Admissions Requirements

The online Master of Science in Integrated Design, Business and Technology is designed for recent graduates and working professionals. Successful candidates will be creative thinkers who seek to enhance their knowledge and skills to thrive in collaborative, forward-thinking environments. The program challenges students to reach beyond their comfort zone and achieve fluency at the intersection of three industries: design, business and technology. The goal of the program is to produce problem solvers who can work across diverse areas and quickly adapt to change.

The Applicant

We seek applicants whose academic background, professional experience and motivation meet the demands of this program. To apply, you should have a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited university.

Our selection process is intentionally holistic. We are looking for students who:

  • Aspire to lead innovation, challenge the norm and break into new industries
  • Have a self-starter mindset and a passion for creative problem-solving
  • Want to build the skills to harness differences and cross-pollinate ideas across teams

Many of our applicants work on interdisciplinary teams — and this program will change the way you think and function on those teams. This program will equip you to move adeptly through the creative problem-solving process and introduce you to new business perspectives.  

Application Requirements

To apply to the program, you must submit the following:

  • Application: You must complete the online application and pay the non-refundable application fee of $90. Access the online application here.
  • Resume: Your resume should provide an extensive overview of relevant work and volunteer experience.
  • Transcripts: Sealed official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions you have attended, including any community college coursework, must be sent to the address below. When using an ordering system online for hard-copy delivery, be sure to select “The University of Southern California – Design@USC" in any drop-down menu. The program name “Design@USC” must be in the title for the transcript to be sent to the right office.

    Application Processing Services 
    Design@USC 
    7900 Harkins Road, Suite 501 
    Lanham, MD 20706 

    If the option to send transcripts electronically is available, you should specify that they be sent to applicationservices@design.usc.edu, as this will expedite the delivery and the completion of the application. 
  • Statement of Purpose and Vision Statement: These must be uploaded to the online application. 

    Additional guidelines for the Statement of Purpose and Vision Statement are provided in the online application.

  • Proposal Video: You must create a video that proposes an original idea for an innovative product, service or system. Your idea should solve a problem, address a need or provide an opportunity. The selected focus may be local or global. Your idea does not need to have market value or a predictable consumer base—it just needs to take into account desirability, feasibility and viability.

    The video should be no longer than one minute long.

    We recommend that you submit more than just a “selfie” video discussing your pitch. The submission should exemplify your ability to think creatively and illustrate both your personal style and facility with visual communication and storytelling.
  • Portfolio or collection of creative work: In this submission, we are looking for expressions of creativity and cross-disciplinary thinking. We want to see a demonstrated ability to integrate disciplines to create things that are bigger or more impactful than the sum of their parts. In this context, your “creative work” may include innovative solutions to problems in the realms of technology or science.

    Select one or more of the following (up to three total submissions) to create your “portfolio”:

    • Visual arts and design: These can include 2D or 3D work—such as painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, ceramics, textiles, jewelry, product or industrial design, graphic design (including style guides), fashion design, environmental design, web-based or mobile digital media design, etc. 
    • Time-based media: These can include examples of narrative or art film or video, games, motion graphics, audio recordings, etc. Audio recordings can include performances of original music, readings of creative texts, etc. Audio recordings of non-original content are discouraged as evidence of creativity, but may be included to supplement other creative entries and show high levels of ability in performing or production techniques.
    • Written materials: These can include creative stories, poems, essays, business plans, marketing plans, process books, etc.
    • Evidence of creative science or technology: This submission should cover scientific or technological projects, residencies or internships that required ability in and/or integration of multiple disciplines or creative problem solving. Evidence may include abstracts, papers, photos, wire frames, schematics, video, etc.

      PLEASE NOTE: It is impossible to efficiently review lengthy or large submissions. If you wish for faculty to understand your creative output in the application process, we strongly urge careful selection and curation to show your best work in the most concise way possible. Excerpts, clip reels, and compilations are preferable to complete submissions. It is also important to select entries that will differentiate you from others and highlight your individuality.

  • Letters of Recommendation: The online application requires two references. You should request recommendations from those who can speak to your professional or academic readiness to attend a rigorous graduate program. You should request these letters from your recommenders through the online application. 
  • GRE scores are not required. If your native language is not English, you are required to submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of higher than 90 or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a score of higher than 6.5.

If you have questions about applying, contact an admissions counselor at 866-376-2505 or via email.

Take the Next Step

Request information. An admissions counselor will reach out to answer your questions and help you put together a competitive application.