University to offer new master’s program in design thinking

Radford University's Department of Interior Design & Fashion has announced its first graduate program, a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree in design thinking.

To begin in fall 2012, the M.F.A. in Design Thinking will be offered completely online, with students having the option to complete the program part time in four years or full time in two years.

“We’re so excited,” said Holly Cline, interim chair of the department. “This is great, great news. The online component will allow anyone in the country or the world to complete this degree.”

The M.F.A. in design thinking is intended to augment any bachelor’s degree, Cline said, meaning that the program does not require prospective students to have undergraduate degrees in design. “This program is more about the power of thought and how the design process embodies good decision making,” Cline said.

Design thinking is a protocol for solving problems and discovering new opportunities. It is described in depth in the 2006 book “Design Thinking … What is That?” by award-winning industrial designer Mark Dziersk.

Radford’s new graduate program was created by a team of designers, artists and instructors familiar with this type of thinking process, Cline said. She commended Joan Dickinson, program coordinator, for her contribution to developing the curriculum for the degree.

The Department of Interior Design & Fashion, part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, offers an undergraduate degree with concentrations in fashion design, interior design, merchandising for design, design management and design culture; and a minor in design appreciation.

For information about the new M.F.A. in design thinking, visit the ID&F website or contact Dickinson at

Aug 9, 2011
Keith Hagarty