Design Technology M.S. (Ithaca)

Field of Study


Program Description

The Design Technology program is a two-year research and project degree offered jointly by the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning and Cornell Tech which culminates in a master of science (M.S. DT). Core faculty bring expertise from AAP, the Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science (Bowers CIS), Cornell Human Ecology (CHE), Cornell Engineering, and Cornell Tech. Students with an undergraduate or graduate degree in architecture, design disciplines, engineering, biological or materials science, or computer science are likely candidates for the Design Tech program.

Students pursue research in areas that bridge disciplines and domains with the aim of generating innovations across science and design for applications spanning digital tools, products, responsive materials, and the built environment. All students spend the first year in Ithaca; the second year is spent at either the Ithaca or Cornell Tech campus, depending on the student's track.

In an era when we are witnessing one of the most significant paradigm shifts in the conceptualization and creation of our environments, objects, and interfaces, the M.S. DT program, directed by Jenny Sabin, catalyzes multidisciplinary expertise, exploration, innovation, and collaboration in several emerging technology areas, including design + interaction, design + materials, design + media, and design + environments. This synergistic and cross-disciplinary approach will pioneer new modes, methods, and applications, and redefine existing practices in the advancement of experimental design and technology.

Contact Information

Phone: 607-255-4376

135 Sibley Hall

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • Design Technology
  • Matter Design Computation


Visit the Graduate School's Tuition Rates page.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall: Jan. 3

Requirements Summary:

  • A portfolio of creative work or equivalent must be submitted online via the CollegeNET application. Portfolios must be no larger than 20 MB or they will not successfully upload. All applicants are required to submit a portfolio that should represent the applicant's best work, including prior academic or professional work in the areas of computational design and digital fabrication. Published scientific and technical papers may be submitted in addition to or in lieu of a portfolio. The entire portfolio must be uploaded as one PDF file, using a landscape (horizontal) format for each page, to ensure that the width of the screen is maximally used to view each portfolio page (approximately a 4:3 ratio). If any portfolio project, drawing, or model has been produced by several designers or if the design was produced in a professional setting, each drawing must be labeled, clearly stating the number of designers, which drawings or details of drawings were produced by the applicant and a list of the names of all members of the group project. If the project was produced in an office, an office setting, or as an assistant to an author, the office name, supervisor, and all members of the team must be identified. Please note: The portfolio must be uploaded at the same time as the application is submitted (deadline January 3). Please plan your application process accordingly.
  • all Graduate School Requirements including the English Language Proficiency Requirement for all applicants
  • two - three recommendations
  • Academic/Research Statement of Purpose & Personal Statement
  • Transcripts
    • International transcripts & International degree equivalencies
  • GRE scores are no longer required or accepted

Learning Outcomes

  • Afford students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds opportunities to expand their creative design potential by increasing their knowledge and understanding of material and computational design, digital fabrication, and emerging materials and technologies at the nexus of biology, materials science, and design.
  • Bridge disciplines and domains with the aim of generating innovations across science and design for applications spanning digital tools, products, responsive materials, and the built environment.
  • Promote a culture of multidisciplinary and multicollege teaching and training across departments and colleges in Ithaca and New York City, including co-mentoring students in project-based design learning to expand offerings in emerging technology areas critical to enhance the university's impact on this growing field.
  • Foster transdisciplinary collaboration and hybrid thinking in design to prepare students for emerging careers in both the academy and in practice and industry.
  • Train cross-disciplinary leaders to engage and develop hybrid creative synthetic thinking in design through generative processes, digital fabrication, emerging technologies, and applications across disciplines.