Master of Advanced Studies
in Interaction Design

FAQ

Interested to apply for the MAS in Interaction Design? Please find here the list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Admission requirements

What background do I need to participate in the program?
We do not require a specific educational background: the program is multi-disciplinary. The class is usually composed of designers from all disciplines, architects, engineers, and individuals interested in interaction design. We look for talented people open to working in a team, with a positive attitude towards learning and facing new challenges.

Do I need to submit an English Language Certificate?
No, we do not require any language certificate. Your level must be good enough to interact with the teachers and to present your projects.

I do not have a degree, but I have professional experience in fields related to design, technology, communication and innovation. Can I apply?
Yes, you can be admitted upon the evaluation of your portfolio and CV. If you do not have a portfolio of projects, we evaluate your CV and motivation letter.

Tuition

When do I have to pay the tuition?
The tuition is divided in three installments. The first installment is the “advanced payment” and must be paid within one month after the evaluation. The other two installments must be paid before the beginning of the program.

Can I pay my tuition through a custom payment plan?
In some cases, SUPSI administration allows students to pay the tuition through a custom payment plan. The deadlines are discussed and agreed upon the enrolment.

Content

Do I need prior knowledge of specific software and hardware?
Some people are already experts in software, others have no programming experience at all. Workshops of the first module allow students to acquire or increase their knowledge in programming, electronics, digital fabrication to make prototypes work. We ensure enough faculty support and the class composition facilitates peer learning.

Will I attend theoretical courses on interaction design at MAS ID SUPSI?
No, there are no theoretical classes, but only short lectures that introduce the brief and the challenge of the course.

Are all courses distributed over the semester or are they intensive?
Most of the courses are intensive workshops, from morning to afternoon, from Monday to Friday for 1 or 2 or 3 weeks.

What is the daily schedule like?
The schedule is usually everyday from 9:30 until 18:00. Students develop their project with the support of the teachers. Some days are dedicated to the personal work. The presence is mandatory only when the teachers are in class.

What tools, software, and materials do I need to participate in the program?
You have to bring your own laptop. We do not provide any software or licenses. Most of the software we teach is open-source or free such as Processing, Arduino, HTML, javascript, D3js, and Fusion 360. Physical and electronic prototyping materials such as wood, metal, fabric, paper, electronic components, etc. are included in the tuition fee. Some courses have an assigned budget and the students are asked to stay within that.

Do you arrange and offer an internship during and after the program?
No, we do not arrange and offer any internship. However, during the program, students get in touch with professionals and companies that are interested in acquiring interns. We facilitate the creation of network, but the final agreement depends on the right match between students and professionals.

Where do students work after graduating?
Our graduates find work all over the world at the main design agencies, hi-tech companies, start-ups and organizations such as Frog Design, Fjord, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Philips, Trivago, etc. Some of them have started their own business and successful start-ups. The employment rate for our graduates is almost 100%. Some of them start working as soon as they complete their studies while others find a qualified job within 6 months.

Practicalities

Do I need a visa to participate in the program?
Extra-EU citizens require a visa to reside in Switzerland for the duration of the program. EU citizens participating in the program need to apply for the residence permit upon their arrival in Switzerland to study, no visa is therefore required. You can find detailed information about permit and visa here.
Even if we do support students, a visa is not guaranteed as this is a separate administration process over which SUPSI has no control. We suggest starting the visa process as soon as you are enrolled through the payment of the first installment because it requires from 1 to 4 months to get approved and issued.

Does the university provide the accommodation?
No, students have to find accommodation by themselves. SUPSI helps by providing information about housing solutions. Here the list of platforms with ads.

What is the average monthly budget for living in Switzerland?
Most participants manage comfortably on a monthly budget of around 1500 CHF (approx. 1350 Euro). This includes food/rent in shared accommodation. This amount varies and is related to personal choices.

Can I work while studying at the program?
To complete and get the certification, you must attend at least 75% of each course schedule. This condition reduces the possibility to work regularly. During the first and second modules, from September to January, all courses are organized as intensive workshops whose schedule requires full-time attendance from morning to late afternoon. While working during evening hours can be possible, we strongly discourage students to do so. During the third module, the courses are less intensive but personal work is required to submit the assignments. It follows that it is possible to work part-time on small projects and duties.
Starting from April, during the thesis module, attendance is not mandatory therefore it is possible for students to combine work duties with the thesis project development.

Where is the SUPSI campus?
The MAS in Interaction Design is at SUPSI campus in Mendrisio, Ticino, Switzerland. Main distances are: 15km from Lugano, 10km from Chiasso (Italian border), 50km from Milan, 250km from Zurich (main entry port).