Design Studies (Minor)

Design Studies (Minor)
Art design student

What is design studies?

In the interdisciplinary design studies minor, you’ll apply design principles to visual expressions in the fine, commercial, industrial and performing arts. The minor is part of the studio arts program at UNH. In your coursework, you’ll receive an introduction to design as a discipline and learn how it is applied in the visual arts, theatre, film, architecture and on the internet. You’ll receive hands-on training in a range of design software programs. Combine this minor with a major such as English, theatre or communication to enhance your career opportunities.

Why study design studies at UNH?

This minor offers the benefit of being a structured yet flexible undergraduate program, and your course of study can be tailored to your interests. With the UNH Museum of Art and Paul Creative Arts Center right on campus, the culturally rich community of Portsmouth just minutes away, and the fine art museums of Boston within an hour’s drive, you’ll be surrounded by dynamic art events and exhibits. You’ll meet and learn from artists and historians from around the world through our Visiting Artists & Art Historians program.

Potential career areas

  • Art education
  • Commercial art
  • Communications
  • Costuming
  • Graphic design
  • Illustration
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Photography
  • Set design
  • Website design

Curriculum & Requirements

Situated within the studio arts program, the interdisciplinary minor in design studies brings together the formal and conceptual principles of design in the visual expressions of the fine arts (painting, sculpture, photography, etc.), the commercial arts (graphic design, illustration, etc.), the industrial arts (engineering) and the performing arts (stage, costume and lighting design).

Course options in communication, marketing, English and art history offer the opportunity to contextualize the principles and products of design in a broader historical, sociological and cultural context.

Course requirements and options within the design studies minor enable students to develop a common skill set of literacy and fluency in a range of design software programs (Photoshop, InDesign, Light Box, Fuse, etc.), the utility of which has become increasingly more essential to a range of fields of study and vocations.

Five courses (20 credits) are required.1

Applied/Studio Practice
ARTS 510Principles of Design4
Select two of the following:8
ARTS 501
Introductory Ceramics
ARTS 525
Introductory Woodworking
ARTS 532
Introductory Drawing
ARTS 536
Introduction Printmaking: Intaglio
ARTS 546
Painting Design I: Perceptual Painting and Color Theory
ARTS 551
Introduction to Darkroom Photography
ARTS 567
Introductory Sculpture
ARTS 610
Principles of Typography
ARTS 613
Design and Place
ARTS 614
Design and People
THDA 460
Elements of Design
THDA 546
Costume Design for the Theatre
THDA 548
Stage Lighting Design and Execution
Technical Practice
Select one of the following:4
ARTS 552
Introductory Digital Photography
ARTS 611
Animation and Motion Design
ARTS 612
Interaction & Game Design
CEE 402
2D Computer Aided Design 1
CEE 700
Building Information Modeling 1
CMN 596
Special Topics in Media Studies (Multi-media Communication)
ENGL 712
Multimedia Storytelling
IT 403
Introduction to Internet Technologies
IT 502
Intermediate Web Design
Historical/Theoretical Context
Select one of the following:4
ARTH 480
Introduction to Art History
ARTH 474
Introduction to Architectural History
CMN 697
Seminar in Rhetorical Study (Rhetoric of the Photograph)
CMN 756
Rhetorics of Display
CMN 772
Seminar in Media Theory
ENGL 533
Introduction to Film Studies
Studies in Film/Genre
Studies in Film/Authorship
Studies in Film/Culture and Ideology
Studies in Film/Narrative and Style
MKTG 520
Topics in Marketing (Understanding Your Customer or Digital Marketing Communications)
Total Credits20

19 credits are required to complete the minor if CEE 402 or CEE 700 is selected.

Students must receive a minimum grade of C in all required courses.

A maximum of two courses (8 credits) may be transferred from another accredited institution, provided UNH has accepted them as transfer credits. Transfer courses must be a minimum of 3 credits. Students with 3 credit transfers must make up the credit shortage.

Only two courses from the student’s area/department of concentration may be used to meet requirements towards a minor in design studies.


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