Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Management (DMgt)

First Advisor

Dr. Joseph E. Sweeney

Second Advisor

Dr. Steven F. Freeman

Third Advisor

Prof. Aftab A. Gharda


Higher design education in India is not recognized as one of the major educational pathways, which has led to a system in which both public and private institutions offer design degrees without reference to fixed standards of curriculum and uniformity. There is also a lack of publicly available information and knowledge about design schools along with the immense complexity and diversity within the offerings of different design programs at various institutions (Coyle, Lotten, & Dubber, 2015). Prospective design students are at risk of pursuing courses of studies that neither adequately prepare nor credential them for professional work or graduate studies. There is an urgent need for a publicly available information system that can guide future design students to learn about the differences in these institutional offerings and then make an informed decision.

My project lays the foundation for such a system from the gathered wisdom of design professionals. Employing a conceptual framework built upon a human-centered approach combined with the pragmatic philosophy that underpins design as a discipline I gathered and analyzed data from 43 Indian design professionals. My purpose was to develop a clear and nuanced understanding of the schools, programs, and other factors a prospective design student should consider when choosing their education. From those survey responses, I established seven broad categories that represent what design professionals most value in designer preparation and ii education. My guidance framework, constructed upon the data that I gathered, is intended to offer prospective Indian design students a tool to help them make informed decisions about which Indian design program is well suited for them. More broadly, this project is a starting point from which I aim to take an active role in helping Indian design programs revise, update, and improve the overall quality of the education they offer.


A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Management in Strategic Leadership