The new field of Design Science demands an innovative paradigm for research, education, and practice. The Design Science Program at the University of Michigan engages in the systematic pursuit of design knowledge across all fields.

The program is an unique interdisciplinary paradigm requiring students to integrate two or more traditional disciplines to tackle modern, complex design problems. The U-M Design Science program challenges students to create, study, apply, and teach design principles using quantitative, qualitative, and analytical methods and processes.

Within the Design Science Master’s Program, students may complete a specialized Global Health Design track of study sponsored by GHDI. Pulling from diverse course offerings across the University the Global Health Design track allows students to develop a holistic understanding of best practices in global health design as well as a growing knowledge of strategies and trends in the field. Students focus on refining skills essential to the designing technologies that improves human health in low-resource settings.


The Design Science program offers a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy in Design Science. Applicants must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree at the time of admission. A master’s degree in a relevant discipline or equivalent coursework must have been earned prior to advancement to doctoral candidacy. Examples of relevant disciplines are the social sciences, engineering, business, art, information, product design, and architecture. It is expected that students entering the program will have a good foundation in at least one of the disciplines contributing knowledge to design science.

To apply to the MS of Design Science:

  1. Applicants must have Bachelor’s degree in a relevant design field such as engineering, business, psychology, industrial design, architecture, music, computer science, information, etc.
  2. An aspiring Design Science Master’s student will be expected to have strong mathematical skills; it is likely (but not necessary) that the typical student will have a BS in either engineering, in the physical/ mathematical sciences or business with a strong mathematical background. Non-engineering students will be admitted to the program with a record of appropriate math studies, such as statistics, probability or calculus, in their undergraduate degree in order to pursue the scientific methods taught in this Master’s program. If there is a strong candidate without the appropriate mathematical record, they may be requested to take the appropriate courses before enrolling.
  3. GRE is not required, but strongly encouraged especially for students in non-engineering or non-science related bachelors degrees to demonstrate their mathematical skills.

 Tuition Effective Fall 2016

U-M College of Engineering Michigan
Graduate Full time (9+ credits) $12,559 $23,367
Part-Time First Hour $1,727 $2,927
Part-Time Additional Hours $1,355 $2,555
Candidacy $8,463
Distance Learning Per Credit Hour $1,465 $1,605
Rackham Full time (9+ credits) $12,222 $22,987
Part-Time First Hour $1,689 $2,885
Part-Time Additional Hours $1,317 $2,513
Candidacy $6,936
December 15, 2016 for financial aid consideration
January 15, 2017 for general admission


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. Each student defines a custom program of study tailored to his or her background and design interests in consultation with a program advisor. An individual student’s curriculum is structured so that knowledge from at least two disciplines permeates their program of study. This is the guiding principle for the DESCI program requirements. This path integrates disciplines from top programs at the University of Michigan to balance rigorous coursework, trend-setting research and practica.

Students are required to take a core set of classes that teaches them integrative design processes and research methods, and then deepen their knowledge in two or more disciplines by leveraging courses available across the university. In one year, graduates of the Design Science program are uniquely positioned to build bridges between key stakeholders bringing future employers in advanced industries and government settings the skills needed to meet the challenges of innovation in today’s workplace.

Interested in this Opportunity?

For more information, visit the Masters in Design Science program page.

Apply for this opportunity

What to Know About The Global Health Design Initiative

Program History

Program History

GHDI has been working with stakeholders for more than eight years to identify and address global health design challenges. Learn more about our history and core values.

Learn More →
Project Outcomes

Project Outcomes

Since inception, we have worked on projects in maternal health, family planning, minimally invasive surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and more. Explore our past and current projects.

Learn More →
Get Involved

Get Involved

There are many ways to get involved in global health work with GHDI. From taking on a need statement, to participating in an opportunity, or becoming a partner.

Learn More →