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

AcademicsGraduate Programs

Design Studies, MFA, PhD

The focus of the MFA degree is on creative performance in design. Its goals are to promote strong and creative conceptual thinking, exploration, interpretation, innovation, and overall excellence in design execution.

The PhD program is the highest degree in the field of design research and scholarship, and is grounded in the production of original and rigorous research. Graduates of the program have demonstrated their leadership in the field of design practice and education in the U.S. and internationally.

Students are mentored and guided by a graduate faculty comprised of interdisciplinary scholars, designers, scientists, and artists and are encouraged to collaborate with faculty from across campus, including Art, Art History, Computer Science, Engineering, Landscape Architecture, and Folklore, as well as other departments in Human Ecology, such as Human Development and Family Studies, Consumer Science, Civil Society and Community Studies.

Design Studies Faculty

  • Jennifer Angus, a person with long, blue/green hair wearing a dark gray top and red necklace.

    Jennifer AngusProfessor of Design Studies | Kay Vaughan Faculty Fellow of Design + Innovation

  • White woman in jean blouse smiling.

    Sarah Anne CarterAssociate Professor of Design Studies | Executive Director of the Center for Design and Material Culture

  • A white woman smiling, with grey hair wearing graphic patterned earrings and a polka dot shirt.

    Marianne FairbanksAudrey Rothermel Bascom Professor | Associate Professor of Design Studies | Kohl’s Center Innovation Faculty Fellow

  • A woman smiling, with long, light brown hair, wearing red glasses and a blue shirt.

    Erin HamiltonAssistant Professor of Design Studies

  • A white woman smiling, with short hair, wearing glasses, a black shirt, and a long necklace.

    Mary HarkProfessor of Design Studies

  • A white woman, smiling, with straight brown hair, wearing glasses and a navy blue, burgundy, and white striped dress.

    Marina MoskowitzLynn and Gary Mecklenburg Chair in Textiles, Material Culture & Design | Professor of Design Studies

  • A man smiling with short, dark hair and a beard, wearing a black, short-sleeved polo shirt.

    Kevin PontoAudrey Rothermel Bascom Professor | Associate Professor of Design Studies

  • Portrait of Jung-hye, an Asian woman in a black blazer smiling, in front of the 100 Women Wall.

    Jung-hye ShinDepartment Chair and Professor of Design Studies | Faculty Director of the Design Thinking Program | Interior Architecture Program Coordinator

  • A brown woman with black hair, smiling, wearing a gray jacket and black earrings.

    Uchita VaidAssistant Professor of Design Studies

  • An Asian man with short black hair in a seated position, wearing dark blue shirt and glasses.

    Mengni ZhangAssistant Professor of Design Studies

Design Studies Graduate Students