Academic Programs

Admissions

Tuition & Financial Aid

Student Experience

M.A. in Design Thinking & InnovationInnovative solutions,
Practical transformation

Request Information

Master of Arts in Design Thinking & Innovation

Match your desire to solve complex problems with the tools to lead strategic innovation in your current workplace. The Master of Arts in design thinking & innovation offers online courses and flexible scheduling for adults ready to advance their careers with in-demand skills.

Taught from a Christian worldview, the program equips you to:

  • Elevate your influence with business leadership and human-centered design expertise.
  • Improve collaboration among workplace teams.
  • Create a cycle of testing and innovation in your current or aspired work.

Degree Type

  • Master of Arts

Format

  • Online

Location

  • Online

Credit Hours

  • 36

Lead With Confidence
and Character

As an image bearer of a creative God, you have the potential to transform your sphere of influence with new skills in business and creativity.

Expand Your Influence as a Servant Leader

  • Develop a workable model for ethical decision-making.
  • Learn fundamental project management techniques.
  • Use data-driven decision-making to assess business solutions.

Leverage Creative Processes for Better Results

  • Practice creative habits to create work that is novel, feasible and useful.
  • Lead a team in co-creation, and gain skills for conflict resolution with empathy tools.
  • Learn to use collaborative design tools in the workplace that result in more efficient, profitable teams and loyal customers.

Admission Requirements

  • Application
  • A completed bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.7 GPA from an accredited institution
  • Official college and/or military transcripts
  • International Students: TOEFL or IELTS score

Next Program Start

At Cornerstone, you’ll move through your degree by taking one to two courses per session through our flexible term-based model. Each session is seven weeks.

Summer 2022

Classes Start on July 5, 2022

Fall 2022

Classes Start on Aug. 31 and Oct. 26, 2022

Spring 2023

Classes Start on Jan. 17 and March 13, 2023

0%

Of students work full time while pursuing a degree.

0%

Graduation rate for master’s degree programs.

0

Each course is seven weeks.

Courses and
Learning Outcomes

Elevate your problem-solving, design thinking and innovation skills to make a difference in your organization through CU’s robust curriculum. Each course is provided in a seven-week design, except for the capstone courses, which are 15 weeks in length.

Program Courses

MGT-532 Organizational Leadership
A survey of current literature on the topic of leadership. A foundation of research and theory is laid to form the context for more specific topical study throughout the program. Special emphasis is placed on the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values in servant leadership.

BUS-530 Fundamentals of Project Management
An exploration of the framework and fundamental methodologies of project management. Topics include foundational concepts such as requirements gathering, scope management, change control and time management, as well as an introduction to common tools, techniques and the process required to become a certified Project Manager.

BUS-503 Ethics, Values and Social Responsibility
A theoretical and practical overview of ethics theory, values formation and ethical decision making within the context of management and leadership. Ethics and values are presented from a Judeo-Christian perspective with emphasis on workable models for ethical decision-making and social responsibility at both the professional and personal level.

BUS-505 Research Methods
An examination of research methods available for the 21st century organization and statistical concepts useful for data-driven decision making. Focus is placed on the systematic process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting research articles and data to answer a specific research question. The course will also introduce students to basic descriptive and inferential statistical tools within the context of a business-related problem.

MGT-539 Entrepreneurship and Innovation
A focused study of the tools needed in identifying and capitalizing on entrepreneurial business opportunities, methods for managing those opportunities and critical thinking skills needed for innovation and growth. Students work with a team to design an entrepreneurial venture. Additional topics include stimulating new ideas, managing innovative ideas, adapting to change and individual and group roles in the creative process.

DES-511 Creative Habits
A survey of the habits of professional creatives and the barriers they face in creating work that is novel, feasible and useful. Topics include creative emergence, creative habits and resistance, with an emphasis in developing a philosophy of the creative life.

DES-513 Design Thinking and Human Centered Design
A hands-on introductory exploration of the collaborative design tools of Design Thinking and Human-Centered Design. Topics include exploring and practicing the individual steps for each tool and understanding when and how to apply each tool in real-world examples and through case studies.

DES-521 Team and Group Dynamics for Design
A theoretical and practical overview of team and group dynamics, conflict resolution theories, empathy skills and co-creation frameworks. Group dynamics and conflict resolution are presented in a biblical framework with emphasis on honoring team member calling and gifts and love of neighbor in communication and collaboration. The course will also introduce students to introductory empathy tools and leading a team in co-creation.

DES-523 Service Design and Innovation
A hands-on intermediate exploration of the collaborative design tools of Design Thinking and Human-Centered Design, and an introduction to Service Design. Topics include exploring and practicing the individual steps for each tool and understanding when and how to apply each tool in real-world examples and through case studies.

DES-615 Project Managing the Design & Innovation Process I
In this course, students identify a project in their work environment or other area of interest for which they would like to create new solutions and innovation through collaborative design. Students complete a project proposal, collaborative design process and end-of-course reflection under the guidance of a faculty member.

DES-625 Project Managing the Design & Innovation Process II
In this course, students identify a project in their work environment or other area of interest for which they would like to create new solutions and innovation through collaborative design. Students complete a project proposal, collaborative design process and end-of-course reflection under the guidance of a faculty member.

DES-630 Collaborative Design Applied
A capstone designed for students to synthesize information received throughout the design program, create a plan for applying collaborative design in their workplace or area of interest and write a real-world case study. Emphasis will be placed on personal integration of collaborative design principles and reflection on how to apply biblical principles of leadership and ethics to innovation processes. Pre-requisites: all other DES courses.

Advanced Standing

Achieving your master’s degree is closer within reach as a graduate of Cornerstone University’s traditional undergraduate program. By applying courses you’ve previously taken, you can complete your degree quicker.

Students who have earned degrees in areas such as business, engineering and more have a smooth transition into getting ahead when they pursue a master’s degree. Connect with an academic adviser to learn more about your next steps in taking advantage of advanced standing.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Master of Arts in design thinking & innovation empowers students to cultivate practical solutions and new opportunities in a variety of work environments. Through the intentional curriculum, you’ll develop collaboration, design and creativity skills while expanding your influence through studies in ethics, entrepreneurship, project management and organizational leadership. You’ll develop tools in areas such as design thinking, human-centered design and creative problem solving to have a competitive advantage in meeting the innovation needs to your environment.

Specialized Knowledge

Students will demonstrate specialized knowledge of and proficiency in the terminology, concepts, practices and skills specific to collaborative design.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the core disciplines of design thinking, human-centered design and service design.
  • Exhibit understanding of disciplines and issues related to collaborative design, such as ethics, leadership, culture and entrepreneurship.

Applied Knowledge and Collaborative Learning

Students will exhibit competency in applying their knowledge to address real-life collaborative design problems through both individual and group effort.

  • Successfully use tools of design thinking, human-centered design and service design to innovate in corporate, nonprofit and volunteer environments.
  • Demonstrate creative and problem-solving skills and habits for ongoing impact in personal and professional spheres.

Intellectual Skills

Students will demonstrate their ability to integrate traditional and normative skills expected of students in the liberal arts tradition, including analytical skills, information literacy, quantitative competency and communication fluency.

Civic & Global Engagement

Students will demonstrate intercultural competence in addressing civic, social, environmental, and economic issues within collaborative design.

Biblical Worldview Integration and Action

Students will articulate a Christ-centered worldview to include its personal, professional and communal embodiment through Christian virtues.

Career Opportunities

  • Design research
  • Innovation specialist
  • Customer experience specialist
  • User engagement specialist
  • People & change consultant
  • Designer
  • Creative ethnographer

Related Programs

Cornerstone’s programs incorporate a range of opportunities to advance your influence both at the master’s and doctoral levels. Here are some other pathways related to a Master of Arts in design thinking & innovation.

Admissions Office

Hours

MON - THURS: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
FRI: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
SAT & SUN: Closed

Want to Learn More About CU?

Connect With CU