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Option in Digital Design

The Master of Science in Design and Merchandising, option in Digital Design, engages students in theoretical frameworks, methods and critical media practice related to computational, interactive media focusing on design. Through rigorous creative and research projects, the program prepares students for continued study in a PhD program or industry employment. Working closely with an innovative faculty and technology at OSU, students will employ emerging technologies to communicate interactive narratives and experiences, while also producing cutting-edge research in Design.



Our industry-based hybrid (online and onsite) curricula is taught by nationally recognized faculty in fully equipped design studios and Virtual Reality computer labs. The master’s program requires 30 credit hours for completion and students may choose between a traditional research thesis or a design thesis option. The design thesis option is based on the creation of original work that represents processes of experimental design. A 4+1 option gives students the opportunity to earn both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in five years.


Course topics for the master’s degree include:

  • Virtual and Augmented Reality Applications in Design, Housing and Merchandising
  • Advanced Digital Design Communication
  • Topics in Building Information Modeling
  • Theories of Creative Process in Design and Merchandising
  • Planning and proposal writing
  • Statistical methods

Course Information

Mixed Reality Lab


Research and Faculty

The master's degree option in Digital Design has a research focus on digital media, including virtual and augmented reality for evidence-based design (healthcare environments, educational environments etc.), design computational research and design cognition research. Our research laboratories feature virtual and augmented reality software and equipment, including eye-tracker, psychophysiological equipment and 3D printing capabilities. Our virtual reality classroom is equipped with 25 virtual reality stations.


Meet our expert faculty



Applications to the program are accepted only for the Fall semester, and the deadline to apply is January 31. To apply to the program, please submit the following:

  • Graduate College application
  • Transcripts from all previously attended institutions (3.5 minimum graduate GPA required) 
  • Current resume/vita
  • Professional goal statement (two-pages)
  • Three letters of recommendation 



Full-time students may be eligible for graduate assistantships in the Department of Design and Merchandising as either as a Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) or a Graduate Research Associate (GRA). These positions are highly competitive and typically awarded in the spring semester. Those granted assistantships are eligible to receive a tuition waiver, health insurance and stipend. 




Financing graduate school


Stipends, Tuition Waivers and Benefits

Assistantship Health Insurance

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