The Design Program at the University of San Francisco integrates coursework in graphic design, digital media design, and environmental design into a dynamic interdisciplinary studio concentration. The well-educated designer of today must be able to work comfortably across a broad range of media and demonstrate proficiency with the design of messages, interfaces, and public spaces. We believe that the university is the ideal place to foster this “expanded” model of design practice because it encourages our students to conduct independent research as well as collaborate with students from other disciplines.
By practicing design in an expanded field, our students gain comprehensive experience with a wide range of process-oriented skills, including conceptual development, visual rhetoric, formal experimentation, and critical thinking. We teach our courses in state-of-the-art computer labs, where students gain fluency with advanced production methods and digital technologies. Though we encourage our students to express their personal interests in their project work, we are equally committed to having them engage with the various demographics of the larger community by working with non-profit and other community-based groups. Advanced courses in the program provide students with opportunities for such work, both locally and internationally, the goal being for them to identify the issues that concern them most and to create design solutions that respond to the pressing needs of a rapidly changing global culture.
Because we value a diverse student body, and because we uphold the value of a strong liberal arts foundation, we welcome into our program students with curiosity about the world and the desire to develop critically, conceptually, and technically, even if they have no previous art or design experience. We are confident that all of our graduating students will leave with a body of knowledge and skills that will serve them well as graduate students, professional practitioners, design educators, or community leaders.