Pre-College Program

Students work on projects in the summer pre college courses.

Designers help create the artifacts and environments of our everyday experiences. Designers are responsible for creating the things we interact with -- from software applications, to magazines and books, to automobiles, to toothbrushes. Beyond products and communications, some designers are now responsible for re-thinking the environments that we live and work in, from retail spaces to the studios of the future. Over six weeks, the Pre-College Design program provides core experiences in the communication, product, and environment design processes led by experienced design faculty and design practitioners.

The Experience

The Pre-College program in Design runs from 07/06/21 through 08/013/2021, with an orientation program on 06/26/2021. All classes will be remote in the summer of 2021.

The summer Pre-College Design program is designed to provide students with a strong foundation of skills and a clear idea of what to expect from a college-level accredited program in Design. Sessions will consist of studio learning, lectures, critiques, virtual field trips to museums, workspaces, and community spaces, and guided work sessions with faculty and professionals.

Summer Pre-College students in design will experience the dynamic of learning through making in a studio environment. These experiences will include design research, conceptualization, three-dimensional design, working with images and text, and the presentation of their design work. 

The summer Pre-College Design program is structured to introduce the discipline of design and to teach students the processes Designers use to solve problems.


Summer Pre-College Design is an immersive program that offers the intensive energy and the dynamic creative culture of the college-level experience. Design success is largely the result of focused effort and intensity of investigation; students should expect to invest significant time working in the studio with fellow students outside of class (evenings and weekends) to develop and complete project coursework. 

Students will need a digital camera and access to a laptop computer, and may be asked to purchase up to $250 in materials to support class work.


Our program is structured as a six-week program. Students will receive expert instruction in:

  • Studio Design for Products, Communications, & Environments
  • Design Drawing
  • Design Photography
  • Design Research & Problem Solving Methods

We provide an intensive introduction to design methods; however, no previous experience or specific computer skills are required to succeed. Please see our FAQ section for more detailed information.  For general questions about Pre-College or the application process, please call the Pre-College office at 412-268-5914.

Apply for Pre-College >>