Apply now for the Design Thinking Basic Track

Apply now for the Basic Track

Applications for the Design Thinking Basic Track  program in the summer semester of 2023 are now open. Interested students and recent graduates from all disciplines and universities can apply online until January 31st, 2023.

To apply for the Basic Track, please register on our online application platform. Please upload all necessary documents including your CV, your confirmation of enrollment and your personal T-Profile. Your application needs to be completed and submitted by January 31st, 2023.

You can also sign up for our application reminder and we will inform you via email once the application period for the upcoming semester starts.


The application process


How to apply for the Basic Track
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Download our infosheet: How to apply for the Basic Track

After the application period for the summer semester of 2023 comes to and end, we will thoroughly screen all applications together with our coaching team. In the beginning of February 2023, we will inform you about the status of your application.

Applicants who pass the first selection round will receive an invitation to one of our virtual  D-Camp workshops. The D-Camp workshops will take place between February 20th and 23rd, 2023 - Save the dates!

Important dates for applicants of the summer semester of 2023:

January 31st, 2023: Application deadline

Beginning of February 2023: First round of selection (HPI D-School internal)

Middle of February 2023: Invitations to the D-Camps

Virtual D-Camps:

D-Camp I: February 20th and 21st, 2023, from 9:30 am -1:30 pm (CET)

D-Camp II: February 20th and 21st, 2023, from 1:00 - 5:00 pm (CET)

D-Camp III: February 22nd and 23rd, 2023, from 9:30 am -1:30 pm (CET)

D-Camp IV: February 22nd and 23rd, 2023, 1:00 - 5:00 pm (CET)

Beginning of March 2023: Announcement of the final admission decision

Middle of April 2023: Start of the summer semester


Do you have questions about the Basic Track or the application process? Then join our our Online Q&A Session on January 25th, 2023!


Participants share their experiences


If you would like to hear more insights from our participants, watch our YouTube playlist!


Basic Track in the summer semester of 2023: Participation on-site or online

In the upcoming summer semester, we will offer the Design Thinking Basic Track in two formats: You can choose to participate on-site at the HPI D-School in Potsdam or experience the program in a virtual format.

Please tick in our application form whether you would like to participate on-site or online. This information is important so that we can plan the best learning experience for participants on-site or completely virtually. It also allows us to better match you in your Design Thinking teams.

The program takes place two days per week. It consists of live inputs from our program and coaching team and collaborative teamwork on-site or in the digital space, supported by interactive live coaching sessions. We use various digital tools for both formats, such as the virtual whiteboard "Miro" and our online learning platform "openHPI".

Our program team also creates an open culture of experimentation in the virtual space, promoting creative confidence (concept of psychological safety). The virtual format we offer can be conducted from any location. Please note that participants must be willing to actively participate during the day on the program days in the CET/CET time zone.

All participants will have access to our physical Design Thinking spaces, all of which are equipped with appropriate technology to work in a hybrid setting (part of the team on-site, part of the team remote/distributed). This results in an innovative hybrid format that defines the next step towards "new work". We want to allow all participants in our program to experience this new innovative form of collaboration.

Weekly structure of the Basic Track:

Weekly structure Basic Track
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To successfully complete the Basic Track, you will need to invest approximately 16 hours per week (two full days): eight hours of mandatory program days, Tuesdays and Fridays, from 9:15 am to 2:30 pm, plus eight hours of asynchronous and synchronous teamwork time. We suggest that you schedule this teamwork time immediately after the program days, from 2:30 to 5:00 pm.

Please also check our FAQ.


General information about the Basic Track-Programm

All students in the Basic Track contribute a participation fee of 750 Euros, which helps the organization to offset the expenses of the program. For current HPI students, PhD candidates, and employees of HPI, the participation in the Basic Track program is free of charge.

The Design Thinking Basic Track is an official certificate study program of the University of Potsdam.

Unfortunately, participation in the Basic Track program is not acknowledged as official educational leave by the state of Brandenburg.

Key information about the Basic Track program:

- Students can participate in either the summer or the winter semester

- The program follows the structure of the academic year

- All students begin with the Basic Track program

- Interested students may continue with the optional Advanced Track to further consolidate and enrich their knowledge and skills

- Participation in the Advanced Track is possible either directly after completion of the Basic Track or up to three semesters later

- Both Basic Track and Advanced Track require two full days of attendance per week

- Students work in small, multidisciplinary, international teams

- Students work closely with, and take advantage of mentorship from our large team of experienced coaches

- Projects are carried out in cooperation with partner organizations from business, politics and society

- After completing the program, graduates receive a HPI D-School certificate of attendance

- Students and alumni enjoy the benefits of the international HPI D-School network

You can find answers to frequently asked questions on our FAQ page.

What kind of applicants are we looking for?

We are looking for creative thinkers, so-called “T-shaped people.” These are people who are prepared to see the world and its inhabitants from new and different perspectives. Selected applicants get the unique opportunity to enter into an intensive exchange with engaged people from different cultures, universities, and areas of specialization. Through the open, motivated and experimentally creative collaboration of five to six students per team, students develop innovative solutions for real problems from business and society along with our organizational partners. We accept a maximum of 80 students in the Basic Track each semester.



(Employed) professionals

HPI students


Elisabeth Höpner

HPI School of Design Thinking
Assistant (Programm Coordination)

Tel.: +49 -331-5509-507

E-Mail an HPI D-School Office

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