Today's design research problems are different from the past; they are more complex and call for inter- and multidisciplinary work. Design faculty and doctoral students are hindered in this work by the curricular content and pedagogy of the terminal master's degree. Students graduate from professional MFA design programs often unprepared to pose truly researchable questions, recognize multiple research paradigms and their corresponding standards, structure methodologically rigorous investigations or even author papers longer than a few pages. These shortfalls persist in the scholarly pursuits of many design faculty and extend to the institutional adoption of alternate evaluation criteria from the research thresholds in other fields. Strengthening of the quality in doctoral research and supervision, therefore, depends to some extent on rethinking master's study in design.

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