Fellowship Program




The Designmatters Fellowship Program embeds top ArtCenter students in host organizations for one full 14-week academic term to work on high-level projects and explore the mission, model and meaning of the host organization’s work.

In recognition of the diverse and growing field of socially conscious organizations advancing positive change, the Designmatters Fellowship Program offers two types* of Fellowships:


1 Business for Social Innovation Fellowships

Launched in 2012, the Designmatters Business for Social Innovation Fellowships place Fellows in social enterprises and companies working to address critical social issues through strategic partnerships, sustainability, market-based approaches and new business models. These Fellows combine the powers of human centered design and business to bring innovative solutions and foresight to complex, evolving consumer and economic trends.

Past Business for Social Innovation Fellowship hosts include Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Proximity Designs, the City of Long Beach and Dalberg Global Development Advisors.


2 International Development Fellowships

Since 2006, Designmatters International Development Fellows have served government, nonprofit and multilateral organizations that perform humanitarian work on a global scale. These Fellows use design to address global issues such as hunger, poverty, healthcare and education in dynamic, complex, mission-driven organizations.

Past International Development Fellow hosts include UNICEF’s Innovation Unit, UNFPA, Doctors Without Borders, Ashoka Changemakers, Acacia Foundation, OAS, PAHO, International Rescue Committee, UNDP, AED, UNESCO and the United Nations DPI.


*Occasionally Designmatters will facilitate a custom Fellowship opportunity between a Designmatters Concentration student and a select host organization for a special project, including concepts first developed in Designmatters Partner Studios.  For more information, please contact us.

How to Apply



Designmatters Fellowships are open only to currently enrolled students at ArtCenter College of Design. Fellows must be 5th term or above (graduate and graduating students are eligible) and in good academic standing. Fellows are selected based on a combination of exceptional design skills, professionalism and highly developed interpersonal skills.

The competitive and rigorous application process includes:

  • Preliminary review of a written application, including a letter of interest, résumé and portfolio
  • Semifinalist presentations and interviews with a multi-department selection committee
  • Finalist interview with the host organization

For more information on the requirements for specific Fellowships, please see the current Designmatters Fellowships open for application:

There are no current Fellowships open for application. Please check back or contact us to be notified when applications open.

Host or Support a Fellow



Through the generosity of host organizations and donors, Designmatters Fellowships fulfill ArtCenter College of Design’s mission to “Influence Change” by giving students the opportunity to act as change agents and citizen designers, fully engaged with the world around them.  If you are interested in hosting or supporting a Fellow, download the Program Prospectus  for more information, or contact us

Current Fellows