Students, both standing and seated, in a graphic design classroom gather around several laptops on drafting table. An instructor on the right is gesturing and the students have engaged and thoughtful facial expressions.

About the School of Design

University of the Arts’ School of Design redefines what it means to educate a 21st century designer.

We celebrate the reality that the boundaries between all sorts of contemporary design practices are more open than ever before and that a modern designer needs a greatly expanded skill set at their disposal. With this new reality in mind, the School of Design initiates innovation and empowers you to pursue your passions, build core values, broaden your design exposure and become a design leader of the future.

The School of Design strongly believes in collaboration, self-expression and professional preparation through its undergraduate programs in Graphic Design, Illustration, Product Design and Interaction Design. The School of Design consists of programs that work together, providing depth in your discipline while expanding your understanding of design. This academic model best prepares you to respond flexibly to change and future career opportunities.

Visual communication requires critical thinking, problem-solving and the ability to draw on a broad set of tools and expertise to create innovative design solutions. These skills allow designers to develop a personal voice and apply that to building a body of work that resonates with its audience and spans traditional, digital and immersive media.

Today’s designer might shoot the photos; illustrate a set of icons; create museum exhibits; develop the sound design for an environment; or generate a complex, multi-part branding system that includes print, digital, motion and experiential aspects. With that in mind, UArts’ Design programs give you both the broad strokes in the time-honored skills of the discipline and the specialization that can hone the skills you want to develop as an individual artist.

The School of Design Core is a distinct first-year experience for all first-year Design students. These collaborative courses expose you to contemporary design and ways of making while providing a solid grounding in design thinking, drawing as thinking, visual communication and problem-solving, audience and meaning, design technology, and collaboration and team building. All first-year design students also take course modules in the university’s Makerspace and Center for Immersive Media.

Our longstanding Design internship program gives you valuable, real-life experience in your individual discipline. UArts designers graduate prepared to make significant cultural contributions, reinvent the way we live through creative problem solving, run their own creative businesses, create work for diverse communities and public spaces, and effect social change through self-expression. The demand for design professionals has never been greater.

There’s more that makes UArts truly unique: the ability you’ll have to collaborate with other artists of all kinds: actors, dancers, animators, musicians, filmmakers, writers and multidisciplinary student artists. And more than 20 minors are open to all students, so graphic designers can study guitar, dancers can minor in photography, illustrators can take classes in creative writing.

Studying at University of the Arts’ School of Design immerses you in all the arts so you can work across disciplines. We encourage you to further explore your passions and discover those you haven’t identified yet. Learn guitar. Take yoga. Start a business, build a stage or film set. Share your story and change the world through Design.

Advance your creativity and make your mark.


UArts' BFA in Graphic Design program

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UArts' BFA in Illustration program

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UArts' BFA in Interaction Design program

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UArts' BFA in Product Design program

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There is also an option to enter the School of Design as undecided, so you can explore which aspect of design suits you best.

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Additionally, the School of Design offers minors in

  • Advertising Practices,

  • Illustration

  • and Graphic Design.

Design graduate degrees include Museum Exhibition Planning and Design (MFA) and Product Design (MDes).


UArts' Museum Exhibition Planning and Design MFA program

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UArts' MDes in Product Design

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As well as being immersed in an environment that values and nurtures creativity and the revelations that experimentation brings, you’ll have access to a broad range of tools and resources that will expand your creative possibilities, broaden your skill set and prepare you to work with other creative professionals.

The Albert M. Greenfield Makerspace is a 3,500-square-foot digital and traditional fabrication studio that houses state-of-the-art digital and analog equipment that helps you create virtually anything you can imagine. It is outfitted with

  • 3-D printers and scanners;
  • a router and a mill;
  • laser, vinyl and substrate cutters;
  • printed circuit board (PCB) and decal printers;
  • and much more.

The Center for Immersive Media (CIM) helps you explore and create with augmented and virtual reality, performance motion-capture, and human-computer interaction. At 5,600 square feet, CIM is the largest such facility in the region and includes

  • An optical motion-capture system for full body performance capture and location-based VR applications,
  • Multiple video projectors,
  • Lighting instruments with adjustable zoom and color,
  • A Four-channel audio system,
  • A 16-station computing classroom with PCs optimized for real-time computer graphics rendering, and
  • Two large project rooms with ceiling grids for development of installations and virtual environments.

School of Design Leadership

Mark Tocchet
Mark Tocchet

Dean, School of Design
A closeup of Angela Riechers wearing a gray button down shirt in front of a slightly lighter gray background
Angela Riechers

Graphic Design (BFA)
Program Director, Graphic Design
A grayscale portrait of Juan Parada, Interaction Design program director.
Juan Parada

Interaction Design (BFA)
Program Director, Interaction Design
A closeup of Matt Rhoades in a black collared shirt in front of a slate gray wall
Matthew Rhoades

Product Design (BFA)
Program Director, Product Design