party.
  • BarnRaise is a student run, impact-driven conference that connects designers, community-based organizations, and policy experts to drive change in Chicago.
  • networkID organizes studio tours to expose you to a wide range of companies, design departments, and design professionals, ensuring that you lead an educated job search when you graduate.
  • Our multi-week Global Immersion program immerses students in the practical application of methods through project work in another country.

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

We welcome recruiters from around the world to meet and interview exceptional students and alumni for full-time and internship positions. Over 45 hiring organizations attended in 2018. Learn more about recruitID.

Our career readiness programming, including workshops and panels, help you identify an ideal career path and prepare for the job search.

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 such BarnRaise and 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.

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

We recruit ID grads because of their human-centered perspective, their systems thinking abilities, their talent for making sense of deep complexity, and their ability to visualize concepts that can be scaled over time.”
- Pam Nyberg Director, Experience Design Consumer and Care Experience CoE

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 2020 admission
November 1, 2019

Fall 2020 admission
January 17, 2020 (early round)
February 28, 2020 (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.

Who are our current students?

See who is attending ID today and learn more about why students chose ID.