Closeup of three, gray, felt pinwheel lamps in the Dorothy O'Brien Innovation Lab.

AcademicsGraduate Programs

Design + Innovation, MS

With a core of human-centered design, the Master’s of Science Design + Innovation program (MDI) brings together faculty and perspectives from five of the UW–Madison’s schools and colleges to produce well-rounded designers, entrepreneurs, strategists and innovation leaders.

Offered on campus, our program follows an accelerated 12-month schedule that begins each May (Feb 1 application deadline). Students must complete required core courses and then may choose elective courses from four specialized learning tracks. Our core courses provide students with shared foundational knowledge applied to team-based design projects. Our specialized learning tracks provide students with depth in areas of application such as Product Design, UI/UX Design, Communication Design, and Design Strategy. Upon completion of our Master of Science in Design + Innovation program, students will graduate with cross-disciplinary skills applicable to a range of creative design career opportunities.

In this Master’s program, students will:

  • Be exposed to the lessons and perspectives of design thinking from five of UW–Madison’s Schools and Colleges: Engineering, Human Ecology, Business, Information School, and Art
  • Work within interdisciplinary teams to complete real-world projects in conjunction with industry partners. Read a case study from when MDI students devised ways to improve diabetes care for Black Wisconsinites.
  • Explore their own unique career path within the fields of Product Design, UI/UX design, Communication Design, and Design Strategy

Visit the MDI Program website

Program Contacts

Trudy Watt
Academic Director for MDI Program

Sara Hladilek
MDI Graduate Coordinator

Department affiliation