Master of Design + MBA

IIT Institute of Design

Program Description

Master of Design + MBA

IIT Institute of Design

IIT’s Master of Design + Master of Business Administration (MDes + MBA) is the first program of its kind. It marks an important milestone in the co-evolution of design, management, and innovation. MDes + MBA students pursue two graduate degrees simultaneously, one with ID and one with IIT Stuart School of Business.


The MDes + MBA program combines a user-centered, method-based approach to innovation with core management education. MDes + MBA graduates are uniquely qualified to lead collaborative, interdisciplinary innovation initiatives in global organizations.


Students with a bachelor degree in design can graduate after two years and one quarter. Non-designers must complete a two-semesters of foundation before beginning the MDes program. MBA courses can be taken during foundation.



The Master of Design is a two-year, 54-credit-hour degree program. Over 80% of the courses in the program are electives (seminars and workshops) allowing students to customize their program of study. Students can choose courses ranging across communication design, product design, strategic planning, user research, interaction design and systems design.



Nurturing career development is a priority for ID students. The school hosts RecruitID, a twice-yearly event that draws top global organizations looking to hire ID graduates (or secure summer internships for first year students) for a range of positions generally tied to innovation and new business opportunities. Positions include strategists, researchers, planners, innovation and communication managers. Employers value ID students and graduates for their abilities to take on challenging problems through the application of rigorous methods.

Organizations have employed our graduates as: – Design Planner – Design Strategist – Senior Innovation Strategist – Director of Product Development – Director of Innovation Methods – Director of User Research – Brand Strategist – Director of Interaction Design – Senior Information Architect – Director of Strategy and New Business Development



  • 4-5 semesters depending on MBA scheduling (1-2 semesters additional with the Foundation program, MBA can be taken in parallel)
  • 44 credit hours for Institute of Design (30 credit hours additional with the Foundation program)
  • 36 credit hours for Stuart School of Business
  • Full-time residency is required for the Master of Design program

To Apply

To participate in this unique program, you will be asked to apply to both the Institute of Design and the Stuart School of Business. To complete your application for the Institute of Design you will need to provide the following:

  • Portfolio of work. 5-15 pages that demonstrate critical thinking, concept exploration, and proposed solutions. For those applicants without an undergraduate design degree, a GRE/GMAT test will be required instead of a portfolio. (GRE minimum 310/340 or 3.0/6.0, GMAT minimum 600/800 or 3.0/6.0)
  • Statement of educational objectives. 1-3 pages including career goals and reasons for studying at the Institute of Design. An additional interview (by phone, Skype, or in person) may be required.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae. 2-4 years of professional practice is typical, but not required. Full-time internships, volunteer work, and freelance projects will be considered.
  • Transcripts from all prior degrees. Degrees must be from an accredited educational institution with a minimum cumulative GPA 3.0/4.0 or equivalent. For international applicants without a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited English-language university, a TOEFL or IETLS test is required. (TOEFL minimum 100, IETLS minimum 7.)
  • Letters of recommendation. Three letters from professional or academic references commenting on your goals and abilities.
  • Application fee. $100.00

Special considerations for Master of Design + MBA

First apply to IIT Institute of Design and indicate your interest in the MDes + MBA program. Once you have a MDes application started, you can then submit a separate application to the MBA program. Please note:

  • Applicants must provide a separate professional statement for each school
  • Requests for test score waivers must be made separately through each school
  • Any available fellowships or scholarships are awarded separately by each school
  • Applicants must pay the application fee for both schools
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated November 1, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
2 years
Full time
28,810 USD
Start date Sept. 2017
USA Chicago, Illinois
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 2 years
Price 28,810 USD
- per semester