Degree programs for undergraduate students

At Iowa State’s College of Design, you have more opportunities and more possibilities through nationally-recognized undergraduate programs. With 10 undergraduate majors and 8 undergraduate minors, plus pathways for earning advanced degrees, you can follow your passions, customize your academic journey, and gain skills that can make an impact in your world.

Undergraduate majors

Do you know you are creative but are not sure which design field most appeals to you or best suits your talents? The College of Design at Iowa State University is the perfect place to discover your calling, and the Undeclared Design Option gives you an opportunity to explore each of our program offerings before committing to a degree – all without extending your graduation date.

Learn more about the undeclared design option

Our accredited five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree provides a foundation for your future career: one that can lead to the design of buildings for private, public, and institutional use or can help you carve alternative career paths that focus on innovative ways of spatial and creative production. The breadth of options in your course of study will help you determine the goals that work for you, all while stressing the impact that architecture has on the human condition, culture, and landscape.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Architecture

Iowa State’s four-year Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art (formerly Art and Design Art and Culture emphasis) provides studio courses for an immersive exploration of artistic practice. This studio-based curriculum places a strong emphasis on hands-on learning and creative expression. In addition to studio courses, students are encouraged to complement their coursework with a secondary program of study, either within or outside the College of Design. Graduates of this program are equipped with the skills and knowledge to pursue various career paths in the art world and beyond.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Arts in Art

Our four-year Bachelor of Arts in Art History degree program explores academic paths in art and design. The non-studio-based curriculum requires students to complement their coursework with a secondary program of study, within or outside of the College of Design. This provides students with a solid liberal arts educational experience that can springboard into a variety of career paths.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Arts in Art History

The SciViz major is designed for students who want to combine their interests and aptitudes in science and art. Students take a mix of courses concentrated on the natural sciences in LAS and studio art in Design. They learn the latest artistic techniques, visual design skills, and the business of being a visual communicator. They become proficient in producing a broad range of artwork, including drawings, paintings and photographs, which are scientifically accurate and aesthetically pleasing.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Arts in Scientific Illustration and Visualization

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art (formerly Integrated Studio Arts) focuses on in-depth studio work with an emphasis on crossing conceptual and media boundaries. It is designed for students intending to become professional artists and those planning to continue their studies in a graduate program in studio art.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art

The Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Planning (BSCRP) is a professional degree combines classroom and studio-based instruction to provide students with an understanding of the theory, methods and applications of planning practice. It provides the foundation for becoming a certified professional planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners, or for more specialized graduate study.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Planning

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design is a four-year degree that combines both traditional and new graphic design media, providing you with a wide range of in-demand skills upon graduation. As the only public Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design program in the state of Iowa and a top ranked program nationally, it provides the foundation for a career in the visual communication profession.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

The nationally ranked Industrial Design program at Iowa State University, the only industrial design program in the state of Iowa, offers a professional Bachelor of Industrial Design degree provides the foundation for a career in a variety of commercial product design and service professions. The undergraduate program prepares students for immediate entry into design practice as well as long-term continued growth and achievement.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Industrial Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design emphasizes a broad spectrum of learning experiences covering topics from modern building systems, sustainability and environmental responsibility to human factors, universal design and public safety. Students work on genuine problems and offer unique solutions for real clients. These service-learning opportunities give you the chance to experience the full range of interior design as it is practiced today.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design

The professional five-year Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree provides the foundation for becoming a licensed, registered landscape architect. Students in this program participate in a one-of-a-kind traveling Savanna Studio during their first semester in the major. To earn their degrees, students must complete an internship, study abroad or student exchange program.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture

All Iowa State students may elect to add a secondary major in Interdisciplinary Design to their plan of study as a complement to their first major. It offers courses for students interested in pursuing careers and futures related to creative leadership, design for social change, disruptive innovation and user experience (UX), and provides the knowledge and skill sets necessary to address complex challenges and contemporary societal problems using key innovation and entrepreneurial concepts.

Learn more about the Interdisciplinary Design Secondary Major

Two male students working on Wearables project for Design 102 class.

Core Design Program

The undergraduate curricula in design are divided into two phases: the Core Design Program and the professional or general degree program. Students entering the College of Design attend a common set of foundation studio and lecture classes intended to prepare them for application to the college’s majors.

  • ISU COD East Exterior

    Explore by department

    Few other institutions, private or public, can boast the impressive array of disciplines the College of Design supports under one collegiate “roof”. This leads to a strong, multi-disciplinary network of design thinking that directly benefits you.

  • Interdisciplinary Studios

    A tradition for more than 15 years, the College of Design Interdisciplinary Studios are the original sandbox for innovative, multidisciplinary explorations in design. The advanced, project-based studios engage students from every design discipline in different challenges, different scales, and different patterns of work.

    Interdisciplinary Studios
  • Study Abroad

    Study abroad is a unique experience that helps develop academic, personal, and professional growth. The College of Design features three types of international programs: the flagship Rome Program, short-term faculty-led programs, and reciprocal student exchange programs.

    Study Abroad
  • Academic Support

    The College of Design is dedicated to providing services that will help all students succeed, such as assistance in honors programs, scholarship information, study abroad, academic advising, and more.

    Academic Support Services
College of Design student working on class project.

A Cyclone in the Making

Find your place at Iowa State University’s College of Design, where we like to ask questions, poke and prod, create something new, and make a difference through design.