Undergraduate Fine Arts and Design

Design Major

The BA in Design is a 16-credit major available to students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering. The major in Design innovatively explores the expansive nature of contemporary design and its relationship to the humanities, the sciences, and emerging technologies. The major’s curriculum emphasizes an integrated understanding of design that brings together different disciplinary approaches that respond to complex social, cultural, and environmental challenges. Students studying design acquire contemporary representation, prototyping, and fabrication skills, while engaging with theoretical frameworks yielding advanced research and knowledge production. These skill-sets are gained through exposure to diverse approaches to design methodologies, histories, and theories. Learning outcomes are evident through individual and collaborative projects utilizing conceptual, technological, and speculative approaches that emerge from the core and integrative studios. Design electives and seminars enrich, complicate, and expand disciplinary modalities, while engaging in deeper explorations of positionality within a global climate. Ultimately, the Design Major guides students through a process of learning to independently question, interpret, and analyze integrative design.

Core Studio Requirements (2)
Students are encouraged to take these classes their freshman and sophomore year.

DSGN 0010  Art, Design & Digital Culture *
DSGN 0020 Design 21: Design After the Digital

*Course fulfills a College of Arts and Sciences sector requirement (Sector IV: Humanities and Social Science).

Integrative Design Studio Requirements (4)
Select four integrative design studios, such as:

DSGN 1020 Art of the Web: Interactive Concepts for Art & Design
DSGN 1070 Graphic Design I: Creative Technologies
DSGN 2260 Pixel to Print
DSGN 2510 Biological Design
DSGN 2530 Functions for Form and Materials
DSGN 2540 Information Design and Visualization
DSGN 2550 Interfacing Cultures: Designing for Mobile, Web and Public Media
DSGN 2570 UX/UI Design

Art History & Theory Requirements (4)

Select one Art History Course, such as:

ARTH 1010 Art and Civilization Before 1400
ARTH 1020 Renaissance to Contemporary: Introduction to World Art, 1400 - Now
ARTH 1060 The Architect and History
ARTH 3000 Undergraduate Methods Seminar

Select three Theory Courses, such as:

DSGN 3020 Contemporary Theories in Design
Students are encouraged to take this course in the fall or spring of their junior year.
DSGN 3040 Language of Design
DSGN 3060 Futures for All
DSGN 3070 Feminist Technoscience
ARCH 4110 Geometry in Design
VSLT 1010 Eye, Mind and Image
URBS 2050 Intro to Environmental Design

Design Seminar Requirements (2)

DSGN 4020 Senior Seminar -  Fall
DSGN 4030 Senior Seminar - Spring

Art and Design Electives (4)

Select any combination of four FNAR and DSGN courses to fulfill this requirement.

Design Minor

The Design Minor is a six-credit program available to undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, Wharton and the School of Nursing. The curriculum emphasizes an integrated understanding of design as a tool for inquiry that responds to social, cultural, and environmental challenges. Students minoring in design will engage in theoretical frameworks that utilize contemporary methods of representation, technology, and fabrication with a focus on knowledge production.

Core Studio Requirements (2cu)

DSGN 0010  Art, Design & Digital Culture *
DSGN 0020 Design 21: Design After the Digital

*Course fulfills a College of Arts and Sciences sector requirement (Sector IV: Humanities and Social Science).

Integrative Design Studio Requirements (2cu)
Select two integrative design studios, such as:

DSGN 1020 Art of the Web: Interactive Concepts for Art & Design
DSGN 1070 Graphic Design I: Creative Technologies
DSGN 2260 Pixel to Print
DSGN 2510 Biological Design
DSGN 2530 Functions for Form and Materials
DSGN 2540 Information Design and Visualization
DSGN 2550 Interfacing Cultures: Designing for Mobile, Web and Public Media
DSGN 2570 UX/UI Design

History & Theory Requirements (1cu)
Select one Theory Course, such as:

DSGN 3020 Contemporary Theories in Design
DSGN 3040 Language of Design
DSGN 3060 Futures for All
DSGN 3070 Feminist Technoscience
ARCH 4110 Geometry in Design
VSLT 1010 Eye, Mind and Image
URBS 2050 Intro to Environmental Design

Design Electives (1cu)

Select any FNAR and DSGN courses to fulfill this requirement.

Majoring and Minoring in Design and Fine Arts
If a student chooses to major in Fine Arts and minor in Design or major in Design and minor in Fine Arts,  a maximum of 2 courses can be double counted for the major and minor. Four of the six courses in the minor must be unique.

 

Advising

To declare a Design major, schedule an advising appointment with Matt Neff, Director Undergraduate Fine Arts & Design (mneff@design.upenn.edu) or Kate Lawrence, Associate Director Undergraduate Fine Arts & Design (klawr@upenn.edu).

Transfer Credit & Study Abroad

The Undergraduate Program in Fine Arts & Design accepts transfer creditscredit away credits, as well as study abroad credits. To request a transfer, credit away, or study abroad credit to be reviewed by the Fine Arts Department, students must submit all course syllabi and other supporting materials from the respective institution using the College of Arts and Sciences External Course Approval Tool (XCAT). Credits will be evaluated and approved on a case-by-case basis, and must align with current Undergraduate Fine Arts curriculum and course offerings. 

Students must confer with College of Arts and Sciences policies governing credits