Fall Apps DUE Friday!

About the MA Program


The priority action deadline for applications to the MASD program for Fall 2016 semester is this Friday, April 1! Applying early increases your chances of being accepted. Final application deadline for Fall 2016 is June 1.

Big changes

Did you know? We’re moving to a 2-semester per year program (no classes during summer) and we are moving from 36 to 30 credits (that is over $6,500 worth of tuition cost savings!).

Don’t miss your chance to join us for fall classes and earn your Master’s in Sustainable Design through a fully online, collaborative program. Learn more about the program.

Fall 2016 classes (start August 29, 2016)

Fundamentals of Sustainable Design (Instructor: Tim McGee)

In this foundational course students are introduced to hands-on and holistic approaches to sustainability. This course covers current sustainability frameworks, principles, and materials assessments, as well as the history and logic behind them, providing students with useful research tools to apply to the ever-changing demands of sustainable design, business, development, and policy-making.

Packaging Sustainability (Instructor: Wendy Jedlicka)

We handle packages every day and they account for a third of our waste stream. Using the format of a product-repositioning study, students in this course examine the core ideas of consumer perception and market triggers, material selection, environmental impact, and long-term strategic thinking. By the end of this course, students are able to maximize a package’s appeal while minimizing environmental impact.

The Practice of Sustainable Design (Instructor: Holly Robbins)

How do we actively design to create truly sustainable results? In this course students examine this question and apply leading-edge practice methods for innovative sustainable and regenerative design solutions. Recommended for novice and veteran designers and innovators alike, this course explores the theoretical frameworks, green standards, and practice techniques used by leading sustainable designers, thinkers, and architects. The design methods applied in this studio course fit any discipline at any scale, from the smallest object to the most complex system. Through studio projects and exercises, students learn to integrate the theory of sustainable design frameworks into their practices (i.e., systems thinking, life-cycle analysis, material health, green standards, eco-labels, supply chain topics, etc.).

Spring 2017 classes (start January 17, 2017)

Biomimetic Design (Instructor: Denise DeLuca)

In this course students learn how to abstract functional strategies from nature to apply to the process of innovative design. This project-oriented studio course covers core biological principles, astounds students with the wealth of design solutions available in nature, and provides numerous case studies of innovative designs inspired by natural models. Overall, this course provides powerful metaphors and methods for looking to nature as model, mentor, and measure in our designs.

Systems Thinking (Instructor: Curt McNamara)

We are transitioning from the age of design for the part to the age of design for the whole. Systems thinking, languages of design, and product life cycles are integrated and they form the solid foundation for innovative products. This course provides students with the tools required to succeed in today’s dynamic market and a world of uncertainty. Actionable theory is absorbed through market-specific projects.

Making the Business Case for Sustainability (Instructor: Wendy Jedlicka)

How do market forces shape the way we live, work, and even play? Students in this course look at business through a designer’s eye to understand the interplay between producers and consumers, governments and people, stockholders and stakeholders, man and the environment, and how all of these factors interconnect and ultimately direct how our products, processes, and systems are created. Students gain an understanding of the implications of their decisions, how to identify risk areas, long-term thinking strategies, and best practices for sustainable business models through weekly exercises, special projects, and the creation of a business plan.


If you have questions about this course or MCAD’s Sustainable Design Program, please contact us, we’d love to hear from you!

All the best,

Cindy Gilbert

Director, MA in Sustainable Design Program

Image courtesy of Flickr CC @Dennis Skley