Design Studies Graduate Program
Faculty and students of the Design Studies Graduate Program investigate a wide range of subject matter and apply a variety of methods, with the common goal of understanding how design (broadly conceived) relates to, responds to, and affects our lives. Within this parameter, the Design Studies graduate program offers following degree options:
Studio-based design inquiry 3yr program
Research-based design inquiry 4+yr program
Read more in our graduate degree print piece.
All three of our degree options provide opportunities to pursue topics in depth for students interested in design and design’s relationship with human environments, the human body, textiles and other material objects. It is highly flexible, as each student works closely with their advisor and graduate committee to design a custom-fit curriculum that strives to support each student’s goals after graduation, preparing them for professional design careers, art careers, specialized research, college teaching, museum or archival work, community engagement, and entrepreneurial endeavors. Students typically focus on one of two topic areas.
Interior Environments: addresses diverse aspects of design inquiry, focusing on design as a complex inter-relationship between people and the built environment. There are three primary areas of emphasis: (1) Studio based design inquiry (MFA) emphasizes discovering new insights, processes and relationships through the creative process. (2) Research based design inquiry (MS, PhD) emphasizes discovering new insights and relationships within the physical, social, and contexts of interior environments through the application of theories and methods drawn from the social sciences and humanities and then translated to the design practice. (3) Integrated design inquiry (MS, MFA) emphasizes a melding of both studio-based and research based design inquiry.
Textile/Clothing Forms, Art & Design: focuses on the conceptual, technical and aesthetic possibilities of textiles and clothing. There are two primary areas of emphasis: (1) Studio based design inquiry (MFA) emphasizes discovering new insights, processes and relationships through the creative process, and students formulate a plan of study that may incorporate courses in textile history, textile science or courses in the Art Department while building on their previous academic and professional expertise. (2) Research based design inquiry (MS, PhD) emphasizes discovering new insights and relationships into the historical and social contexts of textiles and clothing.
The program’s graduate faculty is comprised of interdisciplinary scholars, designers, scientists and artists who mentor and assist graduate students as they build individual programs of study. Due to the centrality of the student/advisor relationship, however, students will only be accepted if there is a close fit with a graduate faculty member who is willing to commit to serve in this mentorship relationship. At the same time, students are encouraged to collaborate with faculty from a broad range of departments across the university, including Art, Art History, Computer Science, Engineering, or Folklore.
- Estimated of the total cost of attendance (including room and board, etc) at the Office of Student Financial Aid’s website.
- Official Registrar’s Office tuition and fee figures; Segregated fees are included in the Resident, Nonresident, and Minnesota figures.
- Human Ecology Graduate Funding Opportunities
General UW-Madison graduate student funding information Or, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid, 333 East Campus Mall, 608-262-3060.