Design Science

ISD Design Science Graduates Develop Solutions to Address Global Challenges and Design a Better World

In the modern world, few design problems are simple. Some are complex. Many highly complex. Simple solutions may be attractive and cost effective, but often don’t work. The field of Design Science addresses these problems, integrating the disciplines of engineering, design, psychology, and others to produce a coherent and systematic approach to real-world problem solving.

This degree is only available on-campus here in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Why the ISD Design Science Program?

Our master’s graduates develop expertise on the design of complex services, products, and systems at a range of organizations, including large manufacturers, financial services companies, tech startups, and non-profits

Our graduates create novel design techniques and methods through rigorous scientific investigation to excel in academia, industry, and government research labs, or consulting roles.

ISD Design Science student presenting research at the 2022 Design Expo

Design a Better Future

Our program leverages a multitude of top-ten departments across schools and colleges at the University of Michigan, in areas that include engineering, business, medicine, information, social sciences, and the arts.

What we design matters. There are many people working toward broader visions of design than what it has historically been like. I want to be able to keep learning so I can contribute in this particular way.


Ilka Rodriguez-Calero

Design Science Graduate

Master’s and Doctoral Degree Options

Master’s of Science in Design Science

The Master of Science in Design Science is the program for students who want to expand their career paths by meeting the growing need for the interdisciplinary design of complex products, devices, and systems. The program provides each student flexibility in exploring across multiple disciplines to learn in-depth rigorous design methods and theory that drive the design process.

Master’s of Science Admissions

Doctor of Philosophy in Design Science

The Design Science PhD program leverages our novel integrative culture to produce unique leaders in design research, practice, and teaching.

About Design Science Doctor of Philosophy

Intersecting Industry Needs Through INCOSE Certification​

The Integrative Systems + Design Division offers the opportunity for students to achieve INCOSE certification. This academic equivalency allows U-M graduate engineering students to bypass taking the certification exam to become certified system engineers, a major benefit.

Learn More About INCOSE Certification

A circular graphic with the text "integrative science, program core, immersive practice, and career pathways"

Integrative Curriculum ​

In response to the uncertainty and volatility arising from the unprecedented evolution of the engineering field and its many industries, ISD collaborated with U-M’s world-renowned faculty and leading industry and government experts to revamp our curriculum.

View the Design Science Curriculum

Program Leadership


Kathleen Sienko

Program Director, Design Science


Nigel Melville

Program Chair, Design Science

Get Help From a Graduate Coordinator


Matt Hancock

Graduate Coordinator, Design Science

Ready to Join Us?

If you are interested in applying to our Design Science program, visit our Admissions page.


Want to Learn More?