first year students

In the Bachelor’s of Design program, you’ll have the option to select a track to focus your education on: communication design (graphic design and screen-based digital interactions), products design (industrial design), or environments design for environments (physical spaces and related digital experiences). 

This is us

first years

In Design, we’re a like-minded, close-knit group of makers from all backgrounds with broad interests.

UI/UX designers, product designers, environment designers, graphic/communication designers, illustrators, biomedical designers, animators, fashion designers, and artists all housed under one department.

We make a lot of stuff

Students working in the 4D lab

From day one, you’ll be welcomed into a studio with around 40 other students who will become your best friends, collaborators, employees and maybe even a future spouse. (It’s happened!)

You’ll live, eat, play, and work together for four years, making it just about the best community you could ever ask for.

Alongside of focused studies in design, student personal interests can be explored through elective courses within the School of Design or across the University.

So what even is Design?

We decided the best way to explain what even is design (and what you can do with it) was to ask a few of our amazing alumni...

Choose your track

As the demand for design increases, so does the range of design expertise. When you start out as a working professional, you may want to concentrate in a single area or, with expertise gained from practice or advanced education, work across broad areas of design.

Undergraduate design majors at Carnegie Mellon earn a Bachelor of Design degree (BDes). The degree is equivalent in rank to a Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA), but conveys the growing importance of design disciplines as separate and distinct from fine art.

After completing our foundation year of design study, you’ll choose your track according to your goals and interests: Communications, Products, or Environments. Each track prepares you for entry-level professional practice opportunities in design or design study at an advanced level.


Study with the best. Work with industry.

Communications students looking at work in the Hunt Library

Our faculty members bring an array of impressive skill sets from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. They’re known experts in products (industrial design), communications, and environments design and leading authorities in design research, fine art, philosophy, human-computer interaction, and business. They also have a solid history of successful collaboration with prominent companies, nonprofits, and academic partners. 

Studio courses and faculty research frequently include industry and research projects—which means you’ll have exciting opportunities to interact with and present to professional designers, or even work as a research assistant. 

Our programs are founded on a framework that responds to changes in the field of design, but they also seek to shape the future of the discipline and advance the field. Whatever direction you choose in your studies here, our approach prepares you for top jobs in leading companies and organizations today—while teaching you to design with future generations in mind.

Information for High School Educators

We offer information sessions for high school educators looking for more information on the career opportunities that are possible with an education in design. Please check here for details about the next session.