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The First Year Experience

Students enter the College of Design into one of five majors: Architecture, Art + Design, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, and Design Studies (non-studio based major). The first year experience centers on courses that are populated with a mix of students from the five disciplines. They include introductions to the design process, a design vocabulary, and fundamental principles of designing. Project activities include hands-on work, discussions, demonstrations, critiques, and occasional field trips. Emphasis is on interaction, independence, self-discipline and self-motivation.

In both semesters, the first year experience emphasizes learning how to use the design process, establishing disciplined work habits, communicating about design, using studio design vocabulary, and working in collaboration with others, thus forming the foundation for all subsequent design activity in the college and later in the professions.

Curricula and Degrees

The College of Design offers undergraduate instruction leading to the four-year Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture, Bachelor of Art + Design, Bachelor of Graphic Design, Bachelor of Industrial Design, Bachelor of Arts in Design Studies (non-studio based), as well as a one-year postgraduate program leading to the Bachelor of Architecture. The General Education component of each curriculum consists of courses in mathematical and natural sciences, physical education, science/technology/society, and communication and information technology. In addition to 6-credit hour design studios (not applicable to Bachelor of Arts in Design Studies, a non-studio based major) where students apply their expanding knowledge and skills to theoretical and practical design problems, majors in the College of Design take support courses dealing with design knowledge and skills, such as communication and presentation, human behavior, environment, history, philosophy, physical elements and systems, methods and management. The curriculum path has some flexibility, affording students the opportunity to concentrate in one area, while making contact with the other design disciplines. In addition to their faculty mentors, students are exposed to a broad range of design professionals through guest lecturers, juries, projects, and workshops.

Graduate studies are designed for students who want to build on undergraduate education and professional experience, as well as for those who come from non-design backgrounds and want to pursue advanced design degrees. The college offers graduate study leading to the Master of Architecture, Master of Art + Design (Animation or Fibers), Master of Graphic Design, Master of Industrial Design, Master of Landscape Architecture, and Ph.D. in Design. Please refer to the NC State University Graduate Catalog for specific curriculum information on master’s and doctoral programs in the College of Design.