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MA/MBA Student Onboarding Experience

As the MA/MBA program is a dual-degree program between two different schools, there has historically been frustration and animosity amongst the incoming students when moving through the onboarding process. A single integrated digital platform has the ability to aid students in understanding the required action items, while giving them the ability to track their own progress. 


User Research & UX/UI Design


Johns Hopkins University and Maryland College Institute of Art


7 Day Sprint



As the MA/MBA program combines to degrees from two separate schools, the student onboarding experience can be confusing and isolating. Additionally, Students equate the onboarding experience with their first-impressions of the program as a whole. 

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research strategy

Along with user interviews, a card sort exercise was conducted with current students, faculty and alumni to uncover the chronological order and order importance users placed on each onboarding activity. 

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key insights

1. Senior MAMBAs are an important resource for new students

2. It's not just about providing all the information; it's partially about the roll-out of that information

3. Administrators lack critical information regarding other school's functions, and are generally under-resourced

How might we integrate Senior MA/MBA students into the onboarding process to allow new students to feel supported and aid under-resourced administrators?
How Might We

Create an integrated digital platform combining onboarding elements from both schools. Introduce a stage-gate process for students to step through as they are onboarded to the program. Allow administration to easily communicate with students and gain visibility to student progress throughout onboarding. Leverage senior MA/MBA students to provide additional guidance within each stage for incoming students.  

Student Wireframes
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Administration Wireframes
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