The Department of Design was created in 2019 by combining TCU’s graphic design and interior design programs with the goal of creating one of the best integrated design departments in the country. We are well on the way – the graphic design program has been ranked in the top 15% of graphic design programs in the U.S. by College Factual.
TCU’s design programs are rigorous, competitive and intensely creative. You will be challenged to push beyond your comfort zone to learn, grow and improve. You will gain knowledge, experience and graduate with a powerful portfolio.
Our students win awards in prestigious design competitions at the international, national, regional and local levels. Graduates land meaningful creative positions at prestigious agencies — in many cases before they graduate. Our loyal and well-connected alumni network is a testament to the positive experiences people have here as students and to their long-term professional success.
Graphic design majors learn the ins and outs of creating persuasive and targeted communication in a variety of media ranging from traditional print to the latest in digital and social media. Interior design majors develop fundamental skills in the principles and elements of design, drafting, concept development and visual presentation skills. Architectural lighting design minors strengthen their studio design knowledge and gain hands-on lighting experience.
You’ll develop your analytical thinking, problem solving, clarity in written and spoken expression, collaboration and creativity to adapt to whatever the future might bring and elevate your talent, intelligence and values.
Learn more about the internships available and how students are prepared for their careers after TCU.
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design
- Bachelor of Science in Design Studies
- Minor in Architectural Lighting Design
The department is small and selective by design. Lower-division classes are limited to 15 students, and advanced classes are often smaller. This intimate setting allows instructors and students to develop a rapport that not only enhances academic communication, but also contributes to long-term professional relationships and friendships.
Fields of Study:
- Architectural Lighting Design
- Daylighting Design
- Lighting Systems and Controls Design
- Luminaire Design
- Interior Design
- Art Direction
- Art Direction
- Business of Design
- Data Visualization
- Design Entrepreneurship
- Design Thinking
- Editorial Design
- Environmental Design
- History of Design
- Lighting Design
- Motion Graphics
- UI/UX Design
- Web Design
The Department of Design is in the brand new Fine Arts Building starting the 2019-20 academic year. The 35,000+ square-foot instructional space has been designed specifically to support the combined design programs. There are fully equipped computer labs with both Macs and PCs, a custom designed architectural lighting lab with an adjustable lighting grid and built-in wall textures and much more. A specialized fabrication studio includes a variety of color printers including large format, photo-quality printing for posters and banners, 3-D scanner and printers, laser engravers, an embroidery machine and a vinyl-cutting plotter—all onsite, all available to assist students in creating prototypes for class projects.
Computers and Software
Graphic Design and Design Studies students are not required to provide a computer, however a MacBook Pro is strongly encouraged. The primary software used in graphic design includes Adobe Creative Cloud. Once enrolled, students can subscribe for a significant reduction in cost.
Interior Design, Architectural Lighting Design and Design of the Built Environment students are required to provide a PC laptop. All students declaring the interior design major should refer to the posted laptop policy. This policy will be updated annually in late spring with detailed system specifications, software requirements and program policies. Students should purchase the required software packages after acceptance into the interior design program and passage of the first-year portfolio examination. Required software includes legally licensed CAD, 3D modeling, presentation and productivity software for use in the interior design courses.
The graphic design program is accredited by the National Association of Colleges of Art and Design (NASAD). Since 1944, NASAD has been the premiere accrediting agency for graphic, industrial and environmental design programs throughout the United States.
The interior design program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), that has continuously accredited the curriculum since 1978. The program prepares students for the opportunity to complete the necessary steps to obtain state licensing or registration. This major is for the student planning a career as a licensed or registered designer with interior design and/or architectural firms.
The Department of Design has an advisory council that includes distinguished representatives of the design community regionally, and at-large. The council meets twice a year on campus and advises the Department on matters of academic preparation for the needs of the industry in graphic design, interior design and architectural lighting design.
The department has twelve full-time faculty members, many of whom who bring a wealth of experience from their professional design practices. The program is supplemented by architectural, design, advertising and illustration professionals from the Dallas-Fort Worth community. This combination provides the stability and academic professionalism of having a full-time staff, while offering a rich variety of perspective and “real-world” learning experiences offered by the part-time faculty. View the faculty directory.