Design at the University of Notre Dame lays emphasis on the art, science, and practice of building platforms and experiences that create tangible communication between content and users through traditional and contemporary media. Students can major in industrial design or visual communication design or minor in collaborative innovation.

Why study design?

The design programs are established around human-centered design principles. Design training focuses on building a deep empathy with stakeholders and solving wicked problems with contextual solutions that derive from a holistic vision. 

The visual communication design program offers instruction in areas of packaging, scale-graphics, UX/UI, social design, visualization of data, and user-centered design that explore research, process, and methods in design. 

The industrial design program offers research and course topics that include social innovations, UX, health care, product automation, digital modeling and visualization, and cultural divergence. The design division has over 150 majors and minors, many of whom have a second course of study in business, engineering, or humanities. 

The department encourages multidisciplinary learning with faculty and students actively collaborating with various departments and colleges across campus including the College of Engineering, Keough School for Global Affairs, Mendoza Business School, The School of Architecture, College of Science, and IDEA Center at Innovation Park.

Design programs enjoy significant funding support for internal and external projects, summer internships, and study abroad opportunities. The program’s long-standing engagement with social design projects both locally and abroad in Nepal, Haiti, South Africa, and India support a core mission to create design solutions for underserved populations, turning scholarship into service, and using design to make a difference in the lives of others.

Learn more about how 93% of design majors have found success within 6 months of graduation. 

Programs offered

MFA student advises industrial design student on her project.

We offer majors with concentrations in industrial design and visual communication design, as well as a minor in collaborative innovation. 

What opportunities will I have while studying design?

  • Teaghan Stack Iha Student Design Award
    Internal and external design competitions
  • Student chapters of professional societies (AIGA, IDSA, etc.)
  • Entrepreneurship and commercialization 
  • Professional engagements/ Design office trips
  • Design Alumni Conference
  • Internships

You will also have access to robust career development resources, the opportunity to study abroad, and funding and support to undertake your own research or creative projects

Questions? Want to get started in design?

James Rudolph
Design Advisor
Assistant Professor, Industrial Design

Nicolina Holt
Program Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies