Requirements

Industrial design programs Visual Communication design programs Collaborative Innovation Minor

Industrial design programs

B.A. in Design, Industrial Design Concentration B.A. with honors in Design, Industrial Design Concentration BFA in Design, Industrial Design Concentration

Bachelor of Arts, design — industrial design concentration

Design student working on design project in West Lake Hall.

The Bachelor of Arts degree program in industrial design is defined as a general liberal arts degree. The B.A. degree is ideal for the student who desires a liberal arts education with a strong emphasis in industrial design. Students enrolling in the B.A. degree program are required to complete a five-course core curriculum during their first three semesters. These courses are Drawing I, 2-D Foundations, 3-D Foundations, and two art history courses.

The B.A. degree consists of 12 courses or 36 hours in art history, studio art, and design: 27 hours in studio art and/or design plus two courses in art history.

Requirements vary slightly for students who enrolled in Notre Dame prior to fall 2018. Please contact the DUS for details.

Course requirements (12 courses/36 hours)

  • Drawing 1
  • ID: Rapid Visualization
     

     

  • 2D Foundations
  • ID 1: Intro to Product Design
  • 3D Foundations

  • Digital Solid Modeling
  • Art History (any period)
  • ID 2 or ID 3
  • Art history (any period)
  • Studio art or design elective
  • Department elective
  • Studio art or design elective

Bachelor of Arts with honors, design — industrial design concentration

With similar requirements to the general B.A. degree, the Bachelor of Arts with honors degree program in industrial design is a liberal arts degree comprised of 39 credit hours which includes a thesis project during a student’s senior year. It is a special two-semester course sequence designed for the most talented and motivated department majors who wish to develop a capstone project during their senior year.

Students who wish to add the honors track to their B.A. must submit a thesis application to the department office by the 3rd Friday in April of their junior year. For approval, students must have:

  • a minimum 3.25 GPA among all departmental courses
  • a portfolio of exceptional quality demonstrating their ability to work independently
  • the approval of a department faculty member who will serve as the student's thesis advisor during their senior year

Once a student has been accepted into the honors track, they will register for B.A. Thesis with their thesis advisor, and must meet with their respective advisor by the end of junior year to establish a thesis topic and set research goals for the summer prior to their senior year. All students completing a thesis project are required to install and exhibit their project during the dates of the annual B.A. Honors/BFA/MFA student exhibition in the spring semester.

Course requirements (13 courses, 39 hours)

  • Drawing I
  • ID: Rapid Visualization
  • 2D Foundations
  • ID 1: Intro to Product Design
  • 3D Foundations
  • Digital Solid Modeling
  • Art History (any period)
  • ID 2 or ID 3
  • Art history (any period)
  • B.A. Honors Thesis (fall)
  • Studio art or design elective
  • B.A. Honors Thesis (spring)
  • Department elective
     

Bachelor of Fine Arts, design — industrial design concentration

BFA freshman and sophomore years

Jim Rudolph Teaching Industrial Design Students

Students beginning the program must complete a seven-course studio core curriculum during their first two years.

Five of these courses are mandated:

  • Drawing I
  • Advanced Visualization or Figure Drawing
  • 2-D Foundations
  • 3-D Foundations
  • Photography I

The remaining two design or studio courses are optional, based on the student’s interest.

This intensive curriculum establishes a base for the design practices and principles for all visual art expression. At the end of the fourth semester, students who have earned a minimum 3.25 grade point average in their studio and design courses will be accepted as candidates for the BFA degree. Students who do not qualify are eligible for the B.A. degree.

BFA junior and senior years

By the beginning of junior year, BFA candidates must have completed the majority of the program's core requirements while maintaining the minimum grade point average of 3.25 in all art department courses. Each semester, the entire studio and design faculty reviews all BFA students' work, and thesis directors share the feedback with their advisees.

Seniors meet regularly with their thesis director throughout the year and enroll in the thesis seminar for the fall and spring semesters. The seminar addresses both academic and professional issues. Each student is required to write a design statement on his or her thesis project. The thesis project is exhibited in the AAHD Gallery (214 Riley Hall). Each student has a thesis defense with the entire studio/design faculty and a vote is taken on whether the thesis project passes.

Full BFA requirements  (21 courses, 66 hours)

  • Drawing I (CORE)
  • 2D Foundations (CORE)
  • 3D Foundations (CORE)
  • Photography I (CORE)
  • Figure Drawing or Advanced Visualization (CORE)
  • Art history (any period)
  • Art history (any period)
  • Art history (any period)
  • ID: Rapid Visualization
  • ID1: Intro. to Product Design
  • Digital Solid Modeling
  • ID 2: Intermediate Product Design
  • ID 3: Advanced Product Design
  • Studio/design elective - 2D
  • Studio/design elective - 3D
  • Studio art or design elective
  • Studio art or design elective
  • Department elective
  • Senior Seminar
  • 3-cr. BFA Thesis (fall)
  • 6-cr. BFA Thesis (spring)

 
*For the departmental elective, students may choose to take an art history, studio, or design course. This option should be carefully considered with regard to your plans after graduating. Students should consider whether gaining further historical and contemporary context for the making of images and objects, or taking an additional studio or design course would best support their individual interests and career pursuits.

Visual communication design programs

B.A. in Design, Visual Communication Design Concentration B.A. in Design with Honors, Visual Communication Design Concentration BFA in Design, Visual Communication Design Concentration

Bachelor of Arts, design — visual communication design concentration

Julianna Meyer Ba 22 Design Work Vcd 4
Visual communication design project by Julianna Meyer, '22

The Bachelor of Arts degree program in visual communication design is defined as a general liberal arts degree. The B.A. degree is ideal for the student who desires a liberal arts education with a strong emphasis in visual communication design. Students enrolling in the B.A. degree program are required to complete a five-course core curriculum during their first three semesters. These courses are Drawing I, 2-D Foundations, 3-D Foundations, and 2 art history courses.

The B.A. degree consists of 12 courses or 36 hours in art history, studio art, and design: 27 hours in studio art and/or design plus two courses in art history.

Requirements vary slightly for students who enrolled in Notre Dame prior to fall 2018. Please contact the DUS for details. 

Course requirements (12 courses, 36 hours)

  • Drawing 1
  • 2D Foundations
  • 3D Foundations
  • Art History (any period)
  • Art History (any period)
  • VCD 1
  • VCD elective 20000+
  • VCD elective 20000+
  • VCD elective 30000+
  • Studio or design elective
  • Studio or design elective
  • Department elective

Bachelor of Arts with honors, design — visual communication design concentration

With similar requirements to the general B.A. degree, the Bachelor of Arts with honors degree program in visual communication design is a liberal arts degree comprised of 39 credit hours which includes a thesis project during a student’s senior year. It is a special two-semester course sequence designed for the most talented and motivated department majors who wish to develop a capstone project during their senior year.

Students who wish to add the honors track to their B.A. must submit a thesis application to the department office by the 3rd Friday in April of their junior year. For approval, students must have:

  • a minimum 3.25 GPA among all departmental courses
  • a portfolio of exceptional quality demonstrating their ability to work independently
  • the approval of a department faculty member who will serve as the student's thesis advisor during their senior year

Once a student has been accepted into the honors track, they will register for B.A. Thesis with their thesis advisor, and must meet with their respective advisor by the end of junior year to establish a thesis topic and set research goals for the summer prior to their senior year. All students completing a thesis project are required to install and exhibit their project during the dates of the annual B.A. Honors/BFA/MFA student exhibition in the spring semester.

Course requirements (13 courses, 39 hours)

  • Drawing I
  • 2D Foundations
  • 3D Foundations
  • Art History (any period)
  • Art History (any period)
  • VCD 1
  • VCD elective 20000+
  • VCD elective 20000+
  • VCD elective 30000+
  • Studio art or design elective
  • Department elective
  • B.A. Honors Thesis (fall)
  • B.A. Honors Thesis (spring)

Bachelor of Fine Arts, design — visual communication design concentration

BFA freshman and sophomore years

Students beginning the program must complete a seven-course studio core curriculum during their first two years.

Five of these courses are mandated:

  • Drawing I
  • Advanced Visualization or Figure Drawing
  • 2-D Foundations
  • 3-D Foundations
  • Photography I

The remaining two design or studio courses are optional, based on the student’s interest.

This intensive curriculum establishes a base for the design practices and principles for all visual art expression. At the end of the fourth semester, students who have earned a minimum 3.25 grade point average in their studio and design courses will be accepted as candidates for the B.F.A. degree. Students who do not qualify are eligible for the B.A. degree.

BFA Junior and Senior Years

By the beginning of junior year, BFA candidates must have completed the majority of the program's core requirements while maintaining the minimum grade point average of 3.25 in all art department courses. Each semester, the entire studio and design faculty reviews all BFA students' work, and thesis directors share the feedback with their advisees.

Seniors meet regularly with their thesis director throughout the year and enroll in the thesis seminar for the fall and spring semesters. The seminar addresses both academic and professional issues. Each student is required to write a design statement on his or her thesis project. The thesis project is exhibited in the AAHD Gallery (214 Riley Hall). Each student has a thesis defense with the entire studio/design faculty and a vote is taken on whether the thesis project passes.

Full BFA requirements  (21 courses, 66 hours)

  • Drawing I (CORE)
  • 2D Foundations (CORE)
  • 3D Foundations (CORE)
  • Photography I (CORE)
  • Figure Drawing or Advanced Visualization (CORE)
  • Art history (any period)
  • Art history (any period)
  • Art history (any period)
  • VCD 1
  • VCD elective 20000+
  • VCD elective 20000+
  • VCD elective 30000+
  • VCD elective 40000+
  • Studio or design elective - 2D
  • Studio or design elective - 3D
  • Studio art or design elective
  • Studio art or design elective
  • Department elective
  • Senior Seminar
  • 3-cr. BFA Thesis (fall)
  • 6-cr. BFA Thesis (spring)

Collaborative innovation minor

The collaborative innovation minor offers a five-course sequence starting with Design Matters, a large, introductory, lecture-based design-thinking class. Declared minors will then cycle through a series of four additional courses introducing students to the various skillsets implicated in design thinking including research methods, visualization, and entrepreneurship.

The minor culminates in the capstone course Collaborative Product Development, which brings students with first majors in a variety of disciplines together in fruitful collaboration with design majors to take on industry-sponsored projects addressing real-world questions. Working in teams with corporate partners, students will get a chance to solve a variety of problems—from global distribution to product innovation to community outreach.

Design thinking is a dynamic, iterative, and deeply human process that prepares students for the type of collaborative, cross-disciplinary work they will encounter after graduation—no matter what career paths they pursue. Established companies and entrepreneurs in fields as diverse as healthcare, sustainability, education, urban planning, and economic development are increasingly employing design thinking methodology to produce innovative results.
 
The gateway course, Design Matters: Introduction to Design Thinking, features a hybrid seminar format with lectures and case studies followed by hands-on exercises and practical applications of design thinking methodology in the form of team projects. Notre Dame's collaborative innovation program welcomes a broad and diverse group of students, from within the College of Arts and Letters, as well as from business, science, engineering, and architecture—all of whom play a vital role in bringing successful solutions to fruition.

Declaration of the minor requires enrollment in or completion of any design course. Students may contact the department Director of Undergraduate Studies or the Director of Collaborative Innovation Minor for information, or declare the minor in the departmental office. Design majors will not be permitted to declare a collaborative innovation minor.

Course requirements (5 courses, 15 hours)​​​​​

  1. Gateway — introduction
    DESN 20203 — Design Matters

    Introduction to Design Thinking
    Articulate the tenets of the design thinking methods and apply methodologies to identify problems and develop service, product, and experience solutions
     
  2. Inspiration — research, discovery, reframing
    DESN 20204 – Design Research Practices

    Principles of user-centered research
    Overview of design research methodologies, planning strategies, interviewing, observing and participatory techniques, and data analysis and synthesis for the development of insights and implications informing the development process.
     
  3. DESN 20205 – The Anthropology of Your Stuff
    Explore the nature and breadth of peoples' relationships with their things. Learn why and how people make and use different types of objects, and how the use of these material goods resonates with peoples' identities in the past, recent history, and today. What new stuff will people invent and sell next?
     
  4. Ideation — design, brainstorming
    Select one of the following:

    DESN 20200 — Rapid Visualization*
    Principles of visual ideation
    A studio course introducing rapid sketching, rendering, and presentation techniques as a tool for development, refinement, and tangible communication of concepts, ideas, objects, and stories to others.

    DESN 20101 — VCD 1: Fundamentals of Design**
    Principles of visual expression
    Creating, planning, and executing ideas and experiences with visual and textual content, physical or virtual, including images, words, or graphic forms.
    *Rapid Visualization is a prerequisite for ID1: Intro to Product Development and suggested for Digital Solid Modeling
    **VCD1: Fundamentals is a prerequisite for VCD7 and VCD
     
  5. Implementation — prototyping, delivery
    Select one of the following:

    DESN 20201 — ID 1: Intro to Product Development*
    Forms & Physical Model Development

    DESN 30209 — ID Digital Solid Modeling
    3D CAD Modeling and Rapid Prototyping

    DESN 30140 — VCD 7: Interaction Design
    User Interface and Interaction

    DESN 40100 — VCD 8: Social Design: Initiatives, Challenges & Innovation
    Visual communication for change

    DESN 30910 — VCD Advanced Topics

    DESN 40120 — VCD 10: Visualization of Data
    How data is used to tell a story

  6. Capstone — Putting it all together
    DESN 40201 — Collaborative Design Development

    Cross-disciplinary problem solving
    Industry-sponsored design briefs to challenge interdisciplinary teams to deploy design thinking for successful innovation and implementation.
    *Department approval required to override the prerequisite