Master's in Information Design & Strategy Online

As digital output increasingly becomes the backbone of most business strategy, there is an acute need for professionals with a better big-picture understanding of information management, design and technology. The Northwestern University online Master of Science in Information Design and Strategy (IDS) program teaches students how to translate information and data into meaningful visual forms, narratives and interfaces.

This interdisciplinary program prepares students to step into a cross-functional or leadership role by developing a deep and holistic understanding of today’s sophisticated digital media. The program is particularly useful for people in creative fields who want a stronger grounding in business strategy, so that they can expand their career opportunities and make a larger impact on their organizations. The strong theoretical framework of the program and its focus on fundamental concepts makes the degree applicable to many diverse fields and types of organizations — business, the arts, government, healthcare, and education, to name a few — regardless of changes in technology.

The IDS program was developed in consultation with industry leaders in this emerging field. As a part-time and completely online degree, students anywhere in the world can access a program of this caliber while maintaining their personal and professional commitments. Find out more about online learning at SPS.



I'm glad to have been in the program because it's given me so many tools to think critically about information and think critically about design and accessibility.”

Greg Barber, MS in Information Design and Strategy ('22)

Greg's Full Story

IDS alum Greg Barber poses in front of Lake Michigan at Northwestern Evanston campus.

I think the program is innovative. It combines a lot of business goals within the design's given me a lot more confidence in the workplace.”

Chris Rinere, MS in Information Design and Strategy ('17)

Chris' Full Story

About the MS in Information Design & Strategy

Program Goals

An interdisciplinary professional program, IDS graduates will possess the knowledge, skills and aptitude to:

  • Translate complex information into compelling visual forms and narratives, particularly within digital media
  • Lead cross-functional teams to develop and implement a comprehensive media communication strategy
  • Design seamless customer experiences that support an organization’s strategy across multiple digital platforms
  • Develop innovative solutions to complex business problems by combining analytical and creative skills
Headshot of woman Tanya Norwood the MS in Information Design and Strategy faculty director

The landscape is currently changing as companies leverage their digital platforms and media to connect and engage with customers, drive e-commerce, and more. This is a growing industry with tons of opportunities. This program is designed to prepare you for these opportunities, inclusive of user experience, design, writing/communications, and strategy.”

Tanya Norwood, Faculty Director, MS in Information Design and Strategy

Insights from Faculty Director

Curriculum & Specializations

Students are required to complete 12 courses to earn the degree. Students complete eight core courses and three elective courses corresponding to a chosen area of Information Design Specialization: communication with data, content strategy, learning design, UX/UI, or interdisciplinary studies. Current students should refer to the Information Design Curriculum requirements in place at time of entry into the program.

Online Courses

Explore MS Information Design Online Courses. You can narrow your course search by day, location or instructor.

Admission Information

A variety of factors are considered when your application is reviewed. Background and experience vary from student to student. For a complete list of requirements, see the Admission page for SPS graduate programs.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for the Master's in Information Design & Strategy program at Northwestern is comparable to similar US programs. Financial aid opportunities exist for students at Northwestern. Complete details can be found on the Information Design Tuition and Financial Aid page.

Registration Information

Already accepted into the Master's in Information Design program? Get ahead and register for your classes as soon as possible to ensure maximum efficiency in your trajectory.


Careers in Information Design

The field of information design has grown and evolved rapidly in recent years.  Organizations and businesses of all types need professionals who can translate information into beautiful visual forms and compelling narratives.  For details visit the Information Design Career Options page.


Instructors in the Master's in Information Design program at Northwestern are leaders in the field. They bring practical real-world experiences to the online classroom and engage with students on an interpersonal level. Get to know the instructors on our Information Design & Strategy Faculty page.

Find out more about Northwestern's MS in Information Design & Strategy

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