General information

Design Curriculum Requirements

How to Declare the Design Major

Students may declare the DES major by completing one DES course at UC Davis with a “C” or better.

Major Requirements

Design Major Checklist 

Preparatory Subject Matter Units: 28

Intro Courses:

DES 001 Introduction to Design

DES 014 Design Drawing or DES 021 Drafting & Perspective 

DES 015 Form & Color

DES 016 Graphic Design & Computer Technology


University Writing Program; choose one:

UWP 011 Popular Science & Technology Writing

UWP 012 Writing & Visual Rhetoric Preferred.

UWP 048 Style in the Essay

UWP 049 Writing Research Papers


Lower Division History/Theory Choose one:

DES 040A Energy, Materials, & Design Over Time Same as SAS 043.

DES 040B Ideologies of Design

DES 040C Design for Aesthetics & Experience

DES 040D Designed Geographies: Environment, Containment, Sanctuary

Lower Division Electives Choose one:

DES 021 Drafting & Perspective Can only be used for this requirement if not counted above.

DES 040A Energy, Materials, & Design Over Time Can only be used for this requirement if not counted above. Same as SAS 043.

DES 040B Ideologies of Design Can only be used for this requirement if not counted above.

DES 040C Design for Aesthetics & Experience Can only be used for this requirement if not counted above.

DES 040D Designed Geographies: Environment, Containment, Sanctuary Can only be used for this requirement if not counted above.

DES 050 Introduction to Three-Dimensional Design

DES 051 Computer-Assisted Drawing for Designers

DES 070 Introduction to Textile Design Structures

DES 077 Introduction to Structural Design for Fashion

ART 012 Beginning Video


Depth Subject Matter Units: 40


Upper Division History Courses, Choose three:

List A:

DES 127A Sustainable Design

DES 128A Biodesign Theory & Practice: Biodesign Challenge Part I

DES 138 Materials & Methods in Interior Design

DES 142A World Textiles: Eastern Hemisphere

DES 142B World Textiles: Western Hemisphere

DES 141 Cultural Studies of Fashion

DES 143 History of Fashion

DES 144 History of Interior Architecture

DES 145 History of Visual Communication

DES 146 Mobilities

DES 148 Trend Research & Forecasting in Design

DES 149 Information Design: Principles & Practice

Any upper division art history course (AHI 100-189)

DRA 114 Theatre on Film

DRA/CTS 116 Design on Screen

DRA 150 American Theatre & Drama

DRA 154 Asian Theatre and Drama

DRA 155 Representing Race in Performance

TCS 150 Introduction to Theories of the Technoculture

TCS 152 New Trends in Technocultural Arts

TCS 153 Concepts of Innovative Soundtracks

TCS/CDM 155 Introduction to Documentary Studies

TCS/CDM 159 Media Subcultures


Upper Division Studio Courses Choose five (20 units total) from lists B & C; one may be a non-Design (DES) course:

List B:

DES 107 Advanced Structural Design for Fashion

DES 111 Coding for Designers

DES 112 UI/UX Design: Principles & Practices

DES 113 Photography & Digital Imaging

DES 115 Letterforms & Typography

DES 116 Visual Communication: Graphic Design Studio

DES 117 Interactive Media I

DES 126 Design Ethnography

DES 127B Studio Practice in Sustainable Design

DES 128B Biodesign Experimentation & Prototyping: Biodesign Challenge Part II

DES 131 Global Fashion & Product Design

DES 132A Textile Design: Woven Structures

DES 132B Loom-Constructed Textile Design

DES 134A Introduction to Interior Design–Residential

DES 134B Introduction to Interior Design–Commercial & Technical Spaces

DES 135A Furniture Design & Detailing

DES 135B Furniture Design & Prototyping

DES 136A Lighting Technology & Design

DES 136B Designing with Light–Industrial Design

DES 137A Daylighting & Interior Design

DES 137B Daylighting Design Studio

DES 150 Computer-Assister Presentations for Interior Architecture

DES 151 Type in Motion

DES 155A Pattern, Form & Surface

DES 156 Graphitecture: Architecture in the Age of New Media

DES 157/157A Interactive Media II

DES 158 Data & Large-Scale Installation

DES 160 Textile Surface Design: Patterns & Resists

DES 161 Textile Surface Design: Screen & Digital Printing

DES 165 Studio Practices in Industrial Design

DES 166 Human Centered Design

DES 167 Prototyping: From Objects to Systems

DES 168 Interactive Objects

DES 169 Advanced Explorations in Textile Design

DES 170 Experimental Fashion & Textile Design

DES 171 Fashion Drawing: Technical & Illustration

DES 175 – Functional Apparel Design

DES 177 Computer-Assisted Fashion Design

DES 178 Design and Wearable Technology

DES 180A Advanced Interior Design: Institutional Spaces

DES 185 Exhibition Design

DES 186 Environmental Graphic Design

DES 191A-D Workshops in Design

One from the following approved list may count:

ART 110A Intermediate Photography: Black & White Analog

ART 110B Intermediate Photography: Digital Imaging

ART 113 Interdisciplinary Art

ART 114A Intermediate Video: Animation

CDM 100 Experimental Digital Cinema I

CDM 104 Documentary Production

CDM 125 Advanced Sound: Performance & Improvisation

CDM 130 Fundamentals of Computer Graphics

CDM 131 Character Animation

CHI 172 Chicana/o Voice/Poster Silk Screen Workshop

DRA 124A Principles of Theatrical Design: Scenery

DRA 124B Principles of Theatrical Design: Scenery

DRA 124C Principles of Theatrical Design: Lighting

DRA 124D Principles of Theatrical Design: Costume

DRA 124E Costume Design for Film Same as CTS 124E.

DRA 128 Principles of Theatre Sound (3 units)

DRA 130 Approaches to Theatrical Design: Practice & Theory

DRA 170 Media Theatre

TCS 104 Documentary Production

LDA 141 Community Participation & Design

List C:

Capstone Course Option; these courses are the most advanced in the major and prerequisites are strictly enforced:

DES 154 Visual Communication: Message Campaign Design

DES 157B Interactive Media III

DES 159 Design for Understanding

DES 179 Fashion Design: Signature Collection

DES 180B Advanced Interior Architecture

DES 187 Narrative Environments

Upper Division Elective Courses. Choose two from list A, B, or C that have not been previously counted. 8

Note: Substitutions for the listed courses may be allowed under certain circumstances with prior departmental approval.


Total: 68


Design Major Map

Gather skills, combine areas, and depart from the chart… See connections between areas of design practice. Use this chart to identify which courses are connected to larger themes within design practice, and to make informed choices about your path through the major.* Gather skills in 2- and 3-dimensional, analog, and digital practices. Combine one or more depth areas of design practice to build your own toolkit and become the designer you want to be. Depart from the chart to build your own toolkit! 

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