Apply now for MICA's MA in Social Design program.
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Apply Now for MICA's MA in Social Design Program

Elevating the social and design literacy of creatives and building new opportunities and pathways for professional practice.

The first degree-bearing program of its kind, the Master of Arts in Social Design (MASD) at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is an intensive, practice-based graduate program that prepares creative changemakers with the tools and methods to advance equity and social justice and become pioneers and leaders in the practice. 

MASD alumni hold innovative leadership positions within the public, private, nonprofit, entrepreneurial and academic sectors across the US and globally. 

The 30-credit MASD curriculum is comprised of seminar, studio, and elective courses as well as a variety of other immersive and practice-based experiences that take students outside of the institution to: 

  • Increase Social Literacy: Develop a deeper understanding of the issues of equity, power, race and privilege that exist at the heart of the social problems we aim to address. 
  • Deepen Design Literacy: Establish an ethical framework to guide personal practice and learn human-centered design methods to build empathy with and engage people in making and doing. 

In addition to the core faculty and staff of the Center for Social Design, MASD students learn from visiting faculty across a variety of disciplines through a combination of practice-based experiences:  

  • Practice-based Studios: MASD students are eligible to enroll in the Center for Social Design's award-winning, semester-long courses that bring students from a variety of disciplines together with outside partners from government, nonprofit and business sectors to learn and apply the human-centered design process. 
  • Graduate Fellowships: MASD students put their skills into practice in professional contexts through paid, part-time fellowships with a variety of institutions during the academic year.
  • Post-Graduate Associates: MASD graduates are eligible for associate positions within the Center for Social Design to build a professional practice and deepen their work in Baltimore after they graduate.
Center for Social Design

The MASD graduate program is uniquely positioned within the
MICA Center for Social Design, an interdisciplinary center dedicated to demonstrating and promoting the value of design in advancing equity and social justice. MASD students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of initiatives within the Center, including our award-winning practice based studiospostgraduate opportunities, and a variety of other initiatives and partnerships.

The Center for Social Design is located within MICA’s Fred Lazarus IV Center located in the heart of Baltimore’s Station North Arts & Entertainment District. The Center consists of an open, 4,000 square-foot collaborative studio space. MASD students each receive a dedicated studio work space, with 24-7 access to the state-of-the-art equipment, classrooms, and common areas.

The Center for Social Design is 
celebrating ten years of pioneering work in social design education and practice! Read more about our current activities, including ongoing projects and partners, awards, alumni news, events, research, etc. in our most recent Autumn 2019 newsletter
Apply now!
Further information and application requirements are available at

Priority deadline is January 17, 2020.

Have additional questions about social design at MICA?
Learn more about the MA in Social Design program and MICA's Center for Social Design at

For any additional questions, please reach out to us at:
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