The Master of Design in Product Design is a two-year, 60-credit program that has at the core of its curriculum a focus on human-centered design and maker culture. The program explores the nature of materials, products and manufacturing from a regional and global perspective, using Philadelphia’s urban core as a laboratory for design intervention and innovation. With opportunities to work both in Philadelphia and abroad, the program brings together an international cohort working to solve diverse social, economic, technical and material challenges.

Maker Resources: Hardware, Software & People
Founded upon maker movement principles, the graduate studio is home to a full line of digital fabrication resources. Situated next to our more traditional industrial design wood and metal workshops, the studio itself is student-run. A laboratory for ideation and testing, our facilities are stocked with a suite of digital tools currently including 4 axis CNC routing, desktop 3D printers, digital scanning, a range of printing and flatbed cutting technologies, an electronics area, and solid and nurbs modeling CAD-CAM software tools — all of which can be used to facilitate and iterate design and fabrication workflows. The intensive studio experience is an essential part of our curriculum in which students are expected to “fail forward” through hands-on scripting, programming, and building mockups and prototypes. The ultimate goal is to take concepts all the way from conception through ad-hoc engineering and into short-run productions all as a means of testing.

Liftoff! is the School of Design’s spring exhibition. The exhibit showcases student work from our four programs: Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design and MDes in Product Design. With the help and expert guidance of faculty and staff, our students have created work that distinguishes them as artists and designers of the highest caliber. This exhibition marks not the end of their academic years, but the beginning of their professional careers.

Each year, UArts Product Design students exhibit select projects at Wanted Design Brooklyn, an exhibition held at Industrial City in Brooklyn, New York. 

PRODUCT DESIGN (MDES)

Visit the Department's Website

Explore our faculty, visiting artists, alum and more via the department's dedicated website.

Department Website

Featured Faculty

Hsin-Chun Wang, Director of Product Design
Hsin-Chun Wang

Product Design (MDes)
Program Director and designer who co-founded HCWD Studio
Tony Guido headshot
Tony Guido

Industrial Design
Industrial designer and design educator focused on transformative products, services and systems
Andrew Dahlgren
Andrew Dahlgren

Industrial Design
Designer, organizer, maker and teacher who's produced custom furniture, architectural specialities and art work
Ben Olshin
Ben Olshin

Product Design (MDes)
Professor, author and cross-cultural consultant who's work has been published in Japan Architect
Jennifer Goettner
Jennifer Goettner

Product Design (MDes)
Designer who's produced sets, exhibitions, costumes, sculptures and more
Josh Koplin
Josh Koplin

Product Design (MDes)
Educator, designer, and co-founder & COO of Humanistic Robotics, Inc (HRI)
Justin Bernard
Justin Bernard

Product Design (MDes)
Philadelphia based designer and fabricator who founded the design collective studioRON
Slavko Milekic
Slavko Milekic

Product Design (MDes)
Designer who's been engaged as a consultant for the development of interactive digital environments

Our faculty of practitioners means you'll have access to currently practicing design professionals with backgrounds in fields ranging from architecture, environmental design, industrial design, interaction design, social design, design strategy, design research, cultural anthropology, psychology, industrial systems, organizational development, business and entrepreneurship. View all faculty profiles for the Product Design program.

You can also learn more about our faculty and work by visiting the product design department website.

Visit Department Website

Product Design is explored through contemporary techniques of design and fabrication, and the program is largely maker-studio based with an emphasis on haptic learning, collaboration and entrepreneurship. The two-year program culminates with a highly self-directed experience in which students are expected to conceptualize a product and write a critical academic master’s thesis. 

Sample Curriculum

Total Credits: 60
Duration: 2 years, full-time

First Year
Drawing as Seeing
Design Process, Theory, and Communication
Digital Design Lab
Drawing as Thinking
Design Studio

Second Year
Human Factors
Design Research
Communication
Design History
Product Design Studio
Prototyping

Third Year
Human Factors
Design Research
Design History
Product Design Studio
Prototyping + Fabrication I

Fourth Year
Prototyping + Fabrication III
Entrepreneurship for Product Designers
Capstone Studio I
Presentation + Portfolio
Capstone Studio II

To explore the full curriculum, click here.

Application Deadline: Applicants who submit the application form and all required supporting materials before Feb. 1, 2020, will be prioritized for scholarship funding opportunities from UArts. 

All scholarship notifications will be sent to accepted students by Feb. 20, 2020. Students may continue to apply on a rolling basis after the Feb. 1 priority deadline and will be considered for admission and scholarships on a space-available basis. 

Review Graduate Tuition, Financial Aid and Scholarship for more information.


The following materials are required for your application.

  • A completed online application form 
     
  • $60 application fee (nonrefundable; submitted with your application)
     
  • $10 portfolio submission fee (submitted with your application)
     
  • Official transcripts
    • Official transcripts from all the previous undergraduate and graduate schools you have attended are required. Transcripts should be issued directly by the registrar’s office at the college(s) you’ve attended and sent to the Office of Admissions, University of the Arts, 320 S. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19102 or via email to gradcredentials@uarts.edu.
       
    • For transcripts from outside the U.S., refer to the instructions for international students, provided below.
       
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • Letters of recommendation may either be requested through the online application form or mailed to the Office of Admissions. At least two must come from professors or professionals in your field who are familiar with your capabilities and credentials. The third may be from a colleague, a collaborator or a peer.
       
  • Statement of intent and résumé
    • Your statement of intent and your résumé are uploaded and submitted as part of your online application. Statements should be a minimum of one to two pages and detail your professional plans, interests and goals. Your résumé should highlight all your professional accomplishments, including employment, exhibitions, honors, internships and publications.
       
  • Creative portfolio
    • A portfolio of professional work samples, submitted through the UArts Graduate SlideRoom Portal, is required for all applicants. Your portfolio should contain a minimum of three to five in-depth pieces that showcase self-generated projects, professional assignments or work developed in a previous program (i.e., drawings, graphic design, models, photographs, research, scenarios, videos, web design, writing and storytelling samples, etc.). There is a $10 fee to submit a portfolio in addition to the $60 application fee.
       
  • Personal interview
    • After the application has been processed, each applicant is contacted for a personal interview, conducted by the program director. For applicants who cannot interview at the university, interviews can be held by phone or Skype.

In addition to the requirements listed above, international applicants or those with foreign credentials must submit the following information.

  • Official transcripts
    • All transcripts from outside the U.S. must be official and in English. The Office of Admissions might request that international students obtain a transcript evaluation from a third-party credential evaluation service (such as World Education Services or Educational Credential Evaluators).
       
  • Proof of English language proficiency
    • International students whose native language is not English must submit one of the following test results.
      • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 79
      • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.0
      • Duolingo English test with a minimum score of 48

In lieu of those tests, completion of Level 9 in the University of the Arts ESL Institute will be accepted.

Applicants who meet the academic and creative requirements for admission but whose scores do not meet the English proficiency requirement for degree study might receive an offer of conditional admission, based on enrollment in University of the Arts’ English as a Second Language Institute (ESLI). Applicants who successfully complete Level 9 of ESL study in ESLI will then be able to begin their degree program studies.

Exceptions

  • In special circumstances, applicants who have not taken the TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo English test may request a waiver of this requirement. The request should be submitted in writing and include the reason for opting out of the exams. Requests will then be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and might require an interview.
     
  • A waiver may be considered for those applicants who enrolled full time in an accredited college or university in the U.S. and successfully completed two semesters of college-level English, not taken in conjunction with ESL study, and earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 in those classes.

I-20/F-1 International Student Visa Information 

Accepted students will be contacted by the University of the Arts International Student Programs Office, regarding visa counseling and the materials required to create an I-20, in order to obtain an F-1 visa. Contact Mara Flamm, director of International Student Programs, with any questions regarding your I-20 or F-1 visa.


Get Started

Start your application

Begin your application today. Our admissions team will help you throughout the process.

How to Apply

See UArts for yourself

The best way to get to know UArts is by visiting our campus in person. Come see a show, visit a gallery, and get to know the neighborhood.

Plan Your Visit

Not sure where to start?

We're glad you want to learn more. Our admissions team is happy to send additional information about our school.

Request More Information