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Design is a pervasive term that envelops almost every aspect of contemporary culture from town planning and landscaping, to familiar products and web or software interfaces. It has been said that "design is making sense of things" and this may ultimately be the best way to define such an all-encompassing practice. Designers studying in this program are taught to observe and respond to the cultural, socio/ economic, material, political, geographic and temporal environment. These are the thoughtful, ethical designers of the future, who will imbue our environments with depth, texture and meaning.

During their course of study students identify and refine a design process and methodology that is appropriate for application across a broad range of disciplines. This is a comprehensive education that allows those graduates completing the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Design to navigate the shifting requirements of the field with greater ease, and which invests them with a flexibility needed to practice successfully in a range of venues.

The BFA Design degree is well suited for students who are primarily interested in developing their design skills to prepare for graduate study or a professional career in design or the visual arts.

Declare This Major

Undergraduates currently enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin who wish to change to a major in the College of Fine Arts need to apply for an internal transfer. Find out more about the internal transfer process, including the procedures and requirements to apply. Interested students should view information on the application and portfolio submission process and contact the undergraduate academic advisor in the Department of Art and Art History regarding the internal transfer process.

Prospective University of Texas at Austin students should visit to learn about the application process and how to declare a major.

Required Courses

View the Art and Art History degree plans for a list of required coursework in this major.


To learn more about the student experience in the design program, view student work on Flickr or learn about related student activities and student organizations.


Design majors develop technical, communication, artistic, and problem solving skills applicable to many areas of design. Specific skills developed by design majors depend to some degree on their creative interests.

Technology is both an important tool in design ideation and realization and a major and pervasive component of the fabric which constitutes contemporary culture. From this standpoint, students are asked to investigate a range of enabling technologies as they bear on culture and on the design process, and to question how technology affects their personal methodology. Although computers are used as a tool throughout the Design program, no course is specifically written to emphasize computers. Within the design area students have access to several well-equipped labs, each tailored to a specific technology. These are traditional letterpress printing, black and white photography, graphic arts photography, and the relatively new and constantly expanding digital technology. The skills learned are transferable to a variety of sectors and jobs.

A small sample of directly related careers

Interior Designer
Graphic Designer
Industrial Designer
Set/Exhibit Designer

Remember: Your major does not (necessarily) equal your career. View a list of career ideas for any major.


Prospective Students:
Department of Art and Art History
ART 1.216
(512) 232.1999

Change of Major/Adding Simultaneous Major:
Department of Art and Art History
ART 3.342
(512) 475.7718