DESIGN IN HEALTH AT UT AUSTIN          APPLY NOW

The University of Texas at Austin enthusiastically announces a first-of-its-kind Master of Arts in Design in Health born from the radical collaboration between the College of Fine Art’s School of Design and Creative Technologies and Dell Medical School’s Design Institute for Health.

As the first medical school in decades to be built from the ground up at a top-tier research university, Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin has the opportunity to rethink everything as part of its goal to revolutionize the way people get and stay healthy. The Design Institute for Health, Dell Med’s embedded team of health design specialists, is using design to provoke every aspect of health systems to work better for people. As the newest school in the College of Fine Arts, the School of Design and Creative Technologies offers a novel program that blends design, digital arts, and entertainment technology to prepare creative professionals for the modern world.

The new M.A. in Design in Health brings together expert designers and health design specialists to teach courageous health care leaders and professionals the latest design methods underpinning revolutionary solutions for health’s most wicked problems. Never before has human-centered design been so essential in reshaping every part of a health system from value-based care clinics focused on preventing and treating illness, to new services, products and partnerships that address critically important factors of health enabling all people to live well, to measuring impact and cultivating the ethos of adaptive, responsive organizations leading health.

The M.A. in Design in Health teaches learners how to become a force of innovation by using person-centered design methodologies. M.A. students will learn design research methods in order to understand the needs of people who are seeking health, receiving care and delivering care. Learners will develop ideation and creation skills they will use in generating new approaches for better systems of health and care. Design in Health graduate students will learn to prototype, test and iterate solutions, based on measuring impact and results that matter. These learners will know how to craft compelling and persuasive experiences, stories and systems designed to share and widely distribute innovations across systems of health.

We believe our M.A. in Design in Health graduates will become the change agents that drive health systems to be value-based, integrated, person-centered and focused on health, not just care. This new breed of health leaders will wield a creative, problem-solving mindset and design skills that enable them to not only see the places where the health system is broken, but also to take action to fix it. When they put their design skills to work, the health system of the future will put people first.

Program snapshot:

  • Program duration is 10 months (August through May)
  • World renowned design, medical, and health systems faculty
  • Third-year Dell Medical School students and health care professionals learn alongside each other, mixing courageous leaders from the current and future systems
  • No design experience required of applicants
  • All students have access to one-on-one career consulting

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Who Should Apply

The M.A. in Design in Health program is designed for forward-thinking health care professionals who seek to gain expertise in applying human-centered design as a force of innovation in the industry. The University of Texas at Austin is proud to be one of the world's leading research universities. Students and faculty are encouraged to explore across disciplinary boundaries while working to prevent and treat diseases, devise solutions for all aspects of systems of health and care, and address critically important factors of health enabling all people to live well. 

Each class will include both UT Dell Medical students in their growth (3rd) year and pioneering health care professionals who will learn and co-design alongside each other. This unique mix of courageous leaders bridging the current and future health systems will provide a learning cohort that will uniquely be able to realize future innovations sooner as they learn and design together.

CURRICULUM

The Design in Health Master’s program is delivered over three semesters starting in early August. Preliminary instruction of design, design research methods and prototyping will arm students the with necessary tools needed for field work, studio practicum and the final project that ensues through the spring.

A total of 40 credit hours are pursued by way of 26 hours of foundational design coursework and 14 credit hours of prescribed elective coursework offered in collaboration with Dell Medical School and the Design Institute for Health. The program begins in the summer semester (early August) and concludes in the spring (late May). The M.A. in Design program is offered on a full-time, in-person basis only. Classes are typically scheduled Monday through Thursday between the hours of 9am and 5pm.

Courses waived for Dell Medical School students are marked with an asterisk.

Summer 2020 Courses

Introduction to Design Thinking

A preliminary foundation in the emerging practice of Human-Centered Design, the methodology driving Design Thinking as a way of achieving innovation across sectors. (3 credits)

3D Prototyping

Using basic, rapid prototyping methods with an emphasis on products and the built environment (3D), this course prepares students to use prototyping as a means of testing ideas iteratively.  (1 credit)

Sketching for Communication

Designed to help students learn the basic elements of sketching to visualize concepts, document their thinking, and quickly bring alignment to teams. (1 credit)

Eliciting Inspiring Participant Data

This design research methods course grounds students in the tactics of several common primary research methodologies in design including contextual interviewing, intercept interviewing, personal inventories, empathy modeling and others. (1 credit)

Fall 2020 Courses

Fieldwork in Design

Students conduct fieldwork as part of a collaborative research team and/or under the supervision of a project supervisor. This course will emphasize the application of design research and design anthropology methods as a strategic practice within complex projects. (3 credits)

Service Design

As the application of design methods evolves, we are seeing more and more service businesses improve and innovate using design and designers at the core of that evolution. This course focuses on applying design thinking to service-based sectors such as hospitality, healthcare, food service and others. (3 credits)

Advanced Issues in Design

Design in Health Introduction to Collaborations – This course will cover critical frameworks and skills for the work of this degree, as well as introduce frameworks for navigating team projects and project management in design-based circumstances. (3 credits)

Graphic Communication Tools

Building on Sketching for Communication, this course introduces several graphic software design tools and the principles of 2D visualizations for use in print and on screen. (1 credit)

Storytelling for Presentation*

Students learn the frameworks of good storytelling and how to apply those tools to their professional presentations and written narratives. (1 credit)

Design History*

History of Design in culture with focus on the 20th Century. (3 credits)

Core Laboratory 1*

Practice Laboratory for a variety of design methods. (3 credits)

Spring 2020 Courses

Advanced Issues in Design (Studio)

Project-based studio graduate work within design. (6 credits)

Advanced Issues in Design (Class)

This course examines design practices in all areas, and their relationship to research, and investigates current discourse within design studies. (3 credits)

Business of Design*

Using case studies and hands-on activities, students come to understand how design is being integrated into business and vice versa. (3 credits)

Design for Health

Exploration of creative design-based approaches and problem-solving methods and their application to solving contemporary health care challenges. (2 credits)

Final Project in Design

This course will serve as a defense of student’s learning and demonstration of newly acquired skills through the live presentation of a project. Most projects will be the result of collaborative teamwork. Course faculty will guide project proposal, development, implementation and delivery. (3 credits)

WHY DESIGN IN HEALTH?

Our nation’s health system is woefully broken. The people who use it are frustrated by its needless complexity, unpredictability, and lack of transparency. We believe the source of the problem is the health care system itself, and the solution requires working from within the system to bring human-centered design into the core. 

We believe in the power of design to solve the most challenging problems in health.

We believe the solution requires deep understanding of and design for the needs of people, because they are the system. Incremental fixes don’t go far enough to fix this broken system, so we need design to realize a new way forward. It’s time to rethink and create a system that is intentionally designed to be vital, inclusive and human-centered.

As the first medical school in decades to be built from the ground up at a top-tier research university, Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin has the opportunity to build this new type of health system from scratch. The Design Institute for Health, a design studio embedded within Dell Med, is using design thinking to shape every aspect of Dell Med so it works for the people it serves. The School of Creative Design and Technologies boldly brings the most advanced design methods to the partnership.

Undaunted by the conventions in academia and health care, this Design in Health M.A. program is the first time that innovative medical students and health care practitioners will join forces to learn how to apply human-centered design to health systems, guided by the experts from across The University of Texas at Austin.

We believe our Design in Health graduates will become the change agents that drive health systems to be value-based, integrated, person-centered and focused on health, not just care. This new breed of health leaders will wield a creative, problem-solving mindset and design skills that enable them to not only see the places where the health system is broken, but also to take action to fix it. When they put their design skills to work, the health system of the future will put people first.

MEDICAL, HEALTH AND DESIGN EDUCATION AT UT

The University of Texas at Austin is proud to be one of the world's leading research universities. UT Austin offers robust medical and health training across our many undergraduate and graduate programs including those at Dell Medical School, School of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, School of Public Health, Steve Hicks School of Social Work, College of Natural Sciences, Cockrell School of Engineering, College of Education, and more.

As the first new medical school at a Tier One research university in over 50 years, Dell Medical School is rethinking everything.  Uniquely created and funded in partnership with the community, Dell Med is focused on revolutionizing how people get and stay healthy. Creating a new kind of doctor who is as comfortable taking on systemic challenges in health as caring for individuals, Dell Med will graduate its first class of physician leaders in 2020.

To rethink everything, the Design Institute for Health was established to provoke every aspect of health systems to work better for people. Its embedded team of health design specialists uses creative problem-solving methods to deeply understand the needs of people receiving and providing care, generate fresh systemic approaches, and rapidly prototype and realize solutions.

As the newest school in the College of Fine Arts, the School of Design and Creative Technologies offers a novel program that blends design, digital arts, and entertainment technology to prepare creative professionals for the modern world.

ADMISSIONS

The M.A. in Design in Health at The University of Texas at Austin is a full-time, ten-month, in-residence program suitable for self-motivated, creative professionals who wish to enhance their critical abilities for innovation using design as their method. The degree grounds graduates in a practical skill set in design in health and responds to the increasing demand for leaders with these skills.

The program accepts students for summer (August) admission only.

Admission to the M.A. is based on a holistic review of the applicant's academic qualifications, written statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation.

The GRE is not required for admission.

The Design Graduate Studies faculty and the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) must both approve your admission. After reviewing all applications, the Design Graduate Studies Committee submits recommendations for admission or denial to the Office of Graduate Studies; the Dean of the Graduate School then offers or denies admission based both on the GSC’s recommendation and on the Graduate School’s own admissions requirements.

The University of Texas at Austin believes that a highly talented and diverse student body can significantly enhance the character and quality of the academic culture and community. To this end, the University is continuously engaged in an effort to increase the pool of graduate scholars from diverse backgrounds.

As authorized by the Board of Regents and beginning with the academic year 2005-2006, The University of Texas at Austin has added race and ethnicity to the criteria considered for admission of freshmen, graduate students, and law students, and to the awarding of scholarships and fellowships in those cases when an individualized and full file review is conducted as part of the selection process.

DATES FOR SUMMER 2020 ADMISSIONS

The application for Summer 2020 admissions opens mid-September 2019.

The program admits students for summer semester only, and deferred admission is not allowed.

December 6, 2019

Round 1 - Priority Deadline

February 7, 2020 — 11:59 PM

Round 2 – International Applicant Deadline

March 20, 2020

Round 3

May 8, 2020

Round 4 – Domestic Applicant Deadline

Finalists may be contacted for phone/Skype interviews. Decision results are released within 6-8 weeks of the “Round” deadline date for which an applicant has applied.

APPLY NOW

APPLICATION MATERIALS

More information about these materials is included on the Apply page. A GRE score is not required.

  • ApplyTexas Application
  • Application Fees ($65 total for U.S. and Permanent Resident applicants; $90 total for International applicants)
  • Official Transcript(s)
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation (submitted electronically by references)
  • TOEFL or IELTS Language Test Score (international applicants only)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume

BEFORE YOU BEGIN

All applications for graduate admission to The University of Texas at Austin are processed by the Graduate School.

Review the Graduate School’s minimum eligibility requirements for admission.

All applicants should review the Graduate School’s information page.

International applicants should also review the Graduate School’s information page for International applicants.

APPLICATION STEPS

  1. Complete application and pay fee
  2. Submit transcripts, letters of recommendation and language test score (if applicable)
  3. Confirm receipt of all application materials

FINANCIAL

File the FAFSA ASAP!
Graduate students from the U.S. (citizens and permanent residents) are automatically eligible for Federal Plus loans as independent students and must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However, you should complete the FAFSA even if you don’t intend to take out student loans because doing so may qualify you for need-based funding such as grants and scholarships. Applicants must file the FAFSA by the March 15 priority deadline to be considered for need-based funding.

Applicants should complete the FAFSA as soon as you have submitted your admission application and have filed your federal tax return. You are strongly urged not to wait for notification of admission before filing the FAFSA.

Tuition and Fees
Total tuition cost for the 10 month accelerated program is $46,000. Cost includes tuition and fees for three semesters of courses and labs. 

These costs do not cover:

  • Health insurance fee for F-1 and J-1 international students
  • Books, software, supplies, and living expenses
  • Laptop
  • Optional fees such as parking and sporting event tickets

The Office of Student Financial Services provides estimated costs, including room and board, transportation, and personal expenses, which are based upon averages approved by The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

*Applicants admitted to the Master of Arts in Design in Health program will be required to submit a non-refundable pre-enrollment tuition fee of $1,500 to secure enrollment.

FACILITIES

The Design Department at the School of Design and Creative Technologies is housed in the Doty Fine Arts Building (DFA) and the Art Building (ART). Design graduate students share studio space and have access to many other departmental and university resources, including the following:

The Computer Lab

Design graduate students have key-code access to the computer laboratory in ART 1.202. The lab houses 27” iMacs equipped with Adobe Creative Cloud, Rhino, and other design software. Students also have access to large-format scanners and printers. During the lab’s posted hours of operation, lab proctors can provide color printing services and check out digital cameras, DV cameras, projectors, recorders, and other equipment.

The Design Lab

Both graduates and undergraduates enrolled in the Design program receive key code access to the Design Lab’s production/publication facilities and equipment. The lab’s facilities include a photography studio for shooting photographs and videos of two- and three-dimensional objects; a fully-equipped chemical darkroom; a silkscreen production area; a polymer plate-making machine; bookbinding equipment; a spray booth; and a letterpress/relief publication studio that includes a Vandercook No. 4 proofing press, a historic Columbian platen press, a collection of metal type, and the spectacular Rob Roy Kelly American Wood Type Collection, which comprises over 160 faces of various sizes and styles dating from between 1828 and 1900. The lab also houses and makes available for check-out smaller pieces of equipment, such as digital cameras and projectors, a programmable sewing machine, and hand tools such as hammers and drills. Students are required to complete mandatory safety training prior to using equipment in this facility.

The Digital Fabrication Lab

The Digital Fabrication Lab (aka the FabLab) houses multiple 3D scanners and printers, a vinyl cutter, two laser cutters, a Shopbot flat-bed CNC router, and a CNC milling machine. 3D modeling software such as Rhino 3D and Geomagic Studio is available for use in the lab. Students are required to  complete mandatory safety training prior to using equipment in this facility.

The Wood Shop

The centrally located wood shop houses stationary woodworking, plastic-working, and metalworking machines, as well as an inventory of manual and power tools available for use and checkout. A supervisor is on hand during posted shop hours to provide instructional support and to ensure safe and proper use of equipment and machinery. Students are required to complete mandatory safety training prior to using equipment in this facility.

The Visual Arts Center

The gallery spaces of the Visual Arts Center (VAC) span two floors and 13,000 square feet. The VAC hosts rotating exhibitions as well as the Design and Studio Art M.F.A. exhibitions. M.F.A. students may also submit proposals for exhibitions in the VAC at other times during their studies at the university.

The Fine Arts Library

The Fine Arts Library, just across the street from the Art building, provides easy access to over 350,000 books and scores, 12,000 DVDs, 400 current serial subscriptions, and more. Students may click the “Pick It Up” option in the library catalog to have an item from another branch of the University Libraries delivered to the FAL circulation desk for convenient pickup. The third floor of the FAL also houses photocopiers and a free, book-friendly digital scanner.

The Foundry

The Foundry is a joint venture between the College of Fine Arts and the University Libraries, and is open to all students, faculty, and staff at the university. The Foundry houses laser cutters, programmable sewing machines, a textile printer, 3D printers, soldering irons, and a host of other fabrication equipment.

In addition, its device library makes available for checkout a wide variety of equipment and devices, including digital cameras and camcorders, drawing tablets, headphones, LCD projectors, digital voice recorders, LittleBits Synth Kits, Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, electronic sensors, and Oculus Rifts.

Harry Ransom Center

The HRC houses about a million books, thirty million manuscripts, five million photographs, and more than one hundred thousand works of art. It holds exceptional collections of incunabula, including over 900 volumes of Aldus Manutius imprints; a large collection of Eric Gill works and archives; a major collection of fine printing; and extensive collections of historic posters and periodicals.

The Materials Lab

The School of Architecture’s Materials Lab supports architects and designers with a collection of over 27,000 material samples from the design and building industries. The collection has a particular focus on innovative and sustainable materials.

Statistical Consulting

All UT Austin students, faculty, and staff are eligible for up to one hour of free consulting each week with statistical consultants available by email and for in-person, Skype, or phone appointments.

CONTACT US

Scott Lauger, Program Manager

School of Design and Creative Technologies
2301 Trinity St.
Austin, TX 78712

Office: 1.214 (Campus mail code D1300)

Phone number: 512-232-1824

Email: Scott.lauger@austin.utexas.edu 

FAQ

How long should the statement of purpose be?

No more than two pages.

Do I have to take the GRE?

No.

Do I have to meet TOEFL/IELTS language requirements?

All International Students who did not attend U.S. or other Anglophone undergraduate institutions must meet language requirements.

Who should my recommenders be?

People familiar with you in a professional or creative setting who have worked with you as teachers or employers.

Do you conduct interviews?

Yes. We will conduct phone or Skype interviews for finalists.

How do you evaluate the applicants?

Program faculty give a holistic full-file review to all materials submitted.

When will I find out if I am accepted?

Within 6-8 weeks of or the “Round” or deadline to which you apply. 

I studied something else for my undergraduate degree. Can I still apply?

Yes. However, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited, four-year institution in-hand by the time you plan to matriculate.

I applied before. Can I reapply?

Yes. Previous applicant files are reviewed without prejudice.

If accepted, can I defer?

No. You must attend in the semester for which you apply or re-apply in the next admissions cycle as part of a competitive pool.

Can I get a critique of my submitted materials?

Due to the sheer volume of applicants, we cannot offer critiques of files.

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