Call for applications: UIC Master of Design

Call for applications: UIC Master of Design

University of Illinois Chicago

Collage of student work produced in the MDES program, 2018, by first year graphic design students. Courtesy the School of Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

December 17, 2018
Call for applications: UIC Master of Design

Application deadline: February 1, 2019
Info session: January 16, 11am–1pm
Room 2480, Architecture and Design Studios
School of Design University of Illinois Chicago (UIC)
College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts (CADA)
845 West Harrison Street
Chicago, IL 60607
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The School of Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) invites graduate applications for the fall of 2019. With programs in both graphic and industrial design, UIC’s School of Design prepares future leaders for the expanding field of design. From systems and services to objects and communications, UIC offers aspiring designers an opportunity to develop creative abilities in Chicago, one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

UIC is a young, progressive, and rapidly growing public research university. The Master of Design (MDes) program cultivates creative leaders with a global outlook. Students have taken part in academic and exhibition programs in Basel, Copenhagen, Dubai, Mexico City, and Seoul; and the UIC MDes in Graphic Design is delivered both in Chicago and in Basel, Switzerland, at FHNW HGK, home of the famed Basel School of Design. Students have access both to the UIC Innovation Center, a collaboration and development hub bringing together research, education, and industry and to the UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory, an internationally renowned high-performance digital visualization center that bridges design with virtual reality and other advanced technologies. 

The UIC School of Design aims to advance the profession’s emerging and future directions. It enables graduates to make substantive contributions to the profession and the world by balancing deep disciplinary engagement with critical thinking—connecting a work’s meaning and purpose to global, cultural, political, technological, and economic influences. A collegial, interdisciplinary community, the school offers a high instructor/student ratio and a large, intellectually engaged full-time faculty who provide individual attention and guidance. Recent student work has been included in national and international exhibitions, publications, and conferences, including AIGA’s Eye on Design, Be Original America, the Chicago TribuneDesignBoom, Dubai Design Week, Dutch Design Week, Graphis, the Huffington Post, the Industrial Society of America, International Housewares, the Society for Typographic Arts, and TypeCon, among others.

Located in a true campus setting in the heart of Chicago, we take the city as an experimental laboratory for students and professionals alike. Internship opportunities are consistently obtained both on campus and in Chicago-based businesses, institutions, and studios. Recent graduates work regionally and nationally as designers at leading cultural institutions and corporations including the Art Institute of Chicago, General Electric, the Fowler Museum, IBM, Lenovo, the University of Chicago, Morningstar, and Ford; while others teach at universities including Kent State University, the University of Michigan, the University of Cincinnati, Texas State University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Notre Dame.

The School of Design promotes discourse across design practices, and engages in critical conversations about design as both a disciplinary and cultural force. Recent seminar series lecturers include Charles Adler (Kickstarter), Danielle Aubert (Clanada), Clara Balaguer and Kristian Henson (The Office of Culture and Design, the Philippines), Andrew Blauvelt (Cranbrook Art Museum), Ezio Manzini (Politecnico di Milano), Matt Olson (RO/LU), Mark Owens (Life of the Mind), Tim Parsons and Jess Charlesworth (Parsons and Charlesworth), Tereza and Vit Ruller (The Rodina, The Hague), Bess Williamson (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), and Till Wittwer (Berlin).

Placing 7th in the US for “best value” in this year’s Wall Street Journal and Times higher education rankings, making the cost of graduate education manageable is integral to UIC’s mission. Outstanding applicants are eligible for merit scholarships, and most students are able to obtain on-campus employment as designers during their graduate study. A number of these positions are graduate or teaching assistantships, which fully cover the cost of tuition and some fees.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit the School of Design website at and to email or visit prior to applying. Please email design [​at​] with any questions or to arrange a visit. Registration for information sessions in December and January can be accessed here.

UIC School of Design is ranked among the top 20 design schools in the world by Business Insider. The school’s diverse and highly productive faculty, a campus located in one of the world’s great cities, and UIC’s status as a globally-ranked public research university make the School of Design an excellent choice for graduate study.

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University of Illinois Chicago
December 17, 2018

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