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The Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health is a 4-semester post-professional degree that merges physical, environmental, and social sciences with spatial design. Students gain specialized knowledge and skills in the growing field of designing for human health and wellness. The unique curriculum teaches students to assess and propose design improvements in private and public spaces that respond to human needs, with the goal of complementing and enhancing physical activity, cognitive performance, and psychological health and well-being.

Courses examine universal design, environmental psychology, sociology, anthropology, and neurobiology as related to health and theories of well-being, exploring the ways these concepts intersect with design theory. Students confront real world problems, brainstorming solutions, and developing prototypes of their own designs. The program culminates in a practical thesis project that investigates a specific subject of interest.

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Master of Design Studies Design for Human Health Curriculum

program outcomes

  • Assess private, public, and community environments based on the human dimensions of physical activity, cognitive performance, and personal wellbeing.
  • Identify relevant information from design evidence (for instance. physiology, psychology, ethnography) intended to enhance human health and wellbeing via optimal designs.
  • Develop aesthetically pleasing and functional designs for a specific health concern.
  • Identify finish materials known to promote or detract from optimal physical, emotional and cognitive health.
  • Propose design interventions to improve physical, emotional or cognitive health conditions impacted by the built environment.

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Classes that fit your schedule

The Master of Design Studies is delivered in an innovative distance format that allows students to work full time while they study. The BAC uses a range of digital tools to support and enhance online learning. Students can study from anywhere in the world on their own schedule.

Students participate in a vital online learning culture, exchanging comments and critiques with colleagues, working together on projects, and supporting each other throughout the program. Students can continue to advance their careers while earning their master's degree, and their professional work informs their studies as their coursework contributes to their professional growth.

In-person intensives bring your coursework to life

In addition to online learning, students come to Boston during the fall semesters to study in residence for 8 days of in-person instruction, field trips, and hands-on experiences. These innovative intensive weeks give students and faculty the opportunity to build strong relationships and establish positive collaborations that carry over to the online environment.

Study at a leading college of design with 125 years of experience in design education

Located in the heart of Boston's historic Back Bay, the BAC was founded in 1889 and is the largest independent, accredited college of spatial design in New England. Joining the MDS places you in a network of colleagues exploring careers in a common field, a cohort surrounded in turn by a faculty of experienced professionals who have established careers in design.