Department of Design

Vision Statement

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

Department Overview

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. 

ART 618, Master's Capstone I, 3 Units

Students complete a capstone writing project, converting an existing graduate research paper or project into a polished example of scholarship. Each student must revise the paper/project for content and style, and the final product must be of the quality one might see in a scholarly journal or at a professional conference.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of 4 required courses and 4 elective courses.

ART 625, Master's Capstone II, 3 Units

Students in this course produce a capstone portfolio demonstrating the breadth and depth of their master's experience and articulating the value of the degree to potential employers or admissions committee members.

Prerequisite: ART 618

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 [Proposed], 3 Units

This course synthesizes 2D, 3D, and 4D conceptions of space with knowledge and skills of interactivity to create and produce the digital experience. This is course helps students expand their ability to innovate within a digital concept.

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, Mobile Communication Design [Proposed], 3 Units

Students will explore a strategic process of how to design for a multiscreen environment with emphasis on mobile platforms. At the end of the course, students will have an understanding of how to plan, design, develop, and market potential mobile applications.

DSGN 515, Digital Innovation Design [Proposed], 3 Units

This course is comprised of several projects which highlight the role that digital designers play in the multi-disciplinary attempt to bridge the gap between functionality and usability.

DSGN 516, Interactive Narrative/Story, 3 Units

This course examines the application of storytelling within the context of user experience design (UXD). Students will investigate the creation and analysis of narratives to provide clarity and distinctiveness, capture attention, inspire to action, create a meaningful journey, and forge 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.


Interim Chair

Rebecca Roe, MFA, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Terry Dobson, MFA

Adjunct Faculty

Jonathan Huang, BFA

Nathan Lu, BFA

Stephanie Sabo, MFA

Vance Sanders, BFA

Brenda Whitehill Schlenker, MFA