Board of Regents approves new Bachelor of Design degree at ISU

AMES, Iowa - A new degree offered by the Iowa State University College of Design provides additional options for students.

The state Board of Regents approved the Bachelor of Design degree program at its June meeting in Cedar Falls.

The four-year, studio-based degree consists of one year in the college's freshman Core Design Program followed by three years in the bachelor's program. Students can enroll in the program this fall; however, the college primarily will promote it for fall 2012 enrollment.

The Bachelor of Design will center on interdisciplinary thematic studios and forums that help students connect history and theory to design practice through hands-on experiences addressing different kinds of design challenges. The degree will draw on existing course offerings, as well as new courses being developed. Given the explorative nature of the program, several courses will be open to non-majors interested in a broad view of design.

"The Bachelor of Design provides a way for students who are not ready to commit to a single design discipline to study design and potentially link this education with other relevant fields," said Mark Chidister, associate professor of integrated studio arts, who led the committee that developed the degree program proposal.

"They can also use this strong foundation as a springboard to a professional graduate degree," he said.

And the program will open new opportunities for transfer students and those interested in pursuing a second major outside of design, such as business, advertising or engineering, said Michelle Rasmussen, student services coordinator in the College of Design.

"Community college transfer students could complete this degree in two years after earning an associate's degree in a related field," she said.

The program is part of the college's efforts to make design education more accessible to a greater number of students.

For more information on the Bachelor of Design degree program, contact Rasmussen, 515-294-6983,