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DDes cohort in the free expression tunnel

Doctor of Design

The goal of the Doctor of Design program is to create new knowledge and promote its application in the professional design community and society at large.

Established in 2016-17, the professional Doctor of Design (DDes) program is an advanced degree program for established design practitioners, which complements the existing Ph.D. in Design.

The purpose of the program is to pursue design research in support of those professions creating the artifacts, communications, environments, organizing structures, and systems of the future.

This unique program offers DDes students the flexibility to continue working while completing program requirements.

DDes students conduct original investigations through design-based practices, cases, and methods. The program provides a forum for connecting design research to the needs of society, by promoting the application of new knowledge in design and addressing design impacts on larger systems.

While most of the program is completed online, attendance at one week-long in-residence session held each semester is mandatory (in person for Fall, virtually for Spring). At the time of admission, DDes students are expected to demonstrate mastery over their respective practices and to articulate a clear, compelling topic along with specific research questions.

Only Blended Learning DDes Program

Our program is the only DDes program in the country that offers blended learning (online + on campus) in design research aimed at applications in practice.

Applications are now being accepted.

Review of applications begins on March 1st. Priority will be given to applications received by March 1st, although we will consider completed applications on a rolling basis until May 30th.

To learn more about DDes admission, please visit our admission page by clicking here.


Please contact Ashley Pearson at 919-515-8318 or

Student Testimonials