Major in Design

The program integrates coursework in graphic design, digital media design, and environmental design into a dynamic interdisciplinary studio concentration. By practicing design in an expanded field, students gain comprehensive experience with a wide range of process-oriented skills, including conceptual development, visual rhetoric, formal experimentation, and critical thinking.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will gain:

  • solid historical knowledge of the objects of art and principal artists of all major periods, and their associated theories, analysis and criticism, including a broad understanding of the cultural diversity of art movements from prehistoric times through contemporary culture, both locally and globally
  • an understanding of basic visual principles, concepts, media, and formats in the various fine art disciplines, and the ability to apply them to meet a specific objective, including an ability to think critically and propose creative solutions to aesthetic problems
  • a deep appreciation and knowledge of how to use their skills to work with diverse communities both locally and globally to create social change, including the acquisition of professional skills that will serve them as postgraduate students, professional practitioners, educators, and community leaders
  • knowledge and skills in the use of basic tools, technologies, and processes sufficient to conduct advanced research or project work, including the mastery of bibliographic research and understanding of the digital tools and processes necessary to develop that research


48 units


First Year

  • ART 101 Survey of Western Art History I
  • ART 102 Survey of Western Art History II
  • ART 104 Fabrication Lab (0-1 unit course)
  • ART 120 Art Fundamentals
  • ART 155 Visual Communication I
  • ART 175 Visual Communication II

Second Year

  • ART 205 Typography
  • ART 252 Publication Design

Third Year

  • ART 315 Digital Literacy
  • 1-3 Design Electives (see below)

Fourth Year

  • ART 460 Senior Design Project
  • 1-3 Design Electives (see below)


Design Studio Electives (1-course)

  • ART 335 Information Visualization
  • ART 345 Exhibition Design Practicum
  • ART 350 Advanced Typography
  • ART 385 Interaction Design

additional special topics, see program director

Design Seminar Electives (1-course)

  • ART 301 Design + Social Change Seminar
  • ART 304 Sustainable Systems in Design
  • ART 314 History of Design Seminar

additional special topics, see program director

Professional Practice Electives (1-course)

  • ART 450 Design Internship
  • ART 480 Professional Practice in Design

Minimum Grade Requirements

Students majoring or minoring in Design must obtain a minimum grade of a "C-" (C minus) in all required Design courses in order to receive credit for that course toward the major/minor. If the minimum C- grade is not achieved and the course is a prerequisite for a higher-level course, the student may not register for the higher-level course until the prerequisite course is repeated and a C- minimum grade is achieved.