Design Management Degree Program Information

In a master's degree program in design management, students learn how to oversee a design team in the creation of services and products that are in line with an organization's business objectives based on strategic planning.

Essential Information

A master's degree program in design management focuses on helping students see the relationship between the design, development and administration of strategies that can help a company gain an advantage over its competitors. An internship may give them hands-on experience.

Applicants to the program must have a bachelor's degree, preferably in design, but applicants with degrees in other disciplines may still be accepted by schools that offer design courses in their graduate-level programs. In addition, some institutions require that applicants have a certain number of years of professional experience.

Master's Degree in Design Management

Master's degree programs in design management combine design and business courses. Alternatively, a student may enroll in a joint Master of Design and MBA (Master of Business Administration) program. Within either program, students take core business courses in subject areas like organizational behavior, marketing and accounting, along with design courses. Common coursework includes the following:

  • Strategic technology
  • Change and innovation management
  • Negotiation
  • The law of intellectual property
  • Development and management of new products

Popular Career Options

A graduate degree in design management allows graduates to seek positions in a variety of career fields, working either for large companies in the private sector or for governmental agencies in the public sector. Other opportunities include:

  • Art director
  • Creative director
  • Design manager
  • Design director
  • Graphic design manager

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports employment and salary statistics for art directors, fashion designers and graphic designers, which are all careers applicable to design management. The BLS expects employment growth from 2014-2024 to be 2% for art directors, and fashion designers will see 3% growth. Graphic designers are expected to see 1% growth during the same period. Median annual salaries in May 2015 were $89,760 for art directors, $63,670 for fashion designers and $46,900 for graphic designers (

Interdisciplinary master's degree programs in design management help graduate students build the technological skills and business acumen to design and implement creative enterprises for businesses and governmental organizations.

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