Skip to main content


Design Studies

Design Studies is for students interested in working in the design profession, but who do not want to perform studio-based activities. It is an interdisciplinary program with linkages to sustainability, journalism, hospitality and tourism, and business management. The design studies major is a flexible program that accommodates a wide range of student interests and career paths with design as a focus. Design is emerging as an exciting new career within the global economy and partners creativity with practical applications.

Career Profile

Students interested in working in the design industry, but without the desire to be “designers” are the target market for this major. This type of major provides a multitude of employment options including advertising, communications, entrepreneurship, business management and many others. For example, students may enter careers in historic preservation, design material sales, ADA/disability consulting and compliance, building codes review, as well as many others.

Sample Course Schedules

Wondering what your typical day might be like? We used students’ real course schedules to create these examples.

Freshman Year

DSGN 293 Introduction to Design Studies (Core), DSGN 140 Sustainable Living (Core), ENGL 101 Composition and Rhetoric (F1), STAT 111 Understanding Statistics (F3), COMM 105 Introduction to Mass Media (F4), WVUE 191 First Year Seminar (University Requirement)

Senior Year

DSGN 280 Sustainable Design & Development (Recommended Elective), DSGN 480 Designing Innovative Futures (Core – capstone), SPAN 102 Elementary Spanish 2 (Foreign Language requirement), General Education Foundations or Minor selection

English Proficiency Requirements

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency. WVU accepts either the TOEFL or the IELTS for this purpose. Learn more about our English language proficiency requirements.

Accreditation Information

WVU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Alumni Profile

Sarah Jones

"My degree from WVU is in design studies, and my minor is in communications. The Design Studies Program allowed me to use design-based thinking and apply it to my communications minor. My focus was on event planning and event design. I completed an internship in San Diego, Calif., with Couture Events. The skills I learned in my classes guided me when offering creative ideas and problem-solving for weddings." Sarah now works for a Washington, D.C., wedding and event planning company.

Interested in talking to someone about WVU?

Contact an Admissions Counselor