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Design Studies

If you love design and see yourself working in the design industry, our bachelor of science (B.S.) degree program in design studies may be right for you. The program responds to the increasing popularity and broad awareness of design and design thinking in business and society as a whole.

Student working with screen printer.

About VPA

Home to the visual and performing arts at Syracuse, VPA supports the creative process and professional development. The College is divided into seven areas: the School of Art; the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies; the School of Design; the Department of Drama; the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music; the Department of Film and Media Arts; and the Department of Creative Arts Therapy.


Design studies sample courses include:

  • Digital Tools for Designers II
  • Analog Design Tools
  • Design, Cultural Traditions and the Environment
  • Design Thinking
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Design Project Management

View official major requirements.

Practical Experience

As a design studies student you will:

  • Be educated in a broad spectrum of design applications and academic studies
  • Consider the impact and influence of design in the context of the overall professional world, including many disciplines that intersect the design fields, such as engineering, marketing, journalism, entrepreneurship, and product development
  • Combine your design studies with courses from across Syracuse University
  • Mold our flexible curriculum to fit your interests and career ambitions
  • Gain the skills necessary to become an innovative creative and a leader of cultural change in our global community

Study Abroad

The program also connects design practices to other disciplines at the University with a strong community engagement component that is embedded in all of the existing design majors at Syracuse. You are encouraged to study abroad in your junior year at one of the Syracuse University Abroad centers or world partners.

Syracuse Abroad offers more than 100 programs in 60 countries.

Life After Syracuse University

As a graduate of the College of Visual and Performing Arts with a major in design studies, you can explore such careers as:

  • Technical/creative sales
  • Design management
  • Start-up/design entrepreneurship