Interdisciplinary Design

MFA in Integrated Design (formerly MFA in Interdisciplinary Design)


LinkedIn named CCS #3 Design School in the U.S.

Best Grad Schools 2013Today, creative leaders face challenges that are increasingly more complex, multi-faceted and globally driven.

MFA in INTERDISCIPLINARY DESIGN is being renamed to MFA in INTEGRATED DESIGN. This change will reflect more accurately the degree of interconnectivity between the creative, research and business disciplines in our graduate program. INTEGRATED DESIGN emphasizes a cohesive, 'problem-based' curriculum with the related disciplines contributing to the solution. In speaking with our alumni, this integrated approach has been a key contributor to their post-graduation careers. 

Today, creative leaders face challenges that are increasingly complex, multi-faceted and globally driven. Corporations are building teams of high-performing designers with diverse design skills to deliver solutions that drive business results – solutions that are interdisciplinary in nature, using an effective combination of strategic thinking and creative execution capabilities.

The MFA in Integrated Design at CCS is a unique program that prepares designers for these new challenges.  It educates creative professionals who can lead in visualizing future possibilities in a variety of contexts.  Graduates are able to decode multi-dimensional design problems that require holistic approaches in order to create meaningful and valuable design solutions.

Our curriculum is unusual in the specific way it integrates multiple disciplines to prepare students for professional success. As a graduate student, you will be immersed in both quantitative and qualitative research to explore and better understand the factors contributing to a particular problem and the potential effects of proposed solutions.  You will study marketing fundamentals and business practices.  You will learn to identify relevant trends and build future scenarios in search of innovation opportunities. You will develop a broad perspective that enables you to construct powerful design strategies that make businesses more competitive and communities more livable.

Through industry-sponsored collaborative projects, you will apply these learnings to real-world challenges of both immediate and long-range import.  These projects mirror the dynamics of a professional studio, are team-based and competitively structured.  They entail the systematic integration of analytical thinking, user-centric research, problem-solving skills, and advanced design methods.  You will also gain professional experience through internships at design-focused businesses during the summer. 

Finally, in the Master’s Thesis, you will have the opportunity to work with academic and professional advisors to complete an original body of work that is the culmination of your graduate studies at CCS.

Through the Integrated Design program, you will grasp how design can affect key business decisions and how designers can be leaders in generating and shaping ideas from the very beginning through execution.  Graduates of the program go on to succeed in high-level roles as senior designers or managers in product design, user experience design, information design, healthcare and medical design, and other design areas as well as in the fields of design research, design strategy, and service design in corporations and design consultancies.  Graduates also have the capacity to become entrepreneurs and educators.

Applicants for the Integrated Design program are typically recent graduates, design professionals or educators with degrees in any design discipline. However, applicants with non-design degrees are encouraged to apply. Applicants who do not demonstrate design proficiency at the time of application, will be considered for a three-year Integrated Design option.


Contact Us

MFA Integrated Design Department
T. 313.664.1475
F. 313.664.1490

Department Chair
Maria Luisa Rossi



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