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First-of-Its-Kind Master’s in Design in Health Launches at UT Austin

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AUSTIN, Texas —The School of Design and Creative Technologies and the Design Institute for Health at The University of Texas at Austin are advancing the role of design with the creation of the Master of Arts in Design in Health. It is the only degree of its kind in the nation and brings together expert designers with health design specialists to teach the latest methods for health’s most complex problems.

The one-year degree program focusing on the application of human-centered design in health is offered jointly through the School of Design and Creative Technologies in the College of Fine Arts and Dell Medical School’s Design Institute for Health. Applications are now open until May 2020. The program will start August 2020.

“The Design in Health Master’s degree was uniquely constructed so that Dell Med students and innovative professionals could work collaboratively to solve real-world problems that impact the health and health care of millions of Americans every day,” said Doreen Lorenzo, assistant dean of the School of Design and Creative Technologies. “Learners explore the many facets of design to creatively design solutions that revolutionize the way people get and stay healthy.” 

As Dell Med charts a revolutionary path to health—one that shifts the focus beyond clinical care to include all the ways people get and stay healthy within their communities—it presents the unique opportunity to reshape the U.S. health system through human-centered design. The Design Institute for Health is leading the charge by addressing critically important health factors across the spectrum of conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, and taking a systems design approach to encouraging collaborations across sectors that were not designed to work together.

The M.A. in Design in Health teaches learners how to become a force of innovation by using human-centered design methodologies. Students will learn:

  • Design research methods to better understand the needs of people who are seeking health, receiving care and delivering care.
  • Ideation and creation skills to generate new approaches for better care systems.
  • How to prototype, test and iterate solutions based on measuring impact and results that matter to patients.
  • Techniques to craft compelling and persuasive experiences, stories and systems that can be used widely distribute innovations across systems of health.

“This new breed of health leaders will wield a creative, problem-solving mindset and design skills that enable them to not only see the places where the health system is broken, but also to take action to fix it,” said Stacey Chang, Executive Director of the Design Institute for Health. “When they put their design skills to work, the health system of the future will put people first. Our health care system is intrinsically flawed, and we need a new generation of care providers and design thinkers who can creatively solve health care’s most wicked problems from the inside.”