Program Image
Graduate Studies

Color & Materials Design

The Color & Materials Design Graduate Program
prepares students for a career in Color, Materials,
and Finish (CMF) Design.

The Program

The curriculum invites students to discover a culture and mindset where forward-thinking innovative color and materials practices can thrive.

Using the classifications of colors, materials and finishes students learn to create meaning between products and experiences and their user or audience. Graduates of the College’s program in Color and Materials Design work in both the physical and digital spaces to advance ideas through research, hands-on experimentation and use of state-of-the-art facilities.

Often working in collaborations through experiential learning, students work to develop narratives that offer creative concepts and design executions. As they learn how to look for patterns-in-market, culture and geographic regions, they gain insight into people’s needs and behaviors.


Degrees Offered

The 30-credit MA (initial degree) is the first year of the 60-credit MFA (terminal degree), with classes focusing on professional and technical skills and knowledge. During the second year, students embark on an independently defined critical enquiry.

Proud participant in the Fulbright International Scholar Program.

badge indicating that part-time study is available

In the CCS Color & Materials Design program, students explore the latest advances in materials, and their color and finish applications, through hands-on experimentation and use of state-of-the-art prototyping facilities. Using this knowledge to solve design problems, students collaborate within the design team structure to develop narratives that offer creative concept and design executions. As they learn how to look for patterns—in markets, cultures, and geographic regions—they gain insight into consumer behaviors.

Both a technical and aesthetic understanding of CMF design is applied in the studio courses across a range of applications and domains, ultimately this approach enables students to advance in their careers according to their own interests and objectives.


CMF Designer
Color and Trim Designer
Color Designer
Materials Designer
Trend Strategist
Color and Materials Mastering Designer
Materials Development Specialist


When CCS launched the program in Color and Materials Design in 2014, it was the first and remains the only graduate program in the United States dedicated to this relatively young design practice.

Our location in Michigan with the highest concentration of industrial design jobs in the United States (US Bureau of Labor Statistics) enables access to excellent design talent, as well as experiential learning resources across the region.

We have welcomed students from a broad range of disciplines, including Product or Industrial Design, the Fine Arts and Art Practice, Craft and Material Studies, Interior Design, Entertainment Arts or Animation Design, Furniture Design, Communication or Graphic Design, Transportation Design, Architecture, Textile Design or Fiber. Often, students in this program seek to build their skills across a wider area, incorporating CMF design into their existing knowledge base.

Featured Projects

Featured Alumni


Jasmine Brown

CMF Creative Designer


Joseph Cardenas

CMF Designer


Gigi Lin

CMF Design Specialist
Geely Global Design


Sophia Yauch

Associate Color and Materials Designer
Harley Davidson


Ali Loftus

Global Color and Material Design Apprentice


Imani Brown

CMF Intern


Emily Marquette

CMF Designer


Mahsa Banadaki

Materials Designer

Apply Now

Join the Evolution 

CCS prepares students to enter a global economy in which creativity shapes better communities and societies. Here, creative minds can both explore and thrive. There is nothing like it anywhere in the world.