SMU Lyle to offer multidisciplinary M.A. degree in design and innovation

graduate degree programs

SMU Lyle to offer multidisciplinary M.A. degree in design and innovation

SMU Innovation GymBeginning in Fall 2015, SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering will offer a new master’s degree designed to spark creativity in problem solving across multiple disciplines.

The Master of Arts in Design and Innovation (MADI), grounded in an approach known as “design thinking,” will provide a toolkit for people working outside the typical design environment. Coursework and project-based learning experiences will teach participants to combine what people need with the possibilities created by technology and the economic requirements for business success through design research, idea generation, and rapid prototyping.

“Some of the most successful CEOs in the world are crediting the concept of ‘design thinking’ as a breakthrough approach for solving systemic problems,” said Lyle Dean Marc Christensen. “Our undergraduates have been thriving on a no-barriers approach to problem-solving through competitions and projects organized in our Deason Innovation Gym. Expanding on our undergraduate success, the Master of Arts in Design and Innovation is a great way to introduce our students to a framework and methodology for innovating and designing, which will have impact wherever their career takes them.”

Kate Canales, director of Design and Innovation Programs in the Lyle School, will lead the program. A Stanford University mechanical engineer, Canales spent her early professional years with global design and innovation firm IDEO, where she helped pioneer the use of design thinking as a means of building the capacity for innovation within companies. She arrived at the Lyle School in 2012 after working as a consultant and as creative director at frog design.

“The process and the skills these students learn will make them much different job applicants,” Canales said.  “It’s about confidence and approaching problems in ways that are not typical.  And while many engineering students will see this as a natural progression in their studies – it’s not a degree just for engineers. It’s a great fit for people pursuing careers in fields as different as business, the arts, advertising and the social sciences.”

MADI students will be able to take advantage of an unprecedented multidisciplinary approach that opens up relevant electives across SMU departments and schools on campus for the first time. The curriculum pulls from the Lyle School’s Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science and Engineering departments, as well as advertising through SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Institute, entrepreneurship through the Cox School of Business, anthropology through Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and arts entrepreneurship and creative computing through the Meadows School of the Arts.

Find out more about the MADI program at, or contact the SMU Lyle graduate recruiting office at 214-768-2002.

Written by Kimberly Cobb

> Read the full story from SMU News

April 6, 2015|News|

Cox MBA Finance Program ranked in top 10 globally for 2015

The SMU Cox School of Business graduate finance program is ranked No. 10 in the newly released Financial Times Global MBA 2015 rankings.

Cox is the only business school in Texas to make it into the publication’s specialty rankings this year. The publication bases its top 10 finance program and other specialty findings on feedback provided by MBA alumni three years after graduation.

Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University“We are very encouraged that our alumni highly rank the Cox experience three years after graduation,” said Kumar Venkataraman, Finance Department chair and James M. Collins Chair in Finance. “It is a testament to the rigorous, applied finance curriculum that helps solve real world problems.”

For the 2015 rankings, the publication surveyed Class of 2011 alumni from 159 schools in the spring and summer of 2014. At least 20 percent of each school’s alumni were required to respond, with at least 20 fully completed responses, in order for a school to be ranked. The Financial Times reports it had an overall response rate of 40 percent for the 2015 rankings survey.

In addition to gathering input for its specialty rankings, the Financial Times weighs alumni feedback with data submitted by business schools to evaluate full-time MBA programs from around the world. Since the 2013 rankings, the SMU Cox Full-Time MBA program rose 22 places in this year’s survey, coming in at No. 39 among business schools in the United States and No. 76 globally out of 159 schools that submitted data.

The Financial Times, based in London, is a leading news provider to the global business community. The paper’s business education team conducts Global MBA and Global Executive MBA (EMBA) rankings surveys annually. In the Financial Times’ EMBA rankings released in October 2014, the SMU Cox EMBA program ranked No. 15 among business schools in the U.S. and No. 63 among global business schools.

February 10, 2015|News|

SMU Lyle to offer first-of-its-kind graduate degree in datacenter systems engineering

Stock photo of an engineer in a datacenter's server farmSMU’s Lyle School of Engineering has created a new Master of Science in datacenter systems engineering, the first of its kind in the United States. The first students in this multidisciplinary program will be admitted for the Fall 2014 term.

The program is open to full-time and part-time graduate students, and is available on the Dallas campus as well as through the Lyle School’s distance education program. Enrollment is expected from current professionals in industry and government, as well as undergraduates in engineering, science, mathematics and business preparing to enter the field for the first time.

At least four million workers currently are associated with datacenter operations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and the number is expected to increase by 800,000 in 2016, and by an additional 2 million by 2018.  Approximately 70 percent of these workers will have Bachelor’s degrees or higher.

“Our society has become intimately linked to a variety of digital networks including social media, search engines, e-commerce, gaming and big data,” said Lyle Dean Marc Christensen. “Data center design is a fascinating challenge due to the millions of dollars lost per second of outage. The proper management and design of these datacenters require a diverse combination of highly specialized skills, and SMU Lyle is uniquely positioned to offer a degree that will connect all the needed technical disciplines.”

The new degree is built around five core courses that address the industry broadly, while offering elective specializations in three technical areas:

  • Facilities, infrastructure and subsystems
  • Datasystems engineering and analytics
  • Computer networks, virtualization, security and cloud computing

The program is directed toward preparing professionals for a leadership role in the field, whether specifically as a technical contributor or more broadly in management. The degree is designed to build a solid foundation for continued professional growth consistent with modern datacenter engineering practices and the changes that lie ahead for the industry.

Written by Kimberly Cobb

> Read the full story from SMU News

March 7, 2014|News|
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