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College of Creative Arts and Media: School of Art and Design

Design Studies, BS

Design Studies is for students interested in working in creative fields, using design thinking to provide innovative solutions to challenges facing our world today. It is an interdisciplinary program with linkages to sustainability, journalism, preservation, event planning, business, electronic media and a host of other professions.

This flexible program accommodates a wide range of interests and career paths with the design process as a focus. Parts of the program can be customized to meet your interests and goals.

Design is emerging as an exciting new career within the global economy and merges creativity with practical application. Design Studies prepares you to fully engage in this exciting professional arena.

Your Degree Plan


Aerial view of Martin and Woodburn Halls

This flexible, interdisciplinary program prepares you to work in creative industries and provide innovative solutions to challenges facing our world today.

Design Studies is a flexible, student-focused curriculum that is open to all freshmen and to students transferring into the program as long as they meet the GPA requirement of 2.0 overall. Our unique program combines coursework in studio-based design and other multidisciplinary courses that match your interests.

You will meet with an academic adviser at the beginning of the program to customize your curriculum. To graduate with a BS in Design Studies, you complete 120 credit hours, including:

  • A first-year seminar, which is an introduction to the university, the major and college life
  • General education courses in topics including English, math and science
  • Major courses in topics including design thinking, sustainable living and design ethics
  • Design-related electives in topics ranging from visual communications to product design
  • Six credit hours of internship, typically completed during the summer between a the third and fourth years

Take advantage of special options related to this major:

  • Honors

    Expand your curiosity — and enhance your curriculum — through the WVU Honors College. Two programs are offered: Honors Foundations for first- and second-year students and Honors EXCEL for third- and fourth-year students.

    Explore Honors

The WVU Difference

What sets this program apart from its competitors?

  • Gain real-world experience during a required summer internship in your area of interest.

Over 92% of WVU freshmen receive grants or scholarships (2022-2023).

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Learn by Doing

Learning happens outside the classroom. Get involved.

Connect with other students who share your academic interests as a member of:

View all of the student organizations you can join.

Network with professionals in your field as a student member of:

Live, study and pursue outside-the-classroom learning in a residence hall community that shares your interests:

Outside of the Evansdale Crossing building.

What you learn outside of the classroom is just as important as what you learn during class. We’ll help you follow your curiosity.

Careers and Outcomes

How does this degree prepare students for a career?

Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

Research market conditions in local, regional, or national areas, or gather information to determine potential sales of a product or service, or create a marketing campaign. May gather information on competitors, prices, sales, and methods of marketing and distribution.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $62,560

Possible job titles include: Market Analyst, Market Research Analyst, Market Research Consultant, Project Manager.

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Marketing Managers

Plan, direct or coordinate marketing policies and programs, such as determining the demand for products and services offered by a firm and its competitors, and identify potential customers. Develop pricing strategies with the goal of maximizing the firm's profits or share of the market while ensuring the firm's customers are satisfied. Oversee product development or monitor trends that indicate the need for new products and services.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $140,040

Possible job titles include: Brand Manager, Business Development Manager, Marketing Director, Marketing Manager.

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Construction Managers

Plan, direct, or coordinate, usually through subordinate supervisory personnel, activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities, and systems. Participate in the conceptual development of a construction project and oversee its organization, scheduling, budgeting, and implementation. Includes managers in specialized construction fields, such as carpentry or plumbing.

Has a Bright Outlook

Median Salary: $101,480

Possible job titles include: Construction Manager, Construction Superintendent, General Contractor, Project Manager.

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Environmental Restoration Planners

Collaborate with field and biology staff to oversee the implementation of restoration projects and to develop new products. Process and synthesize complex scientific data into practical strategies for restoration, monitoring or management.

May require a Graduate Degree

Median Salary: $76,480

Possible job titles include: Coastal and Estuary Specialist, Executive Director, Project Manager, Watershed Coordinator.

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Graphic Designers

Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.

Median Salary: $57,990

Possible job titles include: Creative Director, Designer, Graphic Artist, Graphic Designer.

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Writers and Authors

Originate and prepare written material, such as scripts, stories, advertisements, and other material.

Median Salary: $73,150

Possible job titles include: Account Executive, Advertising Copy Writer, Copy Writer, Copywriter.

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Career options

Our students go on to have successful careers as design coordinators, creative marketing specialists and events coordinators. Many of them work for companies like:

  • Amazon
  • Dura Edge
  • Hamilton Beach Brands
  • Stitch Fix
  • California Closets

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to WVU's Design Studies major, first-time freshmen must meet WVU's first-time freshman admission requirements for the 2024-25 academic year. Interested in transferring? Review the transfer admission requirements.

Tuition and Aid

How much does Design Studies at WVU cost? And how can you save?

Tuition and Fees

Estimated rates are available on our tuition website. Anyone who is not a current West Virginia resident, including international students, will be charged non-resident rates.

View Tuition and Fees


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Net Price Calculator

Estimate your cost of attendance and eligibility for financial aid and scholarships at any WVU System campus.

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Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending WVU in addition to university scholarships.

Financial Aid

The most important step toward funding your future with financial aid for the Design Studies major is submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

How to Complete the FAFSA

Ohio Tuition Reciprocity

As the result of a special agreement, students from Ohio who are fully admitted to Design Studies can enroll at WVU and pay in-state tuition rates. Students must be admitted to both the University and this major.

Learn More

Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, we have formal agreements with certain institutions. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to WVU.

Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

Learn How to Transfer Course Credits

Ready to take the next step?

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Want to know more about Design Studies at WVU? Fill out our request form to receive more information.

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