Curriculum













The online Master of Science in Integrated Design, Business and Technology is a full-time program that can be completed in 19 months. Classes and coursework are delivered online, and there are on- and off-campus residency requirements.

Circle graph shows breakdown of courses by units: 16 Core Course units, 6 Essentials Course units, 2 Lab units, 4 Residency units, 7 Elective units, and 3 Capstone units

Core Courses

16 units

All students complete four core courses taught by a cross-disciplinary faculty team. The first course in the sequence must be Processes and Perspectives. Thereafter, the courses can be completed in any order, based on availability.

Gain fluency in approaches and methodologies in design, business and technology-based disciplines, focusing on critical analysis and problem-solving.

Develop the ability to analyze and vet opportunities as they arise in the workplace and studio or creative contexts and acquire the information central to discerning desirability, feasibility and viability of proposed projects, products, systems, services and/or experiences.

Learn how to build and communicate ideas, concepts and solutions using universal storytelling techniques.

Students will use methods drawn from the core disciplines, including human-centered research and analysis; use quantitative and qualitative data to identify potential obstacles; address and resolve relevant issues and take ideas from concept to final solution.

Integrative Project

2 units

In the Integrative Project lab, we use human-centered design methodologies to identify and explore a specific problem space in small teams.

Essentials

6 units

Essentials courses are offered in design, business and technology. Students choose two essentials courses based on the topics in which they would like to gain new or added experience.

The primary goal of these courses is to increase knowledge and fluency in subjects with which students are least familiar; a secondary goal may be to provide a new perspective on a student’s current field. Concepts in each of the Essentials courses are consistently applied within the framework of an integrated design/business/technology environment.

Residency Experiences

4 units

At two in-person residency experiences, students come together with classmates, professors and industry experts to explore new concepts, generate and critique work and solve complex problems. 

The Integrative Practices Residential is a five-day, in-person experience held on USC’s campus during the student’s first term in the program.

Electives

1-7 units

Elective options offer an opportunity to gain deeper knowledge about topics relating to design, business, or technology. Elective options include Special Topics in design, business, and technology (offerings varying by term); Directed Research (independent study supervised by Academy faculty); Mini-Intensives (on-campus weekend intensive courses); and the option to take an additional Integrated Lab, Essentials Course, or Residential.

Capstone

3 units

An applied project with team components, the Capstone requires students to demonstrate, initiate and develop a creative idea or solution, deploying a relevant subset of tools, methods and processes learned in the program. The Capstone allows students to demonstrate interdisciplinary fluency, knowledge and competency across design, business and technology.

If you have questions about the curriculum, contact an admissions counselor at 866-376-2505 or via email at admissions@design.usc.edu.