Master of Arts Experience Design

The master's in Experience Design is an interdisciplinary program that prepares future experience designers by providing a foundation in design methods, research, and collaboration. Students learn to apply theoretical frameworks and research methods to understand systems, define problems, and communicate potential solutions and their impact. By working on collaborative projects with local communities, students learn to create design-based artifacts tied to human-centered problems in a chosen disciplinary area (e.g., web/mobile design, game design, learning design).

We are no longer accepting applications for this degree. Interested students are encouraged to apply to MA Digital Communication and Media Arts, MS Human-Computer Interaction or the MFA Game Design degree programs.

Degree Requirements

Careers In Experience Design

Graduates will be prepared for the many varied career options available to those skilled in experience design. Jobs in these careers include experience designers, design strategists, product designers, visual designers, game designers, educational technology designers, and exhibit designers. Students may pursue jobs across varied industries as businesses and organizations look toward design for competitive advantage and innovation.

Students in the Program Learn

  • Methods for designing human-centered experiences
  • Cross-disciplinary collaboration
  • Techniques for creating media artifacts across genres
  • Skills for engaging with local communities
  • Approaches for designing interactions that bridge online and face-to-face activities
  • LeAnne Wagner

    Research areas: user experience design; emerging user interfaces; digital fabrication; maker methods and pedagogy

  • Denise Nacu

    Research areas: learning environments, learning analytics, educational technology, design methods, broadening participation in STEM


The CDM School of Design has a vibrant group of faculty who work across disciplines with design at their core in the areas of software development, product design, interaction design, learning design, and game development. As a school, faculty and students work together to integrate existing and cutting-edge technologies and social practices into visualizations, games, apps, products, processes, and experiences that positively impact society.

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Flexible Curriculum

The Experience Design curriculum is designed to afford maximum flexibility to students, who will come to the program from disciplines as far ranging as human-computer interaction, communications, game development, education, graphic design, architecture, computer science, and product design, to name a few. The core of the curriculum focuses on design methods to create powerful human-centered experiences, working within cross-disciplinary teams and with local communities, and producing design-based artifacts.

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Collaboration Studio

The Collaboration Studio classes join student teams with community-based organizations and groups to address real-world challenges. Recent classes have collaborated with the City of Chicago’s Innovation and Technology Department and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH).

2 ladies infront of I D E O sign 

Engage with Industry Leaders

Students learn from industry leaders as instructors, guest speakers, and collaborators. These include Design Research leads from the design and consulting firm IDEO and the Design Director for the City of Chicago.

students around a table 

Idea Realization Lab

Students have a wealth of resources available to them including research assistantships, independent studies, media and computer labs, and design facilities like the student-driven makerspace, the Idea Realization Lab.

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Students have many opportunities to participate in design and research through various groups and labs at DePaul, like the Technology for Social Good Research and Design Lab (TSG). TSG is focused on designing, building, and studying tools with the goal of fostering equitable education and empowerment in urban communities.

slyers for School of Design Talks  

School of Design Talks

We invite diverse speakers from across the globe who have created innovative responses to the personal, local, and global challenges of the 21st century to lead workshops and discussions.