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of the largest research universities in the nation, the College of Design encompasses a full range of design disciplines. With eight undergraduate major programs, 23 graduate degree options, and 10 research and outreach centers, we offer students a learning experience that is wide-reaching and hands-on.

Through a unique commitment to creativity and advancing technologies, our mission is to lead, innovate, and educate across design fields. Our curiosity-driven students and faculty research contemporary issues to develop new knowledge and solve real-world problems, while adhering to socially responsible, sustainable principles and collaborative design thinking.



Whenever you use your smartphone; navigate through a store; decide what to wear for an event; visit a website, a public park, or a great building, you are experiencing the power of design. As our society grapples with increasingly complex issues, designers are uniquely positioned to act as problem solvers. The process of design is empathic, creative, collaborative, and built on the idea of ongoing improvement—all qualities that are in high demand as workplaces respond to rapidly evolving media, economies, and other forces. Becoming a designer is about harnessing your curiosity, mastering the skills and processes for creating new things, reimagining the world, and then making it happen.


of Minneapolis and St. Paul is recognized as one of the major design centers in the United States. This is the place to jump-start your career! Our diverse business community and wide-reaching alumni network provide unparalleled opportunities for internships, volunteering, networking, and employment.



Each program is supported by experienced faculty and dedicated staff working to foster student success by encouraging your curiosity and boosting your creativity. With this support, you will enjoy a robust academic experience that will prepare you to apply your skills and generate solutions to real-world challenges.



you will develop a broad understanding of the clothing development process— from imaging and body metrics, to computerassisted design and production. You will put your creative flair, critical thinking, and technical skills into action and use dynamic, cutting-edge technologies like garment simulation software and 3D body scanning to develop your designs. With research centers like the Wearable Technology Lab located right in the department, you will also have access to boundary-crossing research focused on the intersection between apparel design and emerging technologies. 6

UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE Bachelor of Science in Apparel Design MINORS Fashion Studies CAREERS IN APPAREL DESIGN Job titles of recent graduates include • Buyers and purchasers • Fashion designers • Technical apparel designers • Patternmakers • Industrial designers RELATED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS • Fashion and Business (FAB)

ALUMNI STORY Entering the Apparel Design Program showed Quinessa Stibbins (B.S. ‘18, Apparel Design) the fashion industry’s potential to enact positive change. With a minor in social justice, Quinessa now uses apparel design as a powerful tool for speaking out about social issues. “Going into the program, it was hard for me to get past thinking about apparel design as superficial. But through my class experiences, I’ve seen the true power of design. Having professors who cared about my journey really made a difference. They set me up with a mentor who helped me incorporate my passion for social justice in my projects.”


ARC ALUMNI STORY As both an undergraduate and graduate student in the College of Design’s School of Architecture, Keshika De Saram (B.D.A. ’14, M.Arch ’17) focused on incorporating community engagement into his design process. Elected the American Institute of Architecture Students’ (AIAS) 61st national president, De Saram now works to advance leadership, design, and service among architecture students. “I am so excited to get to serve as the next president, following a long line of amazing leaders who I have always looked up to. In the AIAS, we see what we can achieve when lots of unique voices work together.”

HITECTURE AS AN ARCHITECTURE STUDENT at the College of Design you will be at the forefront of innovative design and architectural studies. You will be exposed to the physical, socio-cultural, environmental, formal-spatial, and historical factors that shape the places where we work, live, and play, and learn the art of drawing, digital design, and fabrication techniques while working with a close-knit group of students. As you develop your skills in studios and workshops, you will also study the history and theories of architecture and the ideas, values, and ethics that have shaped and continue to define the profession.

CAREERS IN ARCHITECTURE Job titles of recent graduates include: • Architectural designers • Model builders • Furniture designers • Architectural photographers • Materials specialists RELATED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS • American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) • Bachelor of Design in Architecture Student Advisory Committee • National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) • Women in Architecture Student Organization (WIASO)

UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES • Bachelor of Design in Architecture • Bachelor of Science in Architecture MINORS Architecture 9


will challenge you to set the pace in a field where global definitions of research, creative production, and practice are rapidly evolving. Through an academically rigorous curriculum, you will learn both traditional hands-on production techniques and how to work with the latest technology. Through your coursework, you’ll evolve into an innovative thought leader, develop a professional portfolio, and establish a strategic approach to problem-solving that reflects your own creative talent and professional goals. 10

UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design CAREERS IN GRAPHIC DESIGN Job titles of recent graduates include: • Graphic designers • Information architects • Data visualization strategists • Interaction designers • User experience designers RELATED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS • AIGA University of Minnesota Student Group • Digital Art Studio (DAS)

ALUMNI STORY For Charlie Kirihara (B.F.A. ’15, Graphic Design) the love of sneakers started at a young age. Maybe it was inevitable that they would become his canvas. “In elementary school I got a subscription to Eastbay and would cut out my favorite models and pin them up in my room, hoping that my parents would see them.” Now Charlie is a color and materials designer for football cleats at adidas, and one of the primary designers on the adidas Freak franchise.

“Everything has a story, and when a design gets its inspiration from something meaningful, it resonates with the audience.”

ALUMNI STORY With a passion for reimagining the structure of interior rooms, Emily Hunt (B.S. ‘18, Interior Design) knew she wanted to pursue a career in interior design. But coming from a small school made her worry that she would get lost in the crowd at a big university. When it came time for her to decide, she selected the College of Design, confident in the knowledge that the small class sizes in the Interior Design Program would foster helpful relationships with mentors and close bonds with other students who could become future colleagues. “It is hard for me to imagine my educational experience any other way. I loved having a personal relationship with professors who not only knew my name, but pushed me to be the best that I could be… Ultimately, my success—apart from hard work—is due to the smaller and more personal class sizes.”



focuses on improving quality of life and promoting human health and well-being through the design of interior environments. As an interior design student, you will learn to identify and solve problems focused on people and their interactions with interior space. With a focus on sustainable, human-centered design solutions and learning experiences, this fully accredited Interior Design program will prepare you to work in the field immediately upon graduation. You will find yourself ready to become a leader among the next generation of interior designers.

UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE Bachelor of Science in Interior Design MINORS Interior Environments CAREERS IN INTERIOR DESIGN Job titles of recent graduates include: • Interior designers • Industrial designers • Lighting designers • Project managers • Computer-aided design technicians RELATED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS • Interior Design Student Association (IDSA) 13

LANDSCAPE DESIGN & PLANNING AS A STUDENT IN OUR LANDSCAPE DESIGN & PLANNING PROGRAM, you will learn sustainable models of large-scale design practice and have opportunities to work with top landscape architects and environmental designers. Our foundational coursework will teach you inventive approaches for transforming and regenerating today’s landscapes. Upon graduation, you will be prepared to play a lead role in responding to local, regional, and global environmental challenges. Our curriculum represents a comprehensive preprofessional introduction to landscape architecture and provides potential participation in our Integrated Bachelor of Environmental Design and Master in Landscape Architecture sequence.


UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE Bachelor of Environmental Design MINORS Landscape Design and Planning CAREERS IN LANDSCAPE DESIGN AND PLANNING Job titles of recent graduates include: • Environmental designers • Environmental scientists • GIS/Engineering aids • Landscape architects (MLA required) • Landscape designers RELATED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS • American Society of Landscape Architecture Minnesota Student Chapter (ASLA-MNSC)

ALUMNI STORY Eric Maass (B.E.D ‘11, M.L.A. ‘13) started at the College of Design as a young and tentative transfer student. Now he’s a confident practitioner at WSB & Associates, a College of Design mentor, and president of the College of Design Student and Alumni Board. “I began my journey in landscape architecture and city planning as a seasonal parks maintenance employee in my hometown of Freedom, Wisconsin. While maintaining the VFW Park where I grew up playing baseball and soccer, I realized how different my life would have been without that park and the people who helped create and maintain it all those years ago. Motivated by a call to service, I have been utilizing the skills developed at the College of Design to assist communities with planning and designing their cities for generations to come.”

ALUMNI STORY Roohi Katarya had a difficult time deciding what to major in when she arrived at the University of Minnesota. With an interest in design, engineering, and business, she was torn about what path to pursue until she heard about the Product Design Program. “Product design let me combine my passions for design, engineering, and business. I’m so thankful to have this unique, interdisciplinary curriculum and, more importantly, to be part of a tight-knit community of inspiring designers and like-minded thinkers. This program has taught me how fulfilling it is to be truly passionate and curious about my education.”

PRODUCT DESIGN PRODUCT DESIGN, OFTEN REFERRED TO AS INDUSTRIAL DESIGN, is an inherently creative and interdisciplinary field of study that provides methods and tools for inventing the future through the forms of innovative objects, systems, and services. Our Product Design program is uniquely designed for polymaths, or individuals who excel in both right-brain and left-brain activities. As a product design student you will uncover the needs of others, generate creative ideas, rapidly visualize ideas with free-hand sketches and computer models, build physical and digital prototypes to test concepts, and learn to present your work creatively and clearly.

UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE Bachelor of Science in Product Design MINORS Product Design CAREERS IN PRODUCT DESIGN Job titles of recent graduates include: • Industrial designers • Product designers • Product engineers • Packaging designers • User experience designers RELATED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS • Design U • Product Design Minnesota (PDMN) • Tesla Works 17


impact of design throughout the retail process —from the design of products and services to distribution systems, selling spaces, and methods for recycling and disposal. As one of the only retail programs in the nation located within a design college, this program will help you develop crucial skills in design thinking, visual literacy, creative problem solving, leadership, and business analysis. UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE Bachelor of Science in Retail Merchandising 18

MINORS Retail Merchandising CAREERS IN RETAIL MERCHANDISING Job titles of recent graduates include: • Business analysts • Buyers • Merchant analysts • Product development coordinators • Visual merchandisers RELATED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS • Fashion and Business Club • National Retail Federation (NRF) UMN Student Organization

SING ALUMNI STORY In the fall of 2017, Amanda Phillips (B.S. ‘18, Retail Merchandising) acted as the lead design student for the first trial run of the Joint Retail Assistance program. Designed to forge connections between retail merchandising students and retailers in rural Minnesota, the program partnered Amanda with small-business owner Anita Berg to create Berg’s Country Barn, a holiday pop-up store. “I feel so lucky to have been a part of the Retail Assistance program team. It was a dream come true to use the design skills and business knowledge I’ve gained during my four years at the College of Design.”



When you start your studies in the College of Design, you will be assigned to a professional academic advisor who will support your growth as a scholar and practitioner. With a low advisor-to-student ratio, advisors in the College of Design provide individual attention and will help guide you through your academic career.



Joining a student group is a great way to make new friends, develop leadership skills, network with professionals, and gain valuable experiences. The College of Design has many student groups, such as Alpha Rho Chi, the Design Student and Alumni Board, and Students for Design Activism. Each program is also involved with professional organizations associated with their field. You can find program-specific organizations listed on the individual program pages within this booklet. In addition, the University of Minnesota has more than 900 student organizations, providing many opportunities for you to connect with like-minded peers and discover new interests.


As a major research university, the University of Minnesota offers unique opportunities for conducting research as part of your undergraduate experience. Through the Office of Undergraduate Research, students can find faculty-mentored research projects in which to participate. Students whose proposals are approved receive a scholarship and a budget for supplies. By joining a research project you will work closely with a professor, gain hands-on experience in your field, explore potential careers, and prepare yourself for a job or graduate study. You can learn more about undergraduate research opportunities at 21

STUDY AROUND THE GLOBE THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA OFFERS GLOBAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS IN EVERY ACADEMIC PROGRAM IN THE COLLEGE OF DESIGN. With programs located in many leading design and business centers across Europe, Asia, and Australia, an out-of-country study experience will help you gain the tools you need to work in an increasingly global society.

“Studying abroad gave me the opportunity to get to know people I would never have met otherwise.”

— Andrew Yang (Architecture)

GLOBAL LEARNING DESTINATIONS INCLUDE • Australia • Japan • Denmark • New Zealand • France • United • Ireland Kingdom • Italy

“Studying in London taught me how to be more independent and was the happiest four months of my adult life! I’ll never forget the places I went, the people I met, or the lessons I learned.”

— Molly Wertheimer (Retail Merchandising)


LAUNCH YOUR CAREER AT THE COLLEGE OF DESIGN, SETTING CAREER GOALS STARTS THE MOMENT YOU BEGIN YOUR STUDIES. Our College to Career Program supports career exploration with a variety of resources to prepare you for professional success, including:


Meet one on one with your career coach and take a career course created just for design students. Through internships, you can gain industry-relevant experience at all levels of your education, developing and empowering you to proactively find a career that fits.

Work with alumni to create opportunities supporting your transition from college to career. With the College of Design’s comprehensive career services to support your vision for the future, you will be ready to set impressive goals and be prepared to achieve them.


Be matched with a design professional in your field during your third or fourth year of study and gain valuable career insights and contacts.

WHERE RECENT GRADUATES ARE DESIGNING SOLUTIONS • 3M • adidas • Apple • Best Buy • Cuningham Group

• General Mills • Kohl’s • Love Your Melon • Target • Tom Ford • Woodchuck 23


CONTACT US The University of Minnesota offers students a great value. Our unique blend of worldclass academic programs; metropolitan location; and close-knit community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni will prepare you to follow your dreams—no matter what path you decide to take after graduation. We invite you to contact your College of Design admissions counselor with any questions you may have and to discover more about the benefits of studying design at the U of M.

FUTURE FRESHMEN: Contact the College of Design freshman admissions counselor at 612-625-9886, 1-800-752-1000, or at FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA   UofMDesign   @uofmdesign   @umndesign   umndesign


College of Design transfer admissions counselor at 612-626-3605, 1-800-7521000, or at

The University of Minnesota shall provide equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. This publication/material is available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact or 651-624-9751.

College of Design Admissions Brochure  
College of Design Admissions Brochure