Graduate Courses

The SASD MPS curriculum provides experience in design thinking, leadership, and collaborative problem solving. In developing solutions, we consider innovation and change, organization and human resources, and suppliers, distributors, and markets. The business courses develop management skills in six specific areas: leadership, strategy, marketing, operations, finance, and legal.

The program explores three essential questions:

  • What is design management?
  • How does design management fit into my career?
  • How do I apply this in the world?

 


Curriculum

First Semester
DSNMG 400 Collaborative Design Studio I: Empathy – 2 credits
DSNMG 410 Design Management I: The 8-Step Design Thinking Process – 3 credits
MGMT 500 Management & Marketing – 3 credits
MGMT 505 Organizational Behavior – 3 credits

Second Semester
DSNMG 401 Collaborative Design Studio II: Leadership and Collaboration – 2 credits
DSNMG 411 Design Management II: Sustainability – 3 credits
ACCT 500 Accounting and Business Law – 3 credits
DSNMG 599 Special Projects – 2 credits
DSNMG 598 Internship or Coop – 1 credit

Third Semester
DSNMG 500 Collaborative Design Studio III: Research – 2 credits
DSNMG 510 Design Management III: Profitability – 3 credits
ECON 500 Economics & Finance – 3 credits
MGMT 555 Global Project Management – 3 credits

Fourth Semester
DSNMG 501 Collaborative Design Studio IV: The Human Factor – 2 credits
DSNMG 511 Thesis/Design Management IV: MPS Thesis – 3 credits
DSNMG 598 Internship or Coop – 1 credit
MGMT 585 New Product Commercialization – 3 credits


Course Descriptions

DSNMG 400 Collaborative Design Studio I: Empathy
Students work in teams with one client each semester. The first lesson they learn is how to listen and understand what the client’s needs truly are, that is, how to empathize with the client and the client’s multiple constituencies. Students learn the principles of team collaboration, leadership (and “followship”), and both written and live presentation skills.
Required Text: Well Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love by John Kolko, or equivalent

Student Learning Outcomes
Introduction to the eight-step Design Thinking process. Introduction to the application of research to support problem solving and creativity. Introduction to illustrating expertise in collaboration, leadership, oral and written communication. Introduction to foundational business terminology, practices, and concepts. Introduction to creating professional reports and presentations integrating design, innovation, technology, management, and audience. Learning to link design, innovation, technology, management, and customers to provide a competitive advantage. Skills developed include preparation of persuasive visually-based reports, clearer writing (as a consequence of clearer thinking), teamwork, and leadership. Learning the eight-step Design Thinking process. Looking outward for problems to solve using innate creativity. Developing empathy for other people and their needs which can be developed into business opportunities.

DSNMG 410 Design Management I: The 8-Step Design Thinking Process
This is an introductory course to the graduate program in Design Management. DM is a discipline that approaches business problem solving using a specific process called Design Thinking, which can be applied to problems in any field to achieve innovative solutions. The process and intended results are described through the required text and a series of guest lecturers in this course, each of whom has additional required reading. Students will learn the process and examine a variety of design management applications through readings and weekly writings. DSNMG 410 is a service course open to any UB graduate student in good academic standing.
Required Text: Design Management by Kathryn Best, or equivalent

Student Learning Outcomes
Introduction to the eight-step Design Thinking process. Introduction to the application of research to support problem solving and creativity. Introduction to illustrating expertise in collaboration, leadership, oral and written communication. Introduction to foundational business terminology, practices, and concepts. Introduction to creating professional reports and presentations integrating design, innovation, technology, management, and audience. Learning to use design to enhance collaboration between design and business to improve design effectiveness.

MGMT 500 Management & Marketing
This course serves as a graduate introduction to the theory and practice of both management and marketing, two separate, yet related, fields of business study. The management portion of the course will address the four key tenets of management: planning, organizing, leading and controlling. The marketing portion of the course will address creating, delivering, and communicating value by building customer relationships via the marketing mix: product, price, place (distribution), and promotion. Both parts of the course will examine the effects of globalization, technology, and social responsibility. In addition to textbooks and other readings, the course will use individual and group projects to develop real-world solutions to challenges posed in these two disciplines.
Required Text: Assigned by the School of Business professor

MGMT 505 Organizational Behavior
This course enables students to explore individual and group behavior in organizations and the contextual factors that impact workforce performance and organizational effectiveness. An understanding of topics including organizational culture and structure, ethics and corporate social responsibility, team dynamics, leadership, decision making, and motivation is emphasized. Students gain insight from the perspective of both theory-oriented research and practice-oriented professional communities through the discussion of concepts and organizational practices and the analysis of research findings and trends.
Required Text: Assigned by the School of Business professor

DSNMG 401 Collaborative Design Studio II: Leadership and Collaboration
Building on the foundation formed in Collaborative Design Studio I, students will again be grouped in inter-disciplinary teams to complete an innovative, client-based design project. Following the CDS I experience, an emphasis in this course is placed on leadership and collaboration.
Required Text: The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations by James Kouzes and Barry Posner, or equivalent

Student Learning Outcomes
Deepening mastery of the eight-step Design Thinking process. Deepening application of research to support problem solving and creativity. Deepening expertise in collaboration, leadership, oral and written communication. Deepening familiarity with foundational business terminology, practices, and concepts. Deepening creation of professional reports and presentations integrating design, innovation, technology, management, and audience. Introduction to demonstrating professional management capacity. Learning to link design, innovation, technology, management, and customers to provide a competitive advantage. Skills developed include preparation of persuasive visually-based reports, clearer writing (as a consequence of clearer thinking), teamwork, and leadership. Learning the eight-step Design Thinking process. Learning to use design to enhance collaboration between design and business to improve design effectiveness. Developing empathy for other people and their needs which can be developed into business opportunities.

DSNMG 411 Design Management II: Sustainability
Design Management has three core principles, the “Triple Bottom Line,” that must be in balance for an optimal solution: Profitability, Social Responsibility, and Sustainability. Sustainability is examined in this course through readings and guest lecturers, each of whom has required readings. Design Management II also describes the six core business principles of the MPS program: Marketing, Leadership, Finance, Legal, Operations, and Strategy. Students will learn about sustainability and examine design management applications through readings and weekly writings.
Required text: Sustainability: A History by Jeremy L. Caradonna, or equivalent

Student Learning Outcomes
Deepening mastery of the eight-step Design Thinking process. Deepening application of research to support problem solving and creativity. Deepening familiarity with foundational business terminology, practices, and concepts. Deepening creation of professional reports and presentations integrating design, innovation, technology, management, and audience. Introduction to demonstrating professional management capacity. Learning to use design to enhance collaboration between design and business to improve design effectiveness. Learning the eight-step Design Thinking process. Developing deeper business connections through the lecture speakers.

ACCT 500 Accounting and Business Law
An introduction to Accounting, and the Legal Environment of Business and Ethics. The course focuses the fundamentals of Accounting and how the legal environment of business impacts business decisions. There is an introduction to the basic principles of Accounting: how to account for business transactions. Emphasis on the understanding of how financial statements are prepared, and how they are used as a basis for decision making by business owners, investors, creditors, government and others interested in the financial condition of an economic entity and the results of its operations. The Law component introduces how the legal environment of business impacts business decisions with broad ethical, and critical thinking examples throughout. Knowledge of the legal aspects of running a business will enable the student to conduct business within the legal framework and understand the ethical dimension of business decisions. Topics include: Introduction to Business Ethics; Financial Regulation (Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank) Business Crimes, Torts, and Contracts; the Constitution and Government Regulation of Business; Business Organizations; Employment and Labor Laws; Consumer Protection and Environmental Regulation; and Ethical Conflicts including Corporate Loyalty v. Whistleblowing, and Privacy and Technology. Prerequisites: Admission to graduate study.
Required Text: Assigned by the School of Business professor

DSNMG 598 Design Management: Internship/Co-op
Fairfield County and the surrounding tri-state area are rich in organizations in need of qualified design management interns. Through strategic partnerships and student initiative, internships will be established to give students first-hand experience as design managers. Students will report on their experience and that report, coupled with his or her manager’s evaluation, will form the basis for determining the student’s grade. Internships are taken by domestic students; Co-ops are taken by international students.

Student Learning Outcomes
Mastery of the eight-step Design Thinking process. Mastery of the application of research to support problem solving and creativity. Mastery of collaboration, leadership, oral and written communication. Mastery of foundational business terminology, practices, and concepts. Mastery in creation of professional reports and presentations integrating design, innovation, technology, management, and audience. Mastery of demonstrating professional management capacity. Learning to link design, innovation, technology, management, and customers to provide a competitive advantage. Deepening experience of design thinking in a specific design discipline. Developing empathy for other people and their needs which can be developed into professional business opportunities.

DSNMG 599 Special Projects
Special projects give students the opportunity to explore specifics of design thinking as it relates to their own area of design expertise. Students are encouraged to seek out opportunities to gain practical experience in the design and design management fields. The course content is individually developed in consultation with the MPS program Chair and may include design coursework or independent research on a specific aspect of design or design management. Required Text: Assigned by the SASD design professor

Student Learning Outcomes
Deepening mastery of the eight-step Design Thinking process. Deepening application of research to support problem solving and creativity. Deepening expertise in collaboration, leadership, oral and written communication. Deepening familiarity with foundational business terminology, practices, and concepts. Deepening creation of professional reports and presentations integrating design, innovation, technology, management, and audience. Deepening demonstration of professional management capacity. Learning to link design, innovation, technology, management, and customers to provide a competitive advantage. Deepening experience of design thinking in a specific design discipline.

DSNMG 500 Collaborative Design Studio III: Research
Collaborative Design Studio III continues to equip students with the skills they need to work with cross-functional teams on real world, client-based assignments. Students will focus on research, comparing reading with original, in-person interviews to understand a problem from the end-users’ perspective. This research experience will be useful in the preparation of their theses in DM IV-Thesis. The projects for this course will focus the students’ attention on the triple bottom line: Profitability, Social Responsibility, and Sustainability.
Required Text: Strategic Design Thinking: Innovation in Products, Services, Experiences and Beyond by Natalie Nixon, or equivalent

Student Learning Outcomes
Deepening mastery to the eight-step Design Thinking process. Deepening application of research to support problem solving and creativity. Deepening expertise in collaboration, leadership, oral and written communication. Deepening familiarity with foundational business terminology, practices, and concepts. Deepening creation of professional reports and presentations integrating design, innovation, technology, management, and audience. Deepening demonstration of professional management capacity. Skills developed include preparation of persuasive visually-based reports, clearer writing (as a consequence of clearer thinking), teamwork, and leadership. Understanding the business perspective so it can be leveraged to your advantage. Learning to use design to enhance collaboration between design and business to improve design effectiveness. Looking outward for problems to solve using innate creativity.

DSNMG 510 Design Management III: Profitability
Profitability is taken for granted in any business solution, but Design Management must balance profitability with the two other core principles, Social Responsibility and Sustainability. With this understanding, Profitability can also be called Financial Sustainability. Through relevant readings and lectures, students will develop an understanding of what Profitability can be and how to introduce this enlightened meaning to the leadership of an organization. In addition, DM III students will develop and submit a thesis proposal for approval.
Required Text: Corporate Creativity: Developing an Innovative Organization Edited by Thomas Lockwood and Thomas Walton, or equivalent

Student Learning Outcomes
Deepening mastery of the eight-step Design Thinking process. Deepening application of research to support problem solving and creativity. Introduction to illustrating expertise in collaboration, leadership, oral and written communication. Deepening expertise in collaboration, leadership, oral and written communication. Deepening familiarity with foundational business terminology, practices, and concepts. Deepening creation of professional reports and presentations integrating design, innovation, technology, management, and audience. Deepening demonstration of professional management capacity. Learning to link design, innovation, technology, management, and customers to provide a competitive advantage. Understanding the business perspective so it can be leveraged to your advantage. Learning to use design to enhance collaboration between design and business to improve design effectiveness. Developing deeper business connections through the lecture speakers.

ECON 500 Economics & Finance
This course is a graduate introduction to the study of economics and finance, two interrelated and integral fields in the study of business. This course develops the foundation in understanding how the real economy works, and how finance connects the real economy to the monetary system via the financial system. The course starts by discussing how the market system works, including basic macroeconomic concepts relevant to the study of finance. Subsequently, the course delves into how capital budgeting decisions made by firms are essential to achieve macroeconomic goals. Topics include financial statements, time value of money, the financial markets, and how firms make capital budgeting decisions. In additional to textbook readings, students will use current events to complete case studies and group presentations to further their understanding of economics and finance.
Required Text: Assigned by the School of Business professor

MGMT 555 Global Project Management
This course focuses on the managerial aspects of how to effectively manage, plan and execute programs and projects with a focus on high quality deliverables: arriving on time, within budget, within scope, and to the customer’s satisfaction. Areas covered will include program and project management life cycle phases, executive sponsorship, portfolio investment management selection and prioritization, requirements, scope and project charters, planning, development, estimating, staffing, leadership, scheduling, risk management, change management, project metrics, vendor integration and management and other related topics. This course is based on current and emerging best practices and principles. Project Management certification requirements and real world case studies are discussed.
Required Text: Assigned by the School of Business professor

DSNMG 501 Collaborative Design Studio IV: The Human Factor
Collaborative Design Studio IV places fourth-semester students in leadership positions on the collaborative teams, working with their team and with the other team leaders. In this position, students can experience the challenges of solving personnel problems as they inevitably arise. Students also serve as contacts with the client, ensuring a smooth process for them and handling every aspect of the mid-semester and final presentations.
Required Text: The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership Powered Company by Ram Charan and Steve Drotter, or equivalent

Student Learning Outcomes
Mastery of the eight-step Design Thinking process. Mastery of the application of research to support problem solving and creativity. Mastery of collaboration, leadership, oral and written communication. Mastery of foundational business terminology, practices, and concepts. Mastery in creation of professional reports and presentations integrating design, innovation, technology, management, and audience. Mastery of demonstrating professional management capacity. Skills developed include preparation of persuasive visually-based reports, clearer writing (as a consequence of clearer thinking), teamwork, and leadership. Understanding the business perspective so it can be leveraged to your advantage. Developing empathy for other people and their needs which can be developed into business opportunities.

DSNMG 511 Design ManagementIV: MPS Thesis
Design Management IV: MPS Thesis IV requires students, working independently or in small teams, to research and write about an idea that embraces and explores each aspect of design management: Innovation, Profitability, Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Marketing, Leadership, Finance, Legal, Operations, and Strategy. This challenge demands that the students demonstrate an understanding and mastery of the ten topics covered in the program while expressing their own sensibilities based on their experience, culture, and design discipline.
Required Text: Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant, or equivalent

Student Learning Outcomes
Mastery of the eight-step Design Thinking process. Mastery of the application of research to support problem solving and creativity. Mastery of collaboration, leadership, oral and written communication. Mastery of foundational business terminology, practices, and concepts. Mastery in creation of professional reports and presentations integrating design, innovation, technology, management, and audience. Mastery of demonstrating professional management capacity. Learning to link design, innovation, technology, management, and customers to provide a competitive advantage. Understanding the business perspective so it can be leveraged to your advantage. Learning to use design to enhance collaboration between design and business to improve design effectiveness. Developing deeper business connections through the lecture speakers.

DSNMG 598 Internship/Co-op
Fairfield County and the surrounding tri-state area are rich in organizations in need of qualified design management interns. Through strategic partnerships and student initiative, internships will be established to give students first-hand experience as a design manager. Students will report on their experience and that report, coupled with his or her manager’s evaluation, will form the basis for determining the student’s grade. Internships are taken by domestic students; Co-ops are taken by international students.

MGMT 585 New Product Commercialization
The objectives of this course are to understand and apply concepts and techniques of product commercialization. The course focuses on taking student-created product concepts and having student teams drive the concepts to become actual products. Product design, prototype creation, market analysis, and financial analysis all come together with the student team to create a viable product. If ideas are worthy, teams may work with the University’s CTech IncUBator to actually commercialize their products. Students are strongly encouraged to find a sponsor to actually commercialize their product ideas.
Required Text: Assigned by the School of Business professor