In the 21st century's connected economy, design increasingly plays a strategic role in communications––from its impact on local everyday engagements to global change. Whether the end result is a product, service or branded experience, this program focuses on the delivery of useful, desired and strategically impactful results effected by design-driven innovation.
Grounded in an understanding that design has evolved from a practice focused on the look of things to how things actually work, this program is tailored to individuals who have a desire to lead by design in a career that rewards them emotionally and intellectually, as well as financially.
Entirely project-based, the master's program in strategic communication design operates as a series of studios that applies design thinking to problem solving in a learning culture shaped by collaboration, empathy, iteration, tinkering and experimentation.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling admissions basis for the STCM masters. What this means is this: We evaluate applications as they are completed, and acceptances are meted out on a first-come, first-served basis for each prospective student.
Once an application is complete with all supporting documents, we review it through the online form and get back to you within three weeks from the completion of your application.
The application deadline is February 15, 2019.
Applicants to the Strategic Communication Design master's degree program (STCM) are expected to hold a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree from an accredited college or university, and to have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75.
How to Apply
Your application will be listed under Strategic Communication Design on the Graduate School site. The online Graduate School application is available here.
Required materials, a list of which can also be found in the application, are as follows:
Personal statement: Please indicate which studio (Brand Design, Experience Design, or Critical Making) you would like to apply to, and provide a link to your online portfolio. This statement is an essential part of your application. In a maximum of 1500 words, please supply long-form answers to the following questions:
- What attracts you to the program at this time? What do you envision as the most compelling opportunities for you as a designer and also a future leader?
- What particular experiences––personal or professional––have prepared you for work in design?
- Why is interaction design important to you and how would you use it to change the world?
- Three letters of recommendation: These should come from professionals and/or professors. No personal recommendations please.
- Unofficial transcripts.
- Writing sample: Submit a sample of your writing that you feel is exemplary and representative of your writing abilities.
- Portfolio: All applicants must also submit an online portfolio of relevant work by February 15, 2019. The portfolio should represent your competence in any studio-based field (e.g. graphic design, creative advertising, environmental design, film, or fine arts). Applicants are encouraged also to include examples of passion projects (i.e. not executed for a client). that demonstrate their thinking and problem-solving approach. The portfolio is the single most important component in your application.
- TOEFL score report: International applicants must have a TOEFL score of at least 600 (IBT 100).
- Application fee: A nonrefundable application fee of $60 is also required ($80 for international).
The one-year accelerated professional masters in strategic communication design (STCM) transforms students into design professionals who can hit the ground running, capable of solving real problems in the worlds of advertising, design, marketing, and business––whether the outcome is a new product, a service, or a branded experience delivered through the creative use of new technologies.
Fast-paced, intensive, and focused, the design of the program accommodates the realities of the 21st century global creative economy. It totals 39 hours and is a single dedicated calendar year in duration––from August to August––made up of four contiguous semesters, as follows: Fall semester, Spring semester, Maymester and Summer Session D. Accelerated and transformative, the STCM masters degree program is integrated with our professional network throughout the full range of our activities and offerings.
Plan of Study
|Fall Semester||Credit Hours|
|Brand Design Specialization Courses|
|APRD 5013||Brand Design Studio 3: Sensational Branding (Brand (R)evolution)||3|
|APRD 5001||Brand Design Studio 1 (Brand Cultures)||3|
|Experience Design Specialization Courses|
|APRD 5014||Experience Design Studio 3 (Service Design)||3|
|APRD XXXX||Experience Design Special Topics 1 (Advanced Research Methods)||3|
|APRD XXXX||Entrepreneurial Design 1 (Product Innovation)|
|APRD 5011||Book Lab (Designing for Influence)||3|
|APRD 5017||Critical Making Studio 3 (Beyond the Web and Emerging Technologies)||3|
|Brand Specialization Courses|
|APRD 5015||Brand Design Studio 4: Sustabinability (Brandscapes)||3|
|APRD XXXX||Brand Design Special Topics 2 (Making Meaning and Embedding Value in Branded Objects)||3|
|Experience Design Specialization Courses|
|APRD 5016||Experience Design Studio 4 (Emerging Interfaces)||3|
|APRD XXXX||Experience Design Special Topics 2 (Critical Tactics)||3|
|Product Lab (All students in the one year program are required to take the following classes in our Product Lab)||3|
Entrepreneurial Design 2 (Product Innovation)
|Book Lab (Ethics, Issues and the State of Design)|
|Critical Making Studio 4 (Advanced Product Development)|
|APRD 5010||Design Sprint (Maymester)||3|
|APRD 5012||Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation by Design (required; June & July)||3|
|APRD 5011||Book Lab (Portfolio)||4|
|Total Credit Hours||43|