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 an outgrowth of that strong base with the added flexibility and excellence of the School of Business, staffed by faculty 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 that goal.

Is financial aid available?

Unfortunately, no. But SASD’s MPS program is priced at the lowest cost per credit of all graduate programs at the University of Bridgeport. And our MPS degree is significantly less expensive than other U.S. graduate programs in Design Management. But make no mistake: ours is not just the least expensive, it is the best value.

What is the total cost of the program?

Graduate credits for the MPS program cost $650 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 $650 x 42 credits = $27,300. SASD’s MPS program is significantly less expensive than equivalent programs in, for example, New York City.

Will I write a thesis?

Yes, a thesis is a necessary part of the MPS program and is completed in the fourth and final semester of study. You will be given material to help you find a suitable topic and a schedule to follow to produce the best results.

How important is writing well in the program and in Design Management?

Writing clearly is the strongest indication of thinking clearly. Confused, choppy, unclear writing suggests shabby, indefinite thinking. It is expected that graduate students become clear thinkers, so your writing is a critical way of judging the quality of your thinking. It is in your best interest to become a superior writer. Your writing will be compared to your classmates’ and if you are dissatisfied with your writing grades, you must attend to your writing skills. International students have an obvious added language challenge, but at the graduate level, regardless of language issues, the ability to write clear, coherent declarative sentences is necessary.

How does SASD’s program compare with other programs?

Design Management is a very young area of specialization and academic development. Each graduate program chooses how to balance design and business ideas. Everyone agrees that there is and should be some aspect of design in Design Management. An MPS is not the same as an MBA, after all. Finding the right way to inject design into the curriculum is an ongoing topic of great reward. We believe our balance is optimal, but it is up to you, the prospective student, to determine for yourself which program best meets your needs.

Are any of the classes available online?

No, none of the MPS courses are taught online. Two of the most important aspects of the program are leadership and collaboration, neither of which can be fully explored and experienced in an online course.

Can I work while I am studying?

Absolutely. The program is organized so that business classes can be taken on weeknights beginning at 6:15pm and the MPS courses are scheduled for Saturday mornings beginning at 9:00am.

What are the deadlines for applying?

Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis with deadlines on August 1 for the fall semester and December 15 for the spring semester. International students must also secure studying visas, of course, and that often is more complex than the application to the university.

Can I begin the program in 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. The program works on a semesterly basis, not an annual basis, so starting at either point is perfectly fine. There is no difference in the sequence and availability of courses.

What are the admission requirements?

In accordance with the University catalog, applicants must possess an undergraduate degree in graphic, industrial, interior, or fashion design, architecture, or related design or business fields from an accredited college or university with at least a 2.7/4.0 GPA.

Applicants should have a well-rounded education, as gained through general education courses.
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 must submit a personal essay and two letters of recommendation. The personal essay should be 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. The two recommendation letters are to be from employers, professors, or professional associates, signed by the writer.
A one-page résumé is strongly encouraged.
An interview is not required, but recommended.
A portfolio is not required, but may be an advantage in the admissions process.
Evidence of internship, volunteer, or prior employment in design management, marketing, business or a studio setting will be viewed favorably.
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.

How long is the program?

It typically takes four semesters to complete the MPS program’s 42 credit hours. You may begin in either the fall or spring semesters and you may elect to take business courses in the summer to spread the coursework more evenly throughout the year. The MPS courses are only offered in the fall and spring.

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