Program Design

Quick Guide


Overview

The MDes program at UC Berkeley is a studio-based, on campus program. Over three semesters (fall, spring, and a second fall), you will complete a total of nine required core courses and three electives to meet a minimum of 38 units before graduating in December.

In the summer between the first and second years of the program, you are expected to engage in an experience, such as an internship, international design study or community service, outside of the classroom and apply what you have learned in the studio in a broader context. This professional development requirement is called Design@Large.

 

Required Courses

  • DES INV 200: Design Frameworks (3 units)
  • DES INV 201: Debates in Design (3 units)*
  • DES INV 202: Technology Design Foundations (4 units)
  • DES INV 210: Studio Foundations (3 units) (MDes 2023 cohort requirement)
  • DES INV 211: Designing Emerging Technologies I (5 units)
  • DES INV 212: Designing Emerging Technologies II (3 units) (FA22 Cohort requirement)
  • DES INV 213: Design Studio (5 units)
  • DES INV 219: Capstone Portfolio (2 units)
  • IND ENG 295: Newton Lecture Series (1 unit)

*students are required to take this course twice; once during the fall semester in year one, and again during the fall semester of year two.

Elective Courses

The MDes requires three electives: one technical elective, and at least one entrepreneurship or social practice elective from the approved lists of courses, shown below. The third elective may be either an additional elective from the approved list (technical, social practice, or entrepreneurship) or any 3 or 4 unit upper division or graduate level course offered at UC Berkeley, subject to enrollment availability.

See approved electives here.

Sample Student Program (MDes 2023 cohort)

 

Fall Spring
Year One
  • DES INV 201: Debates in Design
  • 3 units, required
  • DES INV 202: Technology Design Foundations
  • 4 units, required
  • DES INV 210: Studio Foundations
  • 3 units
  • Social practice or Entrepreneurship elective
  • 3 units
  • Total: 13 units
  • DES INV 200: Design Frameworks
  • 3 units, required
  • Technical elective
  • 3 units
  • IND ENG 295: Newton Lecture Series
  • 1 unit, required
  • DES INV 211: Designing Emerging Technologies I
  • 5 units, required
  • Total: 12 units
Summer
Year Two
  • DES INV 201: Debates in Design
  • 3 units, required
  • Free elective
  • 3 units, required
  • DES INV 213: Design Studio
  • 5 units, required
  • DES INV 219: Capstone Portfolio
  • 2 units, required
  • Total: 13 units

 

Course Descriptions