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Welcome to the Department of Design 

The mission of the Department of Design is to engage its students in the practice of design thinking and visualization to create beautiful, innovative, and responsible solutions (products, spaces, systems, messages, and services) that respond to human needs and enhance the quality of everyday life. We engage our students in the practice of design thinking, making and visualization to create beautiful, innovative and responsive products, messages, images, spaces, experiences and services that fulfill human needs and enhance the quality of everyday life. 

Exceptional faculty and state-of-the-art facilities provide an environment that cultivates and optimal educational experience in each area of undergraduate and graduate study through innovative and comprehensive curricula and experiences. Students gain insights from lectures and workshops with world-renowned designers, collaborations with industry partners, and opportunities to participate in short-term study abroad programs and semester-long internships in the US and abroad. Each of our programs fosters the development of real-world problem-solving skills that can be applied through a variety of creative disciplines. 

Undergraduate (B.F.A.) 

The Department of Design at The University of Kansas offers professional, problem-solving, and client-based Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees in Visual Communication Design (Graphic Design), Photography, Illustration & Animation, Industrial Design,. 

Visual Communications
Visual Communication/Graphic Designers shape the messages, information and media that everybody sees, uses and experiences. From the printed page to the internet, we teach students the necessary creative problem solving and design thinking and making skills to create powerful visual solutions. Attention is given to the development of a well-rounded, representative, and quality portfolio. Career options include a wide range of areas such as traditional print media, magazine and book design, advertising, corporate marketing communications, branding, packaging design, exhibition and environmental design, motion graphic design, web/interface design and more.
Photography

The Photography program is dedicated to evaluating and redefining the practice of photography and related media. We offer in-depth instruction in a range of analog and digital lens-based techniques within a rigorous learning, making and critique environment. As such, our students develop the distinct technical, critical thinking and visual literacy skills vital to success as contemporary photographers and professional practitioners. Our graduates go on to work in advertising, arts, communication, curatorial, editorial, and media production fields as thoughtful and engaged artists, technicians, archivists, editors, freelancers and art directors. 

Illustration & Animation
Students learn to create images that can inform, influence, and inspire. While acquiring an effective use of visual language, students learn conceptual problem solving, compositional principles, and color theory, that are developed through the introduction and exploration of traditional and contemporary media. Business and marketing issues of the industry are addressed that prepare students for professional opportunities in animation, gaming, motion graphics, book publishing, entertainment, print media, fashion, toys and games, surface design, and gallery installations.
Industrial Design
Industrial Designers conceptualize and design almost everything physical in our lives. Examples range from household appliances, electronics, wearables, automotive design, aircraft interiors, furniture, lighting,  bicycles, skateboards, and myriad other product areas. Our graduates leave KU proficient in design using the latest in 3D design and rendering tools, and computer-aided manufacturing and fabrication tools and technologies. They find career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines including product design, furniture design, exhibit design, package design, human factors and product planning. 

Certificates 

Book Arts
A comprehensive, high-level structure for teaching content, art and craft production across the “whole book”— papermaking, typography, printing, and binding, informed by the history of the book. 

Graduate (M.A.) 

Graduate education in the Department of Design emphasizes the development of skills and expertise to allow graduates to exhibit leadership in the ever-expanding domain of design. 

Design Management and Strategy

The MA program in Design Management and Strategy at KU explores in depth the design function in business as an important integrative, and often interdisciplinary, area of work. The curriculum couples a rigorous, practical understanding of business with design’s natural capacity for handling diverse inputs, creative problem solving, and human-centered understanding.

Interaction Design and User Experience
Interaction Design is the activity of researching and fashioning products, services, and systems that are useful, useable, and desirable to people. Interaction Design offers a human-centered approach to innovation, creatively mediating how businesses engage with customers and how brands and entire organizations can become more relevant in the marketplace. Broadly speaking, interaction design is the activity of defining the contextual behavior of artifacts, environments, and systems. The Master’s student in Interaction Design should evidence the ability to conduct original design research, translate research insights into actionable design inputs, and produce an interactive artifact of relevance and quality.

The University of Kansas Department of Design is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

 

Graduate (M.A.) 

Graduate education in the Department of Design emphasizes the development of skills and expertise to allow graduates to exhibit leadership in the ever-expanding domain of design. 

Design Management and Strategy

The MA program in Design Management and Strategy at KU explores in depth the design function in business as an important integrative, and often interdisciplinary, area of work. The curriculum couples a rigorous, practical understanding of business with design’s natural capacity for handling diverse inputs, creative problem solving, and human-centered understanding.

Interaction Design and User Experience
Interaction Design is the activity of researching and fashioning products, services, and systems that are useful, useable, and desirable to people. Interaction Design offers a human-centered approach to innovation, creatively mediating how businesses engage with customers and how brands and entire organizations can become more relevant in the marketplace. Broadly speaking, interaction design is the activity of defining the contextual behavior of artifacts, environments, and systems. The Master’s student in Interaction Design should evidence the ability to conduct original design research, translate research insights into actionable design inputs, and produce an interactive artifact of relevance and quality.

The University of Kansas Department of Design is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.


 

Graduate (M.A.) 

Graduate education in the Department of Design emphasizes the development of skills and expertise to allow graduates to exhibit leadership in the ever-expanding domain of design. 

Design Management and Strategy

The MA program in Design Management and Strategy at KU explores in depth the design function in business as an important integrative, and often interdisciplinary, area of work. The curriculum couples a rigorous, practical understanding of business with design’s natural capacity for handling diverse inputs, creative problem solving, and human-centered understanding.

Interaction Design and User Experience
Interaction Design is the activity of researching and fashioning products, services, and systems that are useful, useable, and desirable to people. Interaction Design offers a human-centered approach to innovation, creatively mediating how businesses engage with customers and how brands and entire organizations can become more relevant in the marketplace. Broadly speaking, interaction design is the activity of defining the contextual behavior of artifacts, environments, and systems. The Master’s student in Interaction Design should evidence the ability to conduct original design research, translate research insights into actionable design inputs, and produce an interactive artifact of relevance and quality.

The University of Kansas Department of Design is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.


 

Graduate (M.A.) 

Graduate education in the Department of Design emphasizes the development of skills and expertise to allow graduates to exhibit leadership in the ever-expanding domain of design. 

Design Management and Strategy

The MA program in Design Management and Strategy at KU explores in depth the design function in business as an important integrative, and often interdisciplinary, area of work. The curriculum couples a rigorous, practical understanding of business with design’s natural capacity for handling diverse inputs, creative problem solving, and human-centered understanding.

Interaction Design and User Experience
Interaction Design is the activity of researching and fashioning products, services, and systems that are useful, useable, and desirable to people. Interaction Design offers a human-centered approach to innovation, creatively mediating how businesses engage with customers and how brands and entire organizations can become more relevant in the marketplace. Broadly speaking, interaction design is the activity of defining the contextual behavior of artifacts, environments, and systems. The Master’s student in Interaction Design should evidence the ability to conduct original design research, translate research insights into actionable design inputs, and produce an interactive artifact of relevance and quality.

The University of Kansas Department of Design is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.


 

Graduate (M.A.) 

Graduate education in the Department of Design emphasizes the development of skills and expertise to allow graduates to exhibit leadership in the ever-expanding domain of design. 

Design Management and Strategy

The MA program in Design Management and Strategy at KU explores in depth the design function in business as an important integrative, and often interdisciplinary, area of work. The curriculum couples a rigorous, practical understanding of business with design’s natural capacity for handling diverse inputs, creative problem solving, and human-centered understanding.

Interaction Design and User Experience
Interaction Design is the activity of researching and fashioning products, services, and systems that are useful, useable, and desirable to people. Interaction Design offers a human-centered approach to innovation, creatively mediating how businesses engage with customers and how brands and entire organizations can become more relevant in the marketplace. Broadly speaking, interaction design is the activity of defining the contextual behavior of artifacts, environments, and systems. The Master’s student in Interaction Design should evidence the ability to conduct original design research, translate research insights into actionable design inputs, and produce an interactive artifact of relevance and quality.

The University of Kansas Department of Design is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.


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Graduate (M.A.) 

Graduate education in the Department of Design emphasizes the development of skills and expertise to allow graduates to exhibit leadership in the ever-expanding domain of design. 

Design Management and Strategy

The MA program in Design Management and Strategy at KU explores in depth the design function in business as an important integrative, and often interdisciplinary, area of work. The curriculum couples a rigorous, practical understanding of business with design’s natural capacity for handling diverse inputs, creative problem solving, and human-centered understanding.

Interaction Design and User Experience
Interaction Design is the activity of researching and fashioning products, services, and systems that are useful, useable, and desirable to people. Interaction Design offers a human-centered approach to innovation, creatively mediating how businesses engage with customers and how brands and entire organizations can become more relevant in the marketplace. Broadly speaking, interaction design is the activity of defining the contextual behavior of artifacts, environments, and systems. The Master’s student in Interaction Design should evidence the ability to conduct original design research, translate research insights into actionable design inputs, and produce an interactive artifact of relevance and quality.

The University of Kansas Department of Design is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.


 

Graduate (M.A.) 

Graduate education in the Department of Design emphasizes the development of skills and expertise to allow graduates to exhibit leadership in the ever-expanding domain of design. 

Design Management and Strategy

The MA program in Design Management and Strategy at KU explores in depth the design function in business as an important integrative, and often interdisciplinary, area of work. The curriculum couples a rigorous, practical understanding of business with design’s natural capacity for handling diverse inputs, creative problem solving, and human-centered understanding.

Interaction Design and User Experience
Interaction Design is the activity of researching and fashioning products, services, and systems that are useful, useable, and desirable to people. Interaction Design offers a human-centered approach to innovation, creatively mediating how businesses engage with customers and how brands and entire organizations can become more relevant in the marketplace. Broadly speaking, interaction design is the activity of defining the contextual behavior of artifacts, environments, and systems. The Master’s student in Interaction Design should evidence the ability to conduct original design research, translate research insights into actionable design inputs, and produce an interactive artifact of relevance and quality.

The University of Kansas Department of Design is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.


 

Graduate (M.A.) 

Graduate education in the Department of Design emphasizes the development of skills and expertise to allow graduates to exhibit leadership in the ever-expanding domain of design. 

Design Management and Strategy

The MA program in Design Management and Strategy at KU explores in depth the design function in business as an important integrative, and often interdisciplinary, area of work. The curriculum couples a rigorous, practical understanding of business with design’s natural capacity for handling diverse inputs, creative problem solving, and human-centered understanding.

Interaction Design and User Experience
Interaction Design is the activity of researching and fashioning products, services, and systems that are useful, useable, and desirable to people. Interaction Design offers a human-centered approach to innovation, creatively mediating how businesses engage with customers and how brands and entire organizations can become more relevant in the marketplace. Broadly speaking, interaction design is the activity of defining the contextual behavior of artifacts, environments, and systems. The Master’s student in Interaction Design should evidence the ability to conduct original design research, translate research insights into actionable design inputs, and produce an interactive artifact of relevance and quality.

The University of Kansas Department of Design is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.


 

Graduate (M.A.) 

Graduate education in the Department of Design emphasizes the development of skills and expertise to allow graduates to exhibit leadership in the ever-expanding domain of design. 

Design Management and Strategy

The MA program in Design Management and Strategy at KU explores in depth the design function in business as an important integrative, and often interdisciplinary, area of work. The curriculum couples a rigorous, practical understanding of business with design’s natural capacity for handling diverse inputs, creative problem solving, and human-centered understanding.

Interaction Design and User Experience
Interaction Design is the activity of researching and fashioning products, services, and systems that are useful, useable, and desirable to people. Interaction Design offers a human-centered approach to innovation, creatively mediating how businesses engage with customers and how brands and entire organizations can become more relevant in the marketplace. Broadly speaking, interaction design is the activity of defining the contextual behavior of artifacts, environments, and systems. The Master’s student in Interaction Design should evidence the ability to conduct original design research, translate research insights into actionable design inputs, and produce an interactive artifact of relevance and quality.

The University of Kansas Department of Design is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.


 

Graduate (M.A.) 

Graduate education in the Department of Design emphasizes the development of skills and expertise to allow graduates to exhibit leadership in the ever-expanding domain of design. 

Design Management and Strategy

The MA program in Design Management and Strategy at KU explores in depth the design function in business as an important integrative, and often interdisciplinary, area of work. The curriculum couples a rigorous, practical understanding of business with design’s natural capacity for handling diverse inputs, creative problem solving, and human-centered understanding.

Interaction Design and User Experience
Interaction Design is the activity of researching and fashioning products, services, and systems that are useful, useable, and desirable to people. Interaction Design offers a human-centered approach to innovation, creatively mediating how businesses engage with customers and how brands and entire organizations can become more relevant in the marketplace. Broadly speaking, interaction design is the activity of defining the contextual behavior of artifacts, environments, and systems. The Master’s student in Interaction Design should evidence the ability to conduct original design research, translate research insights into actionable design inputs, and produce an interactive artifact of relevance and quality.

The University of Kansas Department of Design is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.


 

Graduate (M.A.) 

Graduate education in the Department of Design emphasizes the development of skills and expertise to allow graduates to exhibit leadership in the ever-expanding domain of design. 

Design Management and Strategy

The MA program in Design Management and Strategy at KU explores in depth the design function in business as an important integrative, and often interdisciplinary, area of work. The curriculum couples a rigorous, practical understanding of business with design’s natural capacity for handling diverse inputs, creative problem solving, and human-centered understanding.

Interaction Design and User Experience
Interaction Design is the activity of researching and fashioning products, services, and systems that are useful, useable, and desirable to people. Interaction Design offers a human-centered approach to innovation, creatively mediating how businesses engage with customers and how brands and entire organizations can become more relevant in the marketplace. Broadly speaking, interaction design is the activity of defining the contextual behavior of artifacts, environments, and systems. The Master’s student in Interaction Design should evidence the ability to conduct original design research, translate research insights into actionable design inputs, and produce an interactive artifact of relevance and quality.

The University of Kansas Department of Design is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.


 

Graduate (M.A.) 

Graduate education in the Department of Design emphasizes the development of skills and expertise to allow graduates to exhibit leadership in the ever-expanding domain of design. 

Design Management and Strategy

The MA program in Design Management and Strategy at KU explores in depth the design function in business as an important integrative, and often interdisciplinary, area of work. The curriculum couples a rigorous, practical understanding of business with design’s natural capacity for handling diverse inputs, creative problem solving, and human-centered understanding.

Interaction Design and User Experience
Interaction Design is the activity of researching and fashioning products, services, and systems that are useful, useable, and desirable to people. Interaction Design offers a human-centered approach to innovation, creatively mediating how businesses engage with customers and how brands and entire organizations can become more relevant in the marketplace. Broadly speaking, interaction design is the activity of defining the contextual behavior of artifacts, environments, and systems. The Master’s student in Interaction Design should evidence the ability to conduct original design research, translate research insights into actionable design inputs, and produce an interactive artifact of relevance and quality.

The University of Kansas Department of Design is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.


 


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