MPS Admission Requirements


SASD’s Design Management program is organized to give business knowledge to working designers of all backgrounds. It teaches how to apply design thinking to business problems, so it is extremely valuable to arrive to the program with a background in design thinking.

Admission requirements include:

  • All applicants must possess an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with at least a 3.0/4.0 GPA.
  • Applicants with a design background:
    1. A personal essay of 250-500 words in detail about why you are seeking this particular degree, how you expect to apply your degree to your professional career after graduation, and why you want to pursue your degree through SASD.
    2. Two letters of recommendation from employers, professors, or professional associates, signed by the writer.
    3. A portfolio of both academic and professional work.
    4. A one-page résumé
    5. Evidence of internship, volunteer, or prior employment in design, design management, marketing, business or a studio setting will be viewed favorably
    6. Admissions will consider writing, speaking, and analytical skills, as demonstrated through college-level coursework or professional experience, although professional experience is not a prerequisite for admission.
  • Applicants without a design background:
    1. A personal essay of 250-500 words in detail about why you are seeking this particular degree, how you expect to apply your degree to your professional career after graduation, and why you want to pursue your degree through SASD.
    2. Two letters of recommendation from employers, professors, or professional associates, signed by the writer.
    3. Read this online Lockwood article and this DM.org article and write what these readings mean to you. Provide specific examples.
    4. A one-page résumé
    5. Evidence of internship, volunteer, or prior employment in design, design management, marketing, business or a studio setting will be viewed favorably
    6. Admissions will consider writing, speaking, and analytical skills, as demonstrated through college-level coursework or professional experience, although professional experience is not a prerequisite for admission.
    7. All four 1-credit courses must be taken in design courses.
  • An interview is not required of international applicants, but is highly recommended for domestic applicants who live within a two-hour drive of the SASD campus.
  • Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis. Completed applications and all supporting documents must be received by August 1 for the fall semester and December 15 for the spring semester. Early applications are strongly encouraged as program space is limited.
    All accepted students must read Design Thinking: Integrating Innovation, Customer Experience, and Brand Value by Thomas Lockwood prior to beginning MPS Design Management coursework.

Admissions FAQs

Can I begin the program in either the fall or spring semesters?
Yes, either is equally good. The program can be joined in either the fall (start in late August) or spring (start in mid-January) semesters. There is no difference in the sequence and availability of courses.

How much does the program cost?

Graduate credits for the MPS program cost $715 per credit (this figure may change, so be sure to confirm the current cost per credit with the University’s web site or graduate admissions department). The program requires 42 credits, so $715 x 42 credits = $30,300. SASD’s MPS program is significantly less expensive than equivalent programs in, for example, New York City.

Is financial aid available?

Design Management students may qualify for financial aid as long as they are enrolled in a minimum of six credits per semester. For more information, contact the Office of Admissions.

Is the program for me?

Our program is designed for recent graduates and early-to-mid-career professionals who want to complement their design skills with business skills to develop strategic advantages for your company. Our students come from various design disciplines including industrial design, graphic and communication design, information design, interior design, interactive media design, architecture, and fashion design. They work for corporations, design firms, educational institutions, and government.

What is SASD and what is it known for?

SASD, pronounced sass-dee, is an acronym for the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design. The University of Bridgeport is long renowned for its undergraduate industrial design program. Graphic design and interior design were added as undergraduate concentrations in the 1970s. The MPS in Design Management is built on that strong base with the added flexibility and excellence of the School of Business, whose faculty is drawn from the ranks of Fairfield County, CT’s business community. The college was renamed the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design after our benefactor, Mr. Akatsu, a graduate of the University of Bridgeport who wanted to ensure continued growth and excellence in one of the University’s strongest units, donated a considerable sum to support our goal.