Creating an environment where everyone can thrive

Iowa State’s College of Design is committed to offering a safe and welcoming campus, and to providing a learning environment that encourages, empowers, and supports all students in their unique goals. Every office, department, and classroom actively works to provide services, events, and financial and academic resources to see our students succeed.

When you come to the College of Design, we want you to feel included. We want you to know that our faculty and staff will advocate for you.

You belong here.

Our goal is to continuously engage in creating, encouraging, and supporting an inclusive community: one that challenges the creative minds of our students, faculty, and staff; one which allows us to reach new places in design; and one that provides safe and restorative spaces for you to be your authentic self.

College of Design BUILD Brunch - Feb. 15, 2023

Multicultural Student Success Office

The Multicultural Student Success Office (MSS) acts as an advocate and a resource for students in the College of Design who identify as African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Asian American, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Latina/o, and/ or Multiracial. MSS aims to help students access opportunities and achieve their personal and academic best.

The MSS office regularly hosts programming and events, including academic summer programs, receptions, workshops, and more to support students both in and outside of the classroom. Many events also engage faculty, staff, and the broader community in meaningful dialog around the topics of identity, culture, and inclusion.

View the College of Design’s event calendar

Free academic tutor at Iowa State

If you think you could benefit from additional academic help, it’s time to take action and request a tutor. Subsidized tutoring is available for African American, Latino American, Asian American, American Indian and Multiracial students at Iowa State University in both fall and spring semesters each year.

How to request a tutor

  • Visit
  • Click Edit and fill in your contact information.
  • Click Edit next to Funding.
  • Select Multicultural Student Affairs (MSA) from the drop-down menu.
  • Click Edit next to Courses and check the course you need a tutor for.
  • Click Edit next to Schedule and select all available times by left-clicking the mouse (or double-clicking on a Mac).
  • Click Review Your Application for Submitting.
  • Click Submit.

Student organizations are a great way for students to continue learning, form meaningful relationships, and develop leadership skills. Multicultural organizations can serve as a place for community, growth, and intercultural exchange. Below are a few multicultural organizations in the College of Design and links to others around the college and university.

Iowa Conference on Race and Ethnicity/National Conference on Race and Ethnicity
National Organization of Minority Architecture Students
Women Who Design
Iowa Women in Architecture Students
Other multicultural student organizations at Iowa State

The MSS office is available as resources to assist College of Design students, faculty, and staff on inclusion in the classroom and within student organizations.

About/Facilities Page Feature - The Design Closet

Design Closet: making art supplies accessible

The Design Closet is one way our college is working to mitigate financial barriers to being a design student and reduce and reuse materials within the college.

The Design Closet’s initial and primary purpose is to provide new and gently used materials to students with financial need. It’s all made possible through generous donations of funds and materials from students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the college.

Jonathan Wickert, Senior Vice President and Provost at Iowa State University, Headshot

It is my belief that students themselves have the most to gain when diversity and inclusion are part of their education. Iowa State graduates will work on teams with people from different backgrounds, and interact with people around the globe.

Jonathan Wickert, Senior Vice President and Provost at Iowa State University

  • BUILD Learning Community

    BUILD Learning Community

    The Building Up Inclusive Leadership in Design (BUILD) learning community is designed to aid first-year and transferring students who identify as multicultural, BIPOC, and/ or LGBTQIA+ in the successful transition to college and completion of the Core Design Program by pairing each new student with an upper-class student mentor in their intended major.

  • career services feature image

    Career Services

    Design Career Services offers programs and services to help students develop life-long skills in career development. The office also facilitates connections with employers through career fairs focusing on College of Design programs, employer presentations, and job and internship postings for Iowa State students and alumni.

  • Uplift Fund for professional development opportunties

    The Uplift Fund provides financial assistance for undergraduate multicultural students to take advantage of opportunities like exhibitions, competitions, conferences and workshops that expand their knowledge, gain recognition for their work and help make them more marketable for jobs and internships.

College of Design student researching.

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.