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Curriculum and Specialization Details

Information Design & Strategy


The Master of Science in Information Design & Strategy requires completion of 12 courses to obtain a degree. These requirements cover eight core courses, three elective courses corresponding to a declared specialization and a capstone project (498) or thesis (590). A specialization should be declared as part of the application process. Students who already have experience in one area of specialization may create a custom course of study by selecting any three elective courses. Current students should refer to curriculum requirements in place at time of entry into the program.

Content Strategy Specialization

Professional writers today must adapt content to multiple platforms and channels, but how do they do this while retaining the essential messages? The Content Strategy specialization will enable students to improve the impact of their writing and make full use of the expressive possibilities of digital media.

  • MS_IDS 432 Advanced Writing Workshop
  • MS_IDS 433 Social Media and Content Curation
  • MS_IDS 435 Persuasion

Data Science and Analytics Specialization

The Data Science and Analytics specialization will give designers the tools they need to communicate complex data accurately and effectively. The courses in this specialization will enable students to work with data analysts within their organizations to translate data into images and stories that executives and customers can understand.

  • MS_IDS 452 Introduction to Data Collection and Analytics
  • MS_IDS 453 Introduction to Techniques of Predictive Analytics
  • MS_IDS 455 Data Visualization

Learning Design Specialization

Effective educators design new information in ways that people can engage with, understand, and use. The Learning Design specialization will help prepare educators, corporate training professionals, online learning designers, librarians, and museum professionals create meaningful and pedagogically sound digital learning experiences.

  • MS_IDS 422 Introduction to Learning Theory
  • MS_IDS 423 Instructional Design
  • MS_IDS 425 Learning Environment Design

Interdisciplinary Studies

Students who already have experience in one area of specialization may create a custom course of study by selecting any three elective courses. In consultation with their student adviser, students may also create their own course of study from available online courses in other programs, such as Health Informatics, Information Systems, and Global Health.

About the Final Project

Students may pursue their capstone experience independently or as part of a team. As their final course, students take either the individual research project in an independent study format or the classroom final project class in which students integrate the knowledge they have gained in the core curriculum in a project presented by the instructor. In both cases students are guided by faculty in exploring the body of knowledge on information design and strategy while contributing research of practical value to the field. The capstone independent project and capstone class project count as one unit of credit.

  • MS_IDS 498 Capstone Project or
  • MS_IDS 590 Thesis Research
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