MA Design (Design Management and Strategy)


The MA program in Design Management and Strategy at KU explores in depth the design function in business as an important integrative, and often interdisciplinary, area of work. The curriculum couples a rigorous, practical understanding of business with design’s natural capacity for handling diverse inputs, creative problem solving, and human-centered understanding. The program seeks both full-time and part-time students. It is developed for prospective students who already hold a design related baccalaureate degree and who are seeking specialized study in this management discipline. Program applicants should have at least two years of full-time professional work experience in design or in a design-related field.

The Master’s student in the Design Management concentration should evidence an advanced ability to problem solve, work in teams, manage processes, communicate clearly, and produce excellent goal-directed outcomes. The holder of the Master’s degree will have completed at least 31 credit hours of coursework, a thesis that documents independent discovery and research, and will have passed an oral examination on the outcomes of that work.

Career Outlook

KU’s MA in Design Management and Strategy program explores in-depth how Design can serve as a comprehensive resource to organizations seeking ways to create and manage new sources of competitive value. The program offers instruction in design management theory and best practices for creating human-centered innovation in branded products and services. Students develop leadership skills that enhance their ability to build internal design competencies and collaborate with peers in Marketing and Engineering to achieve business goals.

Students advance their careers by learning how to think and perform more strategically, by learning how to build great teams and optimize their performance. The program is designed for early to mid-career professionals seeking a competitive edge by taking on bigger challenges and assuming leadership responsibilities.

Students are able to apply in-class learning directly on the job, thereby helping to make the world a more humane place through ethical, purposeful, pragmatic, and elegant design solutions. Founded in 2008, program graduates work at many leading firms such as Garmin, DST, Hallmark, Cerner, Audi, IBM, Steelcase, and Facebook.