Design Science

Degree Programs

  • Master of Science in Design Science
  • Doctoral Program in Design Science

The new field of Design Science studies the creation of artifacts and their embedding in our physical, psychological, economic, and social environments. Traditional science studies the world as we find it; design science studies the world as we make it. In an increasingly designed world, good design is a means to improving this world through: innovative, sustainable products and services; creating value; and reducing or eliminating the negative unintended consequences of technology deployment. The Design Science program is offered on-campus in Ann Arbor.

Master of Science in Design Science

The Master of Science in Design Science was launched in 2015 to address modern product development that integrates engineering with the behavioral, business and social sciences. The program provides students flexibility in exploring multiple disciplines to learn in-depth rigorous design methods and theory that drive the design process. Each student defines a custom program of study in consultation with a program advisor tailored to his or her background and design interests  that includes at least two disciplines. This degree integrates disciplines from top programs at the University of Michigan to balance rigorous coursework, trend-setting research, and practica. In one year, graduates of the Design Science program are uniquely prepared to meet the challenges of innovation in today’s workplace.

Doctoral Program in Design Science

The Design Science Ph.D. is interdisciplinary in nature. In consultation with faculty advisors and the program committee, the student defines a custom program of study that has the right mix of disciplinary depth, interdisciplinary breadth, and is tailored to his or her background and interests. At least two disciplines permeate the program of study. Students are required to take a core set of classes that teaches them integrative design processes and research methods, and then deepen their knowledge in two or more disciplines by leveraging courses available across the university. Advised by two faculty in their respective fields, students integrate their disciplines through cutting-edge research to advance the field of design science in their dissertations. Students are expected to complete a one-semester equivalent of practicum with an industrial or academic partner to further deepen their learning experience.

For more information about both degree programs, please visit the ISD Design Science website at: isd.engin.umich.edu/design-science.