Healthcare and Healing Environments, MSD

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The MSD program with a concentration in design of health care and healing environments is focused on the science and experiences behind the built environment's real and perceived impacts on health and wellness. To this end, the concentration in design of health care and healing environments emphasizes the intersection and integration of evidence-based research and practice, transdisciplinary studies, best practices, and innovation in supporting and advancing the design of healthy environments, products and processes. This concentration enables students to explore and synthesize principles from a variety of disciplines that include innovation, architecture, design, communication, human behavior, policy, quality and performance improvement, among others, to arrive at a thorough understanding of the critical issues facing the health care industry.

Students in this concentration will have opportunities to:

  • be mentored by local health care design consultants
  • communicate with forward-thinking health care research centers
  • engage directly with real clients
  • interact with prominent health care organizations
  • participate in industry conferences
  • team with nursing and health innovation faculty and students

At A Glance

Healthcare and Healing Environments, MSD

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete this graduate level program.

View Plan of Study

Degree requirements

Students may choose to complete the graduate work by way of a thesis or an applied project. A master's degree thesis is a scholarly endeavor that demonstrates the ability of the author to do supervised research and intellectual writing. The applied project is somewhat different. It includes a project and a written document and is a scholarly endeavor that demonstrates the ability of the designer to do supervised research and present substantial evidence of the ability to apply research creatively to a design situation.

Admission requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in graphic design, industrial design, interior design or a related design discipline from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. portfolio
  4. letter of intent
  5. contact information for three references
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency. The minimum score for admission to the program is 80 (internet-based) or 550 (paper-based). Other information for international applicants can be found at

When applying for admission, applicants must declare one of seven concentrations:

  • arts, media and engineering
  • design of health care and healing environments
  • industrial design
  • interaction design
  • interior design
  • new product innovation
  • visual communication design

The portfolio, letter of intent and contact information for three references need be submitted to SlideRoom ( The Design School requires that these be submitted in addition to Graduate Admission Services application requirements.

Admission to the program is selective. Admission cannot be deferred; students must enroll in the semester for which they are admitted, otherwise they will need to go through the entire application process again for the year in which they are applying.

A personal interview is not required; however, a candidate wishing to visit the school is welcome and should make arrangements by contacting the department.

Teaching or Research Assistantships
Applicants wishing to be considered for teaching or research assistantships should submit an additional statement outlining areas in which they feel competent to serve as a teaching or research assistant. All interested applicants can apply for a teaching assistantship position online. The link to the application will be provided on the MSD website.

All international teaching or graduate assistants whose primary language is not English are required to be certified in their English language abilities. Those individuals whose native language is not English will be required to submit a Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit score, which is administered at ASU. Students also have the option of completing the Test of Spoken English, administered directly by the Educational Testing Service. For this group, no personnel action form will be signed until this examination has been successfully completed.