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Futures and Design, MS

Futures and Design, MS

Academic Programs / Graduate Degrees / Futures and Design, MS

Change Managment, Forecasting, Future, Problem Solving, Social Change, Strategist, Strategy, Transdisciplinary, design

Learn theories and practical tools for imagining, making and sharing futures, and apply this knowledge through collaborative projects across multiple media with real-world clients to inspire positive change.

Program Description
Degree Awarded: MS  Futures and Design

The MS program in futures and design combines future-focused theories and practices, including speculative design, science fiction and foresight studies, to investigate and craft alternative futures. Students learn a range of future-oriented theories and methods used today by organizations --- and invent the theories and methods of tomorrow. Students explore a variety of epistemological perspectives and experiential processes to systematically define complex problems and explore robust strategies of change. In doing so, they diversify their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Drawing from social theory, innovation studies and design science, the program develops students' capacity to envision new futures across scales of complexity, including objects, platforms, services, organizations and systems. Students work in transdisciplinary teams with real-world partners from industry and the community to produce compelling visions of that future in diverse media.

The Master of Science in futures and design is offered by the transdisciplinary School for the Future of Innovation in Society.

At a Glance
Degree Requirements

33 credit hours including the required applied project course (HSD 593)

Required Core (15 credit hours)
HDA 581 Emerging Media Colloquium (3)
HSD 550 Prototyping Futures (3)
HSD 551 Future-Focused Research Methods (3)
HSD 552 Worldbuilding and Imagination (3)
HSD 555 Strategic Design Futures (3)

Electives (9 credit hours)

Other Requirements (3 credit hours)
DSC 584 Internship (3)
DSC 590 Reading and Conference (3)
DSC 592 Research (3)
HDA 580 Practicum (3)
HSD 584 Internship (3)
HSD 590 Reading and Conference (3)
HSD 592 Research (3)

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)
HSD 593 Applied Project (6)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students take the one credit hour course HDA 581 three times to attain a total of three credits for the course.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirement of both the Graduate College and the College of Global Futures.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. personal statement
  4. professional resume
  5. three letters of recommendation
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

Application Deadlines
SessionModalityDeadlineType
Session A/CIn Person 01/02Priority
SessionModalityDeadlineType
Session A/CIn Person 11/30Priority
Career Opportunities

There is an increasing demand for professionals who are trained in navigating uncertainty, design thinking and strategically coping with disruptive change --- key skills that graduates of this program are equipped with. In fact, Bain and Associates found that over half the Fortune 500 companies use scenario planning, one of the core methods covered in the program. Harvard Business School has identified "anticipation" as an essential skill of a strategic leader.

Some career examples include:

  • director of futures strategy
  • futurist
  • global trends manager
  • growth strategist
  • ideation leader
  • issues manager
  • principal foresight researcher
  • strategic planner
Contact Information

What are Accelerated Programs?
Accelerated Programs allow students the opportunity to expedite the completion of their degree.

3 year programs

These programs allow students to fast-track their studies after admission and earn a bachelor’s degree in three years or fewer while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students should talk to their academic advisor to get started.

4+1 year programs

These programs allow students to accelerate their studies by combining undergraduate with graduate coursework, which may allow them to earn a bachelor’s and a master's degree in as few as five years (for some programs).

Each program has requirements students must meet to be eligible for consideration. Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students are advised by their academic departments to apply.
What are Concurrent Programs?
Concurrent degrees allow students to pursue their own personal or professional interests, earn two distinct degrees and receive two diplomas. To add a concurrent degree to your existing degree, work with your academic advisor.
What are Joint Programs?
Joint programs, or jointly conferred degrees, are offered by more than one college and provide opportunities for students to take advantage of the academic strengths of two academic units. Upon graduation, students are awarded one degree and one diploma conferred by two colleges.

What constitutes a New Program?
ASU adds new programs to Degree Search frequently. Come back often and look for the “New Programs” option.
What are Online Programs?
ASU Online offers programs in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. See https://asuonline.asu.edu/ for more information.
What is WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program)?
The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) provides a reduced tuition rate to non-resident graduate students who qualify. Visit the WRGP/WICHE webpage for more information: https://graduate.asu.edu/wiche.

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