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Master’s in Information Design and Strategy

Northwestern - Evanston, Illinois, USA

Do you want to earn a degree in information architecture, but don’t have the time or freedom to quit your job and relocate for school? At Northwestern, the Master’s in Information Design and Strategy allows students to pursue their academic goals while fulfilling their daily responsibilities at the same time.




3 Years









About This Program

As the world of information architecture grows, students from the Master in IDS program have a lot of career possibilities. Almost every organization needs data and design professionals who can help manage their information. Graduates of this information architecture program know how to translate information into visual forms and narratives, making it easy to use and understand.

The Master in IDS program helps students develop the skills that they need for an IA career. The program's primary goals are to give students the skills they need to: translate information into compelling visual forms, lead cross-functional teams to implement a comprehensive communications strategy, design seamless customer experiences, and develop solutions to business problems by combining analytics and creative skills.

Students are required to take 12 courses to complete their IA degree. Eight of these are required core classes. Three are electives courses based on the specialization they choose, and the final class is either a capstone project or a thesis. By the time they have completed the course, students will have a strong foundation of knowledge in information architecture.

The eight required core classes are Leadership, User-Centered Design, Effective Communication, User Research, Info, and Content Strategy, Data Management Principles, Info Design and Architecture, and Visual Communication. Students choose between the capstone and the thesis based on whether they are interested in pursuing a career in industry or academia. They can gain more detailed knowledge on the specifics of the field based on their IA degree specialization.

The Master's in Information Design and Strategy is offered as a part-time and entirely online degree. This means that students in this information architecture program can continue to progress in their career and other goals while earning their Master's. Most students complete the program in two or three years but have up to five years to finish their IA degree.

For the Content Strategy specialization, the three electives are Advanced Writing Workshop, Social Media and Content Curation, and Persuasion. For the Data Science and Analytics specialization, the three electives are Introduction to Data Collection and Analytics, Introduction to Techniques of Predictive Analytics, and Data Visualization. For the Learning Design specialization, the courses are Introduction to Learning Theory, Instructional Design, and Learning Environmental Design. The fourth option is a specialization in Interdisciplinary Studies, where students can create their own course of study.

In order to apply, students need to complete the online application, including official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a 300-word statement of purpose, and a resume. Most candidates have 3-5 years of work experience, although recent graduates and mid-career professionals are also welcome to apply. The entire program costs around $42,372, however, tuition rates change each year.

About This School

Northwestern University was established in 1851 in Evanston, Illinois. There are more than 21,000 students enrolled. The school has the tenth largest university endowment in the United States and has some of the most highly ranked professional schools in the country. Northwestern is a member of the Big Ten Conference.

What I Will Learn

Why We Recommend This IA School Program

A degree in information design from a well-known university is valuable on its own, but one that is fully online is definitely worth checking out. Northwestern makes it easy to learn from the comfort of your home so that you can enter a growing, in-demand field. This program can help anyone transition into or make the first steps toward a career in information architecture or online content creation.

Course Requirements / Prerequisites

Applicants to this information architecture program must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. GRE scores are not required, but are recommended for students with below a B average.

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