General information

Information about the Design Major

Academic Advising

The undergraduate advising office for the Department of Design is located in ART 101.

Drop-in advising hours are 9–12 and 1–4 pm, Monday–Friday throughout the year. To set up an appointment during these hours, please click here.

You may want to set up an appointment for the following situations:

  • You are trying to declare a double major
  • You are a prospective student who wants more information about the major
  • You have an athletic plan form
  • You are on academic probation or have been disqualified and are working with a Dean’s Office counselor to be readmitted and need an academic plan (green form) or have a “pass through” form

The department also has peer advisers who are in the advising office .  Hours will be posted at the start of fall quarter. 

Submitting Portfolio for Course Waiver

If you have taken a Design class at another college and think the course content is equivalent to DES 14 (Design Drawing), DES 15 (Form and Color) or DES 16 (Graphic Design and Computer Technology), you may submit a portfolio of no more than 10 examples of coursework (organized and labeled with name or purpose of assignment) in addition to a copy of the syllabus to the Advising Office.The portfolio will be evaluated by Design faculty who will determine whether the quality of work and breadth of knowledge gained are at the level of equivalency of the UCD course. Submission periods are listed as followed; please do not submit materials outside of these dates. Questions: contact Ariel Collatz

Fall 2017: October 9-13

Winter 2018: January 15-19

Spring 2018: April 16-20

Student Groups

Click here to learn more about the student groups in our department.

Design Honors Program Option

Undergraduate Design majors who meet university requirements and successfully complete the application process can complete an honors project thesis in order to be eligible for high honors or highest honors upon graduation from UC Davis. A student will enroll in DES 194HA (3 units) and DES 194HB (3 units) for this honors project, and the courses are typically graded using deferred grading where students receive a grade only at the completion of the project after 6 units of work. In addition, the UC Davis Department of Design requires honors students to apply to the Undergraduate Research Conference with their honors project (application in February).

By the fourth week of the last quarter of the junior year, students potentially eligible for high or highest honors at graduation may petition the Design faculty for tentative acceptance into the Design honors program. Final admission will depend upon the faculty’s approval of a senior thesis proposal that has been agreed upon by the student and a faculty adviser. The proposal must be presented to the Committee by the end of the fourth full week of instruction of the first quarter of the senior year. Graduation with high or highest honors will be conditional upon both the maintenance of the required grade point average and the completion of the senior thesis project. Students who anticipate doing a senior honors thesis should allow up to 3 units of independent study in the program during each of two quarters in the senior year as course options. 

The minimum GPA to qualify for acceptance into the honors program changes yearly, so please contact the advising office for this information.

Written honors proposal requirements:

  1. Proposed research/creative activity to be undertaken including questions to be answered in the process
  2. Methodologies employed in the process as well as a statement of available resources (archival materials, computer access) necessary for the project
  3. Tentative statement of the scope and nature of the final product

Online submission requirements:

  1. Agreement of a faculty member who will serve as the major adviser
  2. Written Honors Proposal (stated above)
  3.  Portfolio of 10-15 works that show visual and conceptual skill as related to proposal

NOTE: All Honors Projects in Design will include a written component that contains some element of self-reflection. Each thesis will have a major adviser and a second adviser. The major adviser will be the instructor of record for both quarters of the 194H course. Upon completion of the project the major adviser and second adviser will make a recommendation to the entire faculty as to the student’s eligibility for high or highest honors at which time the faculty will take a formal vote. Typically, “A” quality work will be considered for high honors and “A+” quality work for highest honors. The awarding of either of these categories of distinction is further contingent upon the student’s GPA based on the guidelines of the College of Letters and Sciences. In some cases, students may not receive honors because their overall GPA is not sufficiently high. In this instance, the student will still have the notation of completing an honors project on their transcript plus knowing all this extra creative effort is a good preparation for Graduate School.

Proposals will be evaluated primarily for:

  1. Significant importance of contribution to the field of knowledge
  2. Scope of project that reflects work beyond the undergraduate classroom experience
  3. Feasibility of timely completion
  4. Availability of student resources for successful completion

Internships and Independent Studies

Please click here for internships, independent study and tutor in Design forms.

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