Q13: I have read/heard that there are two themes associated with the Design Impact program. What is this about?

A13: The Design Impact program will focus our attention on two themes in order to make the greatest contribution over time. The themes over the next few years will be: Empathic Autonomy: Personalizing healthcare in the digital age (more info). Empowering Power: Giving people control of their own resources (more info). This is a new [...]

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Q14: What are the typical backgrounds of students in the program?

A14: Each year, we will select a cohort of students for admission with a diverse and complementary toolkit of skills. Therefore, it is not possible to specifically answer this question, except to say that each year will be both diverse and different.

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Q15: Is all the coursework team-based or is some of it independent?

A15: We believe that design thinking is a team sport, and therefore most of our core classes are project-based and students work in teams. However, the second year of work is designed by the student and his or her advisor, and this work can be independent or team-based. There are many courses that allow for [...]

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Q16: What do students do over the summer?

A16: Students have a variety of summer experiences between their first and second years in the program. Many get internships at local companies and consultancies, and others use the time to travel and enjoy the freedom they have before starting their careers. There are also research opportunities working with professors in their labs on campus.

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Q17: What is the cost of tuition? Is there opportunity for fellowships / teaching assistantships?

A17: Please refer to the “Cost of Attendance” and “Assistantships” section of this website.

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Q18: How long does the program take to complete?

A18: This is a full-time, two-year program. Students take classes during the Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters each year, for a total of 6 quarters.

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Q19: I’ve heard about Stanford’s Design Program, sometimes called the Product Design Program or the Joint Program in Design. Can you tell me more about the program?

A19: Reading these FAQs and looking around the website will help you to understand our program. Our program has had several names in the past including “Product Design” and “Joint Program in Design.” This year the title and focus has been changed to “Design Impact.” After reading all of our web materials, the best way [...]

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Q20: Does Stanford have a PhD option in Design, Design Thinking, or Product Design? I would like to apply for this if possible.

A20: Although our Master's degree is a terminal degree for most students, there are opportunities to continue for a PhD. The coursework structure of the Design Impact program is such that you can smoothly transition to a PhD program through the School of Engineering. For example, if you were accepted into either Professor MacDonald’s or [...]

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