The online Master of Science in Integrated Design, Business and Technology is a full-time program that can be completed in 19 months. Classes and coursework are delivered online, and there are on- and off-campus residency requirements.

Circle graph shows breakdown of courses by units: 16 Core Course units, 6 Essentials Course units, 2 Lab units, 4 Residency units, 7 Elective units, and 3 Capstone units

Students complete 38 units:

  • 16 Core Course units
  • 6 Essentials Course units
  • 2 Lab units
  • 4 Residency units
  • 3 Capstone units
  • 7 Elective units

Core Courses

16 units

All students complete four core courses taught by a cross-disciplinary faculty team. The first course in the sequence must be Processes and Perspectives. Thereafter, the courses can be completed in any order, based on availability.

Processes and Perspectives

Gain fluency in approaches and methodologies in design, business and technology-based disciplines, focusing on critical analysis and problem-solving.

Opportunity and Uncertainty

Develop the ability to analyze and vet opportunities as they arise in the workplace and studio or creative contexts and acquire the information central to discerning desirability, feasibility and viability of proposed projects, products, systems, services and/or experiences.

Narrative and Storytelling

Learn how to build and communicate ideas, concepts and solutions using universal storytelling techniques.

Decisions and Solutions

Students will use methods drawn from the core disciplines, including human-centered research and analysis; use quantitative and qualitative data to identify potential obstacles; address and resolve relevant issues and take ideas from concept to final solution.


6 units

Essentials courses are offered in design, business and technology. Students choose two essentials courses based on the topics in which they would like to gain new or added experience.

The primary goal of these courses is to increase knowledge and fluency in subjects with which students are least familiar; a secondary goal may be to provide a new perspective on a student’s current field. Concepts in each of the Essentials courses are consistently applied within the framework of an integrated design/business/technology environment.

Design Essentials

Design Essentials is a broad examination of design language, process and context. It situates design as an integral part of the fabric of a multitude of professional disciplines and industries. The course provides students with an overview of language to discuss and apply core visual principles and concepts, an introduction to design-based problem-solving techniques and an investigation into overarching historical and contemporary contextual issues and opportunities within design and its related fields.

Business Essentials

An overview of general business and management concepts and techniques that builds theoretical and analytical fluency. Students will learn how to apply these concepts to developing a business plan or creating a new venture. The course includes units on marketing strategy, basic accounting concepts and financial statement analysis. In addition, students will study common issues in business leadership and management.

Technology Essentials

An overview of information technologies and systems used in design, commerce, engineering, communications, education and other relevant disciplines. Students will build theoretical fluency in core concepts, methods and frameworks; develop practical aptitude in related technological tools, applications and systems; gain technical literacy and select competencies in development languages (e.g., HTML, CSS, Javascript, SQL) and methods to build simple websites, data structures, user interfaces and mobile applications and devices.

Residency Experiences

4 units

At two in-person residency experiences, students come together with classmates, professors and industry experts to explore new concepts, generate and critique work and solve complex problems. 

Integrative Practices Residential

The Integrative Practices Residential is a five-day, in-person experience held on USC’s campus during the student’s first term in the program.

Professional Practices Residential

The Professional Practices Residential is the second residency experience, which can be taken after the student’s second term.


If you have questions about the curriculum, contact an admissions counselor at Phone Number: 866-376-2505 or via email.