The Master of Design Studies in Design for Human Health is a 4-semester post-professional degree that merges physical 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 design public, private, and corporate spaces to respond to human needs, with the goal of complementing and enhancing physical activity, cognitive performance, and psychological well being.

Courses delve into sociology, biomechanics, neurobiology, behavior, and psychology, exploring the ways they intersect with design theory. In hands-on studio-labs, students confront real world problems, brainstorming solutions and developing prototypes of their own designs. The program culminates in a practical thesis project that expands on a specific subject of interest.

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the path to your degree

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 biological and social sciences that apply to the successful designs intended to enhance human health.
  • Develop aesthetically pleasing and functional designs for a specific health concern.
  • List items used within the construction and selection of finish materials known to promote or detract from optimal physical and cognitive health.
  • Address through design interventions a given physical or cognitive health issue that has significant ties back to the physical environment.
  • Articulate through multimedia a cost benefit and return on investment analysis and statistical representation of a given design on human health outcomes.

Learn more about our curriculum

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, including Skype, VoiceThread, and WebEx desktop sharing. Students can study from anywhere in the world, working at their own pace and on their own schedule.

Students contribute to a vital online studio 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 feeds their professional growth.

In-person intensives bring your coursework to life

Each semester in January and August, students come to Boston to study in residence for 8 days of in-person instruction, field trips, and hands-on studios. From the BAC’s central urban location, the buildings and neighborhoods of Boston serve as the student's classroom. These innovative intensive weeks give students and faculty the opportunity to build strong relationships, setting up a positive, connected studio culture that enhances the online learning throughout the rest of the semester.

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.