Master of Professional Studies

For designers who want to invigorate their practice.

The MPS is a one-year program that helps you develop expertise in design for interactions within the context of services and social innovation. It offers a practical, attainable means to develop a stronger, more integrated practice. You’ll sharpen design skills, gain exposure to design research methods, and learn to articulate the value of design-based innovation.

Our program framework acknowledges the social and natural worlds as the greater context for all design problems. Through coursework and research, our graduate students learn a rigorous process for documenting, analyzing, and understanding the past and present—in order to propose more desirable systems and interactions for the future.

A perfect match for your sense of purpose.

The MPS is ideal for professionals who can’t take much time away from practice. It follows the same curriculum as the first year of the MDes, allowing you to dig deeply into design for interactions and gain exposure to design for service and social innovation.

For those who can make a two-year commitment, our MDes program offers the invaluable experience of applying newly acquired research skills under the guidance and mentorship of an advisor. The MPS provides the same foundation, but quickly returns you to the workforce to practice what you’ve learned.

MPS curriculum

An overview of courses offered through the MPS program is provided below. For more information, please contact us to schedule a call with our academic advisor, or plan a visit and take a tour of the facilities while you're here. Current students should refer to the University’s Schedule of Classes for complete course offerings and descriptions.

MPS: Year One

1 Fall

Get an introduction to design for interactions and design for services and social innovation, and learn about their potential impact in business and policy. Expand your skills in communication and interaction design.

Seminar: Interaction & Service Design Concepts 12 units

Investigate the history, current state, and future of interaction design practice and research.

Studio: Designing for Interactions 12 units

Envision preferred futures by giving form to the behaviors and interactions of products, services, and systems.

Interaction Design Lab 12 units

Prototype for interaction design using sketches, wireframes, storyboards, video, animation, and code.

Communication Design Studio: Theory & Practice 12 units

Use design strategies to decode complex information and to communicate messages clearly.

Colloquium3 units

Learn about faculty research.

2 Spring

Investigate business and policy opportunities in design for services and social innovation through research-based team project work in your studio course. Take an elective to complement your skills and knowledge.

Seminar 12 units

A choice of either Transition Design, Social Innovation or Design for Service.

Studio: Research Based Design for Interactions 12 units

Tackle a client-sponsored team project using an integrated research and design process.

Design Research Methods 9 units

Learn and apply a range of participatory methods for exploratory, generative, and evaluative research and design.

Elective 12 units

We recommend courses in policy, business, service or social innovation, interaction or communication design, or professional writing.

© School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University, 2014

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