We teach the practice and theory of interaction design—designing products, services, and interactions to change human behavior and improve the world.
Our emphasis is on addressing humanitarian problems. We focus on problems that matter, and students learn to recontextualize design in the space of large-scale "wicked problems."
Founder Jon Kolko is recognized as a thought-leader in developing and advancing the role of interaction design in product development and social entrepreneurship. Our faculty are all world-class working practitioners.
Our program is affordable. Our annual tuition is just $18,000 for our one-year course, which runs 480 course hours. Compare this with other similar graduate programs that cost $60,000, $70,000, or even $80,000.
Our classes sizes are small, providing extensive face-time with professors and the opportunity to form lasting relationships with a growing support network.
We've developed a supportive, collaborative community of alumni to help current students succeed and to help one-another drive impact.
In a word, students who complete our program gain autonomy. This is a sense of entrepreneurial freedom—that your choices are not set or constrained, and that you have concrete skills to shape the world around you. These skills include qualitative research, synthesis and interpretation, sketching, the creation of storyboards and wireframes, entrepreneurial business modeling, service design blueprinting, and complex system diagramming. These skills represent the foundation of a career in product management, design strategy, interaction design, and social entrepreneurship.
More importantly, you'll gain an empathetic process and a unique, empathetic way of thinking about culture and technology. This process is broad, and can be used in corporate and consulting contexts, in startups or small businesses, and even in politics and government.
Design is for everyone, and our students have a variety of backgrounds. Some of our students are already designers, but most aren't. Our typical applicants have experience in marketing, engineering, fine arts, finance, or the service industry. Our program teaches design fundamentals in addition to advanced topics, in a rigorous, intense environment. There is no expectation that our students enter the program as designers; we take care of teaching that.
AC4D is a 480 course-hour program that runs from late August through early May.
Application for 2019-2020 will open on Oct 1, 2018. They are due by Jan 15, 2019.Learn more.
Our one year program costs $18,000. The first payment of $9,000 is due in the summer, prior to classes beginning, and the second payment is in January (at the half-way point).
AC4D is extraordinarily intense, time consuming and difficult. We’ve structured the program to include as much content and rich experience as possible and it requires a strong, formal commitment from students.
Nicole Nagel currently works on the survey team at Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG), where she designs and executes B2B and consumer studies. Her research helps inform private equity and venture capital firms’ investments, as well as guides the strategy of their portfolio companies. Nicole’s work has challenged her to consider the most effective ways to elicit both unbiased and engaged answers from top professionals in a diverse set of industries. She would now like to take this experience and foc...
Engagement is about participation. It’s a word relevant in civics, in social and cognitive psychology, and in education. Fundamentally, it’s about autonomy, motivation, and empowerment: you are engaged when you are motivated to purposefully direct your attention. Attention is about focused concentration. The world is competing for your focus. External events cause your eyes to…
We’ve been repeatedly challenged to learn this rule at AC4D: The quickest way to understand whether your concept works is to show it to someone else. This week, our challenge was to show our Q3 banking app wireframes to a working developer, work through their questions and responses (and rejections!), and get an estimate of workdays needed to…