Carnegie Mellon University (Interaction Design)

Carnegie Mellon University (Interaction Design)

School: Carnegie Mellon University
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Undergraduate program: None
Graduate programs: Master of Design, Master of Professional Studies
Number of students: 36
Number of faculty: 10 (plus local adjunct instructors from professional design practices)
Notable alumni: Fred Gilbert of YouTube, Simon King of IDEO, Chad Thornton of Medium, Younghee Jung of Microsoft, Vinita Israni of Greenfield Labs and Ford Smart Mobility
Website: design.cmu.edu/content/master-designdesign.cmu.edu/programs/grad

Strengths: A forward-thinking North American offering that takes an immersive, research-based approach to the field within the context of services and social innovation

The overview: Based out of a brand-new, state-of-the art “design studio suite” (it houses students plus a distance-learning classroom, configurable collaborative space, a café and individual workstations), this respected program, offered through the university’s School of Design, awards two degrees in Design for Interactions. In the first-year studios, seminars and labs, students develop a healthy repertoire of skills and an intellectual footing in design, a springboard for an internship in the summer. (MPS students will have completed their degree at this point.) Designers who stay for the second year (the MDES stream) throw themselves into an advanced thesis project, underpinned by a required seminar plus specialized coursework. Partnerships with local communities, non-profits and the likes of Microsoft and Philips enhance learning, as does access a number of this top-ranked research university’s other departments (from computer science, public policy and business to the Human Computer Interaction Institute, Robotics Institute and Entertainment Technology Center.