The Department of Design prepares students for the professional practice of industrial, interior and visual communication design by implementing a progressive and future-oriented undergraduate and graduate curriculum. The Department is committed to the furtherance of professional standards in cooperation with industry, government, and other societal institutions.
The Department imparts contemporary design knowledge and skills to students by providing an environment for the advancement and exploration of new design knowledge and practices. Within the undergraduate and graduate programs, students learn a process-oriented approach that provides them with a continuous stream of learning experiences that seek to produce optimized solutions that narrow the gap between “the existing” and “the desired.” This learning is conducted in manners that are similar to experiences encountered in current and emerging professional practice within a progressive culture of creativity, collaboration, and inclusion that best serves our desire to attract, support, and retain talented and high-achieving students and faculty.
The Department creates a responsive educational program that acknowledges emerging global design economies and cultures. It does this by recognizing the need for its students and faculty to form and strengthen relationships with other faculty within this and other universities and schools of design. We do this by fostering collaborative research and encouraging international study trips, exchange agreements and study abroad programs. The Department also promotes national and international interaction with professional organizations and societies, industries, governmental agencies and advocacy groups, and involvement with the community-at-large through participation in internships, service-learning projects, and social innovation-oriented research projects and practices.
The faculty and students of the Department of Design are actively engaged in innovative research and creative scholarship and practices that advance the university’s legacy of knowledge production and societal engagement. We do this by working in areas that contribute to the critique and evolution of culture, its institutions and systems, and the quality of human environment and interactions through disciplinary and collaborative cross-disciplinary inquiries.
The Department recognizes that the discipline of design, as well as the standards and expectations that define the discipline are always changing. In this regard, the Department is accordingly committed to improving itself in all aspects of its mission. This property of continuous improvement will drive all areas of curriculum development, recruitment, ongoing reflection and evaluation, and service to entities related to the university and beyond.
We offer two in-house travel study programs. Students can opt to participate in a community engagement project with partners at Mackenzie University in Sao Paulo Brazil as part of a collaborative studio course. They can also enroll in a four week trip to Milan, Italy, where they partner with students at the Milano Politecnico to focus on futuring and trends in the urban designed environment.
We are connected to design associations such as The Industrial Designers Society of America, The International Interior Design Association, The American Institute of Graphic Arts, and The Interaction Design Association. We have both local chapters of these organizations in our city, as well as student chapters in the institution. We are also well-connected to industry locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, having both internship programs and sponsored projects at all levels.
Undergraduate programs - professional practice + human-centered design Graduate programs - interdisciplinary design research + development, digital animation + interactive media
faculties and departments
Department of Design
bachelor level programs
Bachelor of Science in Design: Industrial Design Bachelor of Science in Design: Interior Design Bachelor of Science in Design: Visual Communication Design All programs are 4 years.
master level programs
MFA Design Research and Development
MFA Digital Animation and Interactive Media
Both programs are 2-3 years
research activity and main areas
As above + industry-sponsored collaborations
doctorate level programs