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Design Challenge

In the Design Challenge, MBDS students work to translate academic research, theoretical foundations, and applied frameworks into actionable insights toward a client-focused problem.

Every spring, as part of the required Capstone Experience course, the Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences (MBDS) program organizes the Design Challenge, where our students partner with MBDS Industry Affiliates to apply cutting-edge knowledge from the fields of behavioral economics, decision sciences, network analysis, and public policy to solve real-life problems. We welcome world-leading clients in industries like health, wellness, sustainability, technology integration in marketing, and finance to collaborate with our students and provide guidance on solving the world’s toughest challenges.

In the Design Challenge, MBDS students work to translate academic research, theoretical foundations, and applied frameworks into actionable insights toward a client-focused problem. At the end of the Challenge, students present their proposed solutions to the client's senior management and leadership.

The Design Challenge is an invaluable opportunity for our students to apply their MBDS education toward developing practical solutions while gaining real-world experience.

Explore past Design Challenge questions:

  • How can behavioral science change consumer behavior to adopt reusable packaging instead of single-use plastics?
  • How can behavioral science instill trust and encourage clients to use financial robo-advisors?
  • How can we use behavioral science to activate communities of care for marginalized populations living with cancer?
  • Which messaging strategies should we use to increase participation among eligible members for health and food benefits programs?
  • How can behavioral science improve learner engagement through professional development?
  • Why are 40% of Philadelphians choosing to drink bottled water versus tap water in their homes? How can this behavior be changed?

MBDS Industry Affiliates

Interested in becoming an MBDS Industry Affiliate? See more details >

BDT
capitol one
colorado dphe
Deloitte
 lpsos
 irrational labs
Merck
newsristics
 pattern health
EY
 Beesy
Unicef
IRC
World Bank
IDB
TYM

Upcoming application deadlines

The priority admission deadline for fall 2023 is December 1, 2022. The regular deadline is February 1, 2023.

Course Descriptions

Course descriptions

See the courses and electives available to master's students.

Anu Raghuram

Student and alumni stories

“I knew I wanted to do a design challenge in the first place so that I could apply what I was learning in a real-world context.”
— Anu Raghuram, MBDS `19