Department of Design

The Department of Design impacts the global design marketplace through top-level instruction, integrating individualized attention with design-practice perspective.

Vision Statement

The Department of Design impacts the global design marketplace through top-level instruction, integrating individualized attention with design-practice perspective.

By applying truth and beauty in the Bachelor of Arts in Design Studies program, students become critical thinkers, stellar communicators, and lifelong learners entering print and digital design careers.

Department Overview

The design studies major prepares students to think critically about visual communication problems and find aesthetically appropriate and effective solutions for them. Within this area, students gain experience in print design and designing for digital formats, all while applying comprehensive design systems. Majors are required to take courses that provide foundational design skills, and become adept with a number of design software programs. Students also attain skills in research and concept development; are encouraged to hone craftsmanship abilities; develop a skill set that includes image creation, visual communications, and designer/client relationships; and give project presentations in commercial settings.

With this broad exposure, graduates are prepared for various experiences including attending graduate school, working as an entrepreneur, or exploring design opportunities in print, UI/UX, design studio or corporate creative settings, or various nonprofit organizations.

All department majors are required to have a laptop computer with access to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

At the graduate level, the department offers a Master of Arts in User Experience Design, which prepares current and aspiring UI/UX professionals to tailor and shape human-centered interactive tools to be intuitive, useful, and pleasing. The program approaches human-centered design from an artistic perspective in which students learn to manage and lead creative and collaborative projects that communicate effectively through design across a range of art, technology, commercial, and cultural domains. 

DSGN 115, Using Digital Media in a Visual World, 3 Units

This course introduces students to common software/media used to create digital, visual communications. The emphasis includes the application of software to improve communications in a culture that is increasingly visual. The course is for students who are not graphic design majors or minors, who desire to learn to use digital media more effectively and particularly in application to their particular field of study. Meets the General Education Requirement: Humanities: Fine Arts. 

DSGN 120, Introduction to Computer Graphics, 3 Units

This course introduces the computer as a medium used for graphic design and art. Design principles are explored in creating and organizing visual communication and other media. Students are introduced to software programs that are included in the Adobe Creative Suite. Meets six hours weekly.

Special Fee Applies

DSGN 121, Design Fundamentals I, 4 Units

Students in this course learn the principles and elements of design (line, shape, color, composition, typography) as they learn about and begin using vector-drawing tools. Students also learn drawing for ideation (quick sketching techniques using various media) and craftsmanship skills used by designers.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: DSGN 115 or instructor permission

DSGN 122, Design Fundamentals II, 4 Units

Students in this course learn page-layout and typography skills, with an emphasis on understanding the fundamental aspects of the use of type in design work. Students also learn drawing for ideation (quick sketching techniques using various media) and craftsmanship skills used by designers.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: DSGN 115 or instructor permission

DSGN 123, Design Fundamentals III, 4 Units

This course introduces students to various aspects of digital design as they utilize Photoshop and other relevant software and engage in original digital photography, systems building, and craftsmanship skills used in creating three-dimensional environments. They also continue to hone their ideation skills.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: DSGN 115 or instructor permission

DSGN 220, Introduction to Print Interface, 2 Units

This course equips students with the production skills used in commercial printing, using current software.

Prerequisite: DSGN 121, DSGN 122, and DSGN 123

DSGN 221, Production for Print Design, 3 Units

The commercial printing process requires exacting pre- press production skills and knowledge. This studio course provides graphic design students the opportunity to learn those skills and production techniques. Projects provide students real life experiences that challenge creativity but also solve the technological needs of production. Meets six hours weekly. It is recommended that this class be taken following ART 220.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: DSGN 281 (may be taken concurrently)

DSGN 222, Introduction to Digital Interface, 2 Units

This introductory course covers the fundamentals of working with digital interfaces, using current software.

Prerequisite: DSGN 121, DSGN 122, and DSGN 123

DSGN 258, History of Graphic Design and Illustration, 3 Units

Students in this course study the evolution of printed words and symbols across time and through various cultures. From the printing press to the computer, art and design reflect and influence society. This lecture course examines chronologically the development of visual communication.

DSGN 281, Graphic Design I, 3 Units

This studio course introduces students to the building blocks of design: typography and the principles of design. It includes a rigorous introduction to the fundamentals of designing with type with an emphasis on letters, text, and grid. Students develop a basic visual vocabulary by focusing on the formal aspects of design such as point, line, texture, color, and organizing principles such as scale, contrast, rhythm, and balance. Meets six hours weekly.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: DSGN 120

DSGN 282, Digital Design, 3 Units

This course introduces students to current web and mobile design concepts and technologies, with a focus on responsive layout techniques. Students plan and design an online platform that adjusts itself for a wide range of devices, while intentionally considering the communication objective. Meets six hours weekly.

Prerequisite: DSGN 283 or instructor consent.

DSGN 283, Graphic Design II, 3 Units

Students in this studio course explore and develop concepts used in solving graphic design and visual communication opportunities, and projects address the elements and principles of design. Students use original photography and illustration and appropriate uses of typography for project solutions, creatively integrating traditional media and digital production techniques. Meets six hours weekly.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: DSGN 281 or instructor consent

DSGN 320, Digital Imaging, 3 Units

This is an intermediate-level graphic design class with projects using art, graphics, and illustration techniques. Traditional media and software from Adobe Creative Cloud will be utilized. Meets six hours weekly.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: DSGN 120 and ART 130 or instructor's permission.

DSGN 384, Interactive Design, 3 Units

DSGN 384 is an introduction to Human Computer Interaction (HCI) with a focus on developing the broad set of skills needed for user-centered design especially User Interface and Experience Design. Students are introduced to the process of ideation, needs assessment, rapid prototyping, and evaluation of user interface, and also touch upon data-driven design, emotional design, analytics, and A/B testing. The process will expose them to modern-day, full-stack design: research, wire-framing, visual, high-fidelity prototypes, and HTML/CSS/JS development. Meets six hours weekly.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: DSGN 282 or instructor's permission

DSGN 385, Graphic Design III, 3 Units

This studio course for advanced graphic design students furthers the development of ideation skills introduced in Graphic Design I with continued emphasis on conceptual thinking and visualization skills. This class provides essential tools of good basic design thinking and the solid building blocks of the design process that are encountered in a professional setting.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: DSGN 283 or instructor consent

DSGN 386, Multimedia I, 3 Units

This course introduces students to the concepts and methods of Motion Graphics This course starts with graphic design concepts and sets them into motion. Graphics such as; Titles, VFX panel simulations, educational graphics are designed and animated.

Special Fee Applies

DSGN 430, Applied Design, 1-4 Units

This is an individualized advanced course for art students to conduct in-depth research and art production. It may be repeated for 6 units total.

Prerequisite: Advanced study in the area of specialization and department chair's consent

DSGN 446, Graphic Design Processes, 1-3 Units

This course for the advanced graphic design major tailors experiences to meet the individual student's goal as a graphic designer, and may be repeated for 6 units total.

Special Fee Applies

DSGN 450, Portfolio, 3 Units

This is a required laboratory class for all senior art and graphic design majors and should be taken in the final semester of study. Instruction includes portfolio preparation, artist statements, gallery and client relations, graduate school options, business networking, and the role of the Christian artist in today's culture. Meets six hours weekly. Meets the General Education Requirement: Integrative and Applied Learning. 

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: Review of Artistic Competencies

DSGN 475, Design Internship, 1-4 Units

Graphic design and art majors participate in either volunteer or paid internship positions that are directly linked to their area of concentration, gaining on-site and professional experience.

Prerequisite: Design Studies Major or Minor

DSGN 481, Graphic Design IV, 3 Units

This course addresses communication strategies including the effective use of metaphor, iconography, and cliche. The nature of symbols and cultural issues is applied to assignments where the dynamic role of image, photography, or illustration is stressed. The development of philosophical and professional attitudes related to the role of the designer as interpreter of society dealing with ethical issues is emphasized.

Special Fee Applies

Prerequisite: DSGN 385 or instructor consent

DSGN 495, Special Topics in Design, 3 Units

This advanced level studio/research or lecture course allows for occasional offerings of diverse topics in art not covered by regular department courses. Special interests of faculty and students may be targeted under this category. Selection varies depending on student interest and faculty availability. May be repeated for credit as topic varies.

DSGN 503, Research and Design Process Methods, 3 Units

This is a foundation course in user experience design (UXD), covering the fundamental theories, techniques, practices, workflows, and tools associated with the practice. Students learn how to apply these concepts through a semester-long project. Key concepts include user research, contextual design, design thinking, ideation, iterative design, prototyping, and design documentation.

DSGN 504, Digital Experience Design, 3 Units

This seminar course examines how different UX designers function and thrive in various fields and organizations, especially within our increasingly digital society. Topics include UX in social media and marketing, product and service development, entertainment media, and digital innovation.

DSGN 506, Web Design Principles [Proposed], 3 Units

Equipped with a historical understanding of the Web's evolution and key industry-standard design guidelines to ensure strong online presentation, students will have a foundational knowledge of website creation, and will apply it to the planning, design and development of your own Web page over the course of the semester. Students will create, code and post basic HTML and CSS files to the Internet. Critical thinking will be encouraged through class interactions, projects, and online postings.

DSGN 507, Digital Imagery in Web Design [Proposed], 3 Units

This course familiarizes students with the development and impact of imagery in interactive media. Students will learn how visual 'language' is the basis for developing contextual symbolic meanings that are shared throughout a culture. Semiotics, information design and persuasive communication will be explored in this course. Students will develop communicative images using their knowledge gained through lectures, discussion, projects, collaboration and Adobe Photoshop training.

DSGN 514, UX Research A/B Testing, 3 Units

This course focuses on research methods, data analysis, and synthesis in A/B testing for user experience research and design. Students explore a strategic process of how to create their own tests and platforms for gathering information and data on users with digital and accessible tools. By the end of the course, students understand how to plan, create, and launch online research.

DSGN 515, Innovation Design, 3 Units

Students learn a unique process of design through idea conception, experimentation, and prototyping in order to experience the process of innovation. Students also learn how to translate experiential learning into something that can be performed in the digital world, and are encouraged to seek multi-disciplinary methods and inspirations when innovating new digital products and experiences.

DSGN 516, Interactive Narrative/Story, 3 Units

Students in this course examine the application of storytelling within the context of user experience design (UXD). Students investigate the creation and analysis of narratives to provide clarity and distinctiveness, capture attention, inspire to action, create a meaningful journey, and forge a lasting, emotional impact with end users.

DSGN 517, Digital Media Layout and Design [Proposed], 3 Units

This course introduces students to the skills and concepts that will help create documents for both print and interactivity. Using Adobe InDesign, students will apply their understanding of color, type, layout, and design to create a portfolio project. While InDesign permits several possible workflows, this course will focus on those that most readily translate into digital design.

DSGN 518, Web Interactivity and Engagement [Proposed], 3 Units

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the most practical tool of a web manager, the content management system (CMS). Using WordPress, students will gain an understanding of CMSs and how they are valuable tools for saving time and handling large amounts of data. Students will also learn more about server scripting using PHP and database integration with MySQL.

DSGN 521, Research Methods and Collaboration in Digital Communications [Proposed], 3 Units

This course is designed to make students think strategically about how, why and with whom they interact via digital media. By the end of the course, students should have fundamental understanding of research tools that will help them plan for and evaluate the effectiveness of online communication methods, including a multitude of social media and web tools. Students will understand search engine optimization (SEO) and the consequences - costs and benefits - of local and global messaging and interactivity.

DSGN 606, Database Management and Scripting [Proposed], 3 Units

Using PHP, Students will learn fundamental server-side scripting concepts like creating arrays and functions, automating Unix commands, gathering and processing user input, and dynamically writing out HTML and JavaScript. The course will culminate with the students creating a web application that ties HTML front-end to a MySQL database using PHP.

DSGN 607, Design Business and Entrepreneurship [Proposed], 3 Units

Students will examine the fields of study related to the design business and explore the basic tenets of entrepreneurship as related to creating and running a design business.

DSGN 608, Mobile Web Technology [Proposed], 3 Units

Mobile Web Technology concentrates on the importance of responsive design and how it has changed the way websites are designed to adapt to mobile devices. The class will include the use of JavaScript and jQuery as well as designing with advanced CSS and HTML5. The course will also include the creation of a mobile app.

DSGN 609, Advanced Web Design: Corporate and Brand Identity on the Web [Proposed], 3 Units

This course synthesizes two different but complementary tools of communication: graphic design and assembly. Students will learn the fundamental design principles and techniques for effective visual communication. These principles and techniques are applied, through projects, to achieve a communication objective across different platforms. Students can expect a practical, hands-on experience. A key tool for creating your digital work in this course is Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator is an effective tool for creating original artwork, and for designing logos, banners, icons and navigational elements for online and print. The artwork can then easily be exported to the Web or imported into other programs.

DSGN 612, Strategic Communication: Ethical Issues and Web Design [Proposed], 3 Units

This course introduces students to the discipline of strategic communications and the ethical and social issues that can arise from its practice. Students are given a background in important concepts in strategic communication, including branding, target audiences, technologies of strategic communication, the history and evolution of strategic communication, and other topics. With this knowledge, students utilize ethical thought and Christian principles to apply these to real-world strategic communications contexts.

DSGN 613, Web Design Internship [Proposed], 3 Units

This course will provide students with the opportunity to complete projects related to the students� career goals under the supervision of an experienced practitioner in the field. By the end of the internship, students will have first-hand knowledge of trends in the field, the skills necessary to be employable after graduation, and the importance of networking. Each student will set goals from the beginning of the course with a supervising professor about what the student needs to accomplish during the internship, and the student will self-reflect about the progress made at the end of the term. The internship must be approved by the program director.

DSGN 614, Web Design Independent Study [Proposed], 3 Units

This course is an option for students already employed in the web design field or in an area of the country where an internship is not available. Students will meet with the program director to outline goals, projects, and outcomes for the independent study. The goals is for the students to gain knowledge of trends in the field, skills necessary for employment, and the importance of networking. Course enrollment must be approved by the program director.

DSGN 615, UXD Internship or Independent Study [Proposed], 3 Units

Under faculty supervision, students work in positions related to their program and/or career goal, develop learning objectives and complete reflective academic assignments. As an alternative, students employed in the UXD area may choose to utilize their current work position as an independent study. These students will also work with a faculty supervisor to develop learning objects and complete reflective assignments that compliment their work environment.

DSGN 619, Web Design Project and Portfolio [Proposed], 3 Units

The course is designed to incorporate acquired design and communication skills into a real-world website, a communications pitch to a client, and a portfolio the student can use to find employment. The capstone project will incorporate skills such as branding, layouts, strategic communication, research methods, coding and web design. Students will develop a comprehensive communication campaign based on research and client needs. The completed campaign will be presented at the end of the course, and a professional portfolio of the students work will be critiqued and assembled for use. Students must have completed 24 units of DSGN graduate web design courses prior to enrolling in this course.




Terry Dobson, MFA

Associate Professor

Rebecca Roe, MFA, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Jessica Paik, M.Ed., Director, M.A. in User Experience Design

Adjunct Faculty

Charity Capili Ellis, MFA

Angela Lee, MFA

Nathan Lu, BFA

Stephanie Sabo, MFA

Vance Sanders, BFA

Brenda Whitehill Schlenker, MFA