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The Master of Design (MDes) program is a full-time two-year, practice-based program that explores the research challenges faced by contemporary visual communication design. We provide students with the tools and confidence needed to meet the demands posed by today’s constantly shifting context of technology, media, aesthetics, and information. We prepare graduates for careers as practicing designers, design researchers, and educators by engaging students in critical practice, theory, and methodology.

Our program offers strongly supportive design studies courses that provide a foundation for doctoral studies in the rapidly developing area of design research.

Our program embraces intellectually curious students interested in experimental and investigative approaches to design practice, theory and research in communication design.

Master of Arts in Design Research (MA in Design Research)

For designers who want to energize their practice, the MA in Design Research’s 3-semester applied emphasis allows a student to immediately transfer what they learned into the workplace. The MA shares the same curriculum as the first year of the MDes program but culminates in a 1-semester Major Research Project or Major Research Paper completed under the guidance and support of a supervisor rather than a 12-month thesis. The MA program helps students develop the applied research expertise needed in today’s workforce and offers practical and attainable means of developing a strong, forward-thinking contemporary practice. Students sharpen their design skills, gain exposure to design research methods, and learn to articulate the value of design-based innovation.

Degrees Offered


Program Length (Full-time)

5 term(s)

Program Component(s)

  • Thesis

Minimum Required GPA


Fall Entry

  • Full-time

Deadline - Fall (Full-time Applicants Only)


English Proficiency Requirement

Minimum TOEFL (Paper-based)600
Minimum TOEFL (Internet-based)100
IELTS (Academic Module)7.5
YUELIAcademic Program Level 9 with Distinction
YUELI Graduate Studies Preparation Program (GSPP)Graduate with distinction
CAELOverall score of 70, no component score less than 60
Minimum CPE ScoreC
Minimum CAE ScoreB
PTE Academic76


MA in Design Research is on pause for Fall 2024 and Fall 2025