Academic Concentration Requirement

Why require an academic concentration?

We believe that well-rounded people make great designers! That's why we require students to take at least three classes in a single subject beyond Design and Visual Art at the 300+ level (e.g. ENGL 351). Classes at the 300+ level generally feature more in-depth study than 100- and 200- level courses.

An academic concentration is a great opportunity to study a topic of academic or professional interest, find inspiration for Design work, and diversify the Design degree to stand out in the job market!

What are my options?

Students are welcome to consider any of the following options to fulfill the Academic Concentration requirement:

A minor allows in-depth study of a subject through six or more classes. With more than 50 available minors, Design students are sure to find something interesting to study!

Below, you'll find a list of minors available at KU! The course code for classes in the minor (or "Multiple" if there is more than one), features a link to the KU Program Catalog page for that minor.

While this list can be a great place to start thinking about a minor, you should contact Zac Shields, the advisor for Design students, to learn more about any minor(s) in which you're interested and learn more about how a minor might plug in to your path to graduation!


African & African American Studies (AAAS)

American Studies (AMS)

Anthropology (ANTH)

Applied Behavioral Sciences (ABSC)

Astrobiology (Multiple)

Astronomy (ASTR)

Atmospheric Sciences (Multiple)

Brazilian Studies (Multiple)

Business (Multiple)

Chemistry (CHEM)

Classics (CLSX)

Communication Studies (COMS)

Dance (DANC)

East Asian Languages & Cultures (Multiple)

Economics (ECON)

Education Studies (Multiple)

English (ENGL)

Environmental Studies (EVRN)

European Studies (EURS)

Film & Media Studies (FMS)

French (FREN)

Geography (GEOG)

Geology (GEOL)

German Studies (GERM)

Global & International Studies (GIST)

History (HIST)

History of Art (HA)

  • ADS 340 (History & Philosophy of Design) counts as one of the required classes at the 300+ level for the HA minor!

Human Sexuality (Multiple)

Humanities (HUM)

Italian (ITAL)

Indigenous Studies (Multiple)

Jewish Studies (Multiple)

Journalism (JOUR)

Latin American Area Studies (Multiple)

Latino/a Studies (Multiple)

Leadership Studies (LDST)

Linguistics (LING)

Mathematics (MATH)

Middle East Studies (Multiple)

Music (Multiple)

  • Admission to the Music minor is competitive and requires an audition!

Peace & Conflict Studies (Multiple)

Philosophy (PHIL)

Physics (PHSX)

Political Science (POLS)

Psychology (PSYC)

Public Administration (PUAD)

  • Public Administration minor classes are only offered at KU's Edwards Campus!

Public Policy in the US (POLS)

Religious Studies (REL)

Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (Multiple)

Slavic Languages & Cultures (SLAV)

Social & Behavioral Sciences Methodology (PSYC)

Social Justice in the US (Multiple)

Sociology (SOC)

Spanish (SPAN)

Speech-Language-Hearing (SPLH)

Sport Management (HSES)

  • Admission to the Sport Management minor is competitive! Note the admission requirements beyond the link.

Theatre (THR)

Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies (WGSS)

Visual Art (Multiple)

A certificate combines experiential learning components with coursework to provide a well-rounded sample in an area of study. Certificates generally require less coursework than a minor.

Certificates are a part of KU's initiative that recognizes students’ experiences outside of class. Once  you have completed all of the components for a given certificate program, you will be recognized with a certificate and the honor will be notated on your transcript.

Certification in Service Learning

Certification in Service Learning involves several components, including taking a service learning course, completing additional volunteer work, and reflecting on your service learning experiences. Any student who has completed a service learning course is eligible for this certificate.

Arts Engagement Certification

Arts Engagement Certification is designed to equip undergraduate students with the tools they need to become lifelong participants in the arts. Through attending classes and events in our eight participating departments, students gain a broad exposure to the arts while earning a certificate that appears on their official KU transcript.

Certificate in Entrepreneurship

Are you interested in working independently and turning your creativity into a business? Through the Certificate in Entrepreneurship, students lean the fundamentals of creating and operating an enterprise, then apply that knowledge through guided exercises with experienced professionals. The certificate requires three courses and a reflection, which makes it a great option to fulfill the Academic Concentration Requirement.

Global Awareness Program

Global Awareness Program (GAP) facilitates global engagement through academic coursework, co-curricular involvement, and international experience. The program is open to all undergraduate students who wish to supplement their KU degree with GAP certification on their transcripts. Thanks to its interdisciplinary emphasis and flexibility, GAP prepares students to live, work, and lead in a global society. Established in 2003, GAP is the first certificate program offered at the University of Kansas, and is proud to recognize and reward students for their participation in experiential learning for global understanding.

Leadership Studies Certification

Leadership Studies Certification recognizes students who have learned to more effectively engage the process of leadership. The certification focuses on leadership as a process, not an outcome. Curricular and co-curricular experiences should intentionally link leadership as a process with an understanding of systemic influences, stakeholders as central voices, and the ethics of connecting shared values and interests among diverse populations.

African & African American Studies (AAAS)

American Studies (AMS)

Anthropology (ANTH)

Latin American & Caribbean Studies (LAA)

Business Minor

  • You can take just three classes at the 300+ level from the Business Minor!

Classics (CLSX)

Communication Studies (COMS)

  • Prerequisite of COMS 130 (Speaker-Audience Communication), which is available as an option to fulfill KU Core Goal GE22 (Oral Communication).

East Asian Literatures & Cultures (EALC)

English (ENGL)

  • Prerequisite of a 200-level ENGL course, which is required for KU Design regardless!

Film & Media Studies (FMS)

Global & International Studies (GIST)

History (HIST)

History of Art (HA)

  • Design students who choose to take History of Art classes at the 300+ level will complete the History of Art minor after completing two History of Art classes! For their third Academic Concentration course, Design students who complete the History of Art minor can select any class above the 300+ level beyond Design or Visual Art to fulfill the Academic Concentration requirement.

Humanities (HUM)

Indigenous Studies (ISP)

Jewish Studies (JWSH)

Marketing Extension Program

  • Earn a B or better in MKTG 305 and petition to School of Business to take other MKTG classes at the 400 level

Philosophy (PHIL)

Political Science (POLS)

Religious Studies (REL)

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS)