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Applications for the 2024 DSD Program are open from October 2023 to January 8, 2024.

Please read the detailed Frequently Asked Questions below prior to submitting questions. If you are not able to find the answer to your question, email us at .


To hear more about the Design Strategy Development Program from DSD alumni, please visit the Program Details page to watch the webinars that we hosted in October and November 2022.


Application Process

What additional materials are needed to apply?
Refer to the How To Apply page for detailed application requirements.

Why is there a 2-part application process?
To help better evaluate the Personal Dossier, all candidates are asked to upload their application materials in two (2) places. Part I is done through the ‘Apply Now’ links at the bottom of this page, and Part II can be accessed through Slideroom here.

What is the timeline for applications? When will I find out if I have been selected for the program?
Applications are typically open from October through January. Refer to the How To Apply page for a detailed timeline.

If I were to get an interview, would I be able to do it via Skype or a phone call?
There will be no in-person interviews as a part of the application process. However, if requested, all applicants must be able to do a video interview. Refer to the How To Apply page for the anticipated dates of this interview.

Will I get to choose the host office I work in? Can I apply for multiple locations?
During the application process, you will apply to your first choice of host office, then identify up to two (2) additional offices where you are willing to work. Gensler will take into account your first preference, but will also consider your additional preferences if the first location is not available. Only select offices where you are willing and legally able to work.

Am I able to apply for this year if I applied in the past?
Yes, there is no limit to how many times you can apply to the DSD Program.

May I submit the same Personal Dossier as I submitted in the past?
You may submit the same Dossier, but we highly encourage you to create a new Dossier that reflects the experience you have accumulated since you last applied. Be aware that the Case Studies may have changed since you last applied.

How can I improve my Personal Dossier and chances of getting accepted into the DSD Program?
Be sure to carefully read all content on the website and downloads. Follow all directions. Clearly exhibit a strategic approach to design. Display excellence in visual and written communication. Exhibit a process-oriented approach to your case study.

Can I receive feedback on my application if I do not get into the DSD Program?
We are not able to provide specific, individualized feedback on your application, Personal Dossier, or interview.

What if I miss the deadline for application?
No late applications will be accepted. If you fail to complete your online application by the deadline then you may apply the following year. We highly recommend that you submit your application days before the deadline to avoid any last minute technical issues.


Program Eligibility

Who is eligible?
Anyone who has a background in designing for the built environment and who meets the criteria as outlined on our Who We’re Looking For page.

Am I eligible to apply if I will be completing my undergraduate/graduate studies in May but my graduation ceremony is after the start of the program?
Yes, as long as your educational studies have been completed, you are still eligible to apply. If requested, the school must be able to provide confirmation that you have completed your degree.

What if I am unable to begin on the start date of the program or unable to participate during the upcoming year?
Due to the structure of the program, all participants must be able to begin the program on the dates outlined in the program timeline as seen on our How To Apply page. Gensler is not able to accommodate deferment of the program, however, you may apply the following year.

I will be graduating mid-year, around January, am I eligible to apply prior to graduation?
You may apply to the DSD Program before you graduate, but you must already have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree by the beginning of the program in August in order to be eligible.

I already have a bachelor’s degree and currently working on a master’s. Can I apply to the program while I’m still in school?
The program is full-time employment so you must evaluate your ability to work full time and attend school. There may be times that you may be expected to travel for the program or for work. In your Personal Dossier, clearly indicate how you propose to manage both school and work.

Are current Gensler employees eligible?
No, current employees are not eligible for the program. Current or past interns, scholarship winners, fellows, and co-op students are eligible.


Candidate Criteria

Do I need a design background? Which majors does Gensler usually seek for the DSD Program?
You must possess experience or education relating to the design of the built environment in areas such as: design strategy, interior design, environmental design, urban design, industrial design, and architecture. We are especially interested in graduates with experience in other disciplines that augment your design background, for example: business, finance, research methods, technology, engineering, brand strategy, anthropology, psychology, sociology, organizational development, and other fields beyond design that can contribute unique insights into solving challenging design problems.

Do I need previous experience in consulting or design strategy to apply?
No past experience in consulting or design strategy is required. However, you should look carefully at the Who We’re Looking For section of the website to get a sense of the types of projects we work on and the services we offer. You should have a close affinity with analysis, strategy, synthesis, and storytelling.

What skills do I need?
You can find a list of required skills on our Who We’re Looking For page.


Program Details

Where is Gensler’s Design Strategist Development Program located?
The DSD Program is hosted in twelve (12) Gensler offices, including:

Austin, Texas
Baltimore, Maryland
Boston, Massachusetts
London, United Kingdom
Los Angeles, California
Morristown, New Jersey
New York, New York
Raleigh, North Carolina
San Francisco, California
Seattle, Washington
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Washington, D.C.

Is this a paid position with Gensler that includes benefits, bonuses, etc?
During your time in the program, you will receive a competitive entry-level salary and the full benefits package that Gensler offers in the host office where you are located. See the great rewards for working at Gensler.

How long is the DSD Program? How long is my commitment to Gensler?
The program is 18-months long. By applying to the program, we anticipate that you will be fully committed to Gensler for the duration of the program and beyond as a full-time team member.

Is it possible to complete the program early or leave the program before it ends?
As long as you remain at Gensler, we anticipate that you will remain in the DSD Program until its completion. However, just as with any job, circumstances may warrant an early exit.

Will I be able to transfer to another host office during the program?
Though we prefer you to begin and end the program at the same host office, we understand life is full of unexpected turns. We will review transfers on a case-by-case basis.

What types of experiences will I have and skills will I gain during this program?
Refer to the Who We’re Looking For page for a detailed idea of the types of work you will be doing, and to the Program Details page for a summary of the curriculum elements of the program.

Will I be able to work towards an architecture or interior design license during the program?
Yes, you will have opportunities to gain some experience needed to obtain a license. However, it is likely that you will not gain all experience needed due to the nature of the design analyst role.

How many other participants will be in the program?
The exact number of participants in the program will be determined at the end of the application process, although we anticipate around 8 to 18 participants across all host offices.

Can I take time off during the program for vacations, family emergencies, etc.?
Upon hire, you will adopt the same Paid Time Off (PTO)/Annual Leave policy as any Gensler employee at that host office. All time-off requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

How do I know if the Design Strategist Development Program is right for me?
This program and a career in Strategy are not right for everyone. To be a Gensler design strategist, you must have a passion for design and helping clients solve tough problems that go beyond the built environment. You should have an interest in defining a problem and developing strategic solutions that give guidance to our design teams.

Will I be expected to come into the office?
As a design firm oriented around a global and local strategy, a core part of Gensler’s fabric is our connection and impact on the built environment, the cities, and the communities where our offices are located. While there is flexibility, we do expect the majority of the week to be in the office. Working together is a critical part of our One Firm-Firm culture; where collaboration, mentoring, coaching, and personal and professional growth can happen in our shared workspaces.

Will Gensler pay my expenses for relocating to a host office for the program?
All expenses regarding your move, housing, and living during the program are your responsibility.


Post Program

What happens at the end of the program?
DSD participants that successfully complete the program will continue as full-time team members in their Gensler office unless there are special circumstances to consider. New employment opportunities within Gensler will depend on our business and practice needs, along with your professional goals and degree of flexibility.

Do I remain in the Strategy practice after successful completion of the program?
The intention of the program is to develop the next generation of talent in our Strategy practice area. However, the role you play within the firm after completing the program is dependent upon your career goals and Gensler’s business needs. Your position may require you to utilize more of your educational background while also drawing upon your new skills as a design strategist. We will take your passions and interests into consideration as we work with you in post-program career planning.

Don’t forget to include your Personal Dossier in your application!

Design Strategist Development (DSD) Program

Program Details | Who We’re Looking For | How to Apply | FAQs