General information

Information about the Design Major

Academic Advising

We are currently offering remote and in person. Please make an appointment online.

The undergraduate advising office for the Department of Design is located in ART 101. To set up an appointment, please click here.

You may want to set up a 30 min 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 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 each quarter. 

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.

Student Led Courses

The Design faculty is pleased to offer undergraduate Design students the opportunity to teach their peers under the auspices of the Student Facilitated Course (SLC). To qualify, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.25. Proposals to teach an SLC can be submitted by individuals or teams of two.

Read more about Student Led Courses here.

Student Groups

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

Course Equivalency Request Process

In order to request the substitution of a lower division studio course students must have completed a equivalent course for college credit (AP credits, IB credits or unarticulated community college or 4 year college credits). You may submit a portfolio of no more than 10 examples of coursework (organized and labeled with name or purpose of assignment, see example) in addition to a copy of the syllabus. The portfolio will be evaluated by Design faculty to determine if the quality of work and breadth of knowledge gained are equivalent to the UCD course. You may request an equivalency for the following courses:

DES 14: Design Drawing

DES 15: Form & Color

DES 16: Graphic Design & Computer Technology

DES 21: Drafting & Perspective

DES 50: 3-D Object Design

DES 51: Computer-Assisted Drawing for Designers

DES 70: Introduction to Textile Design Structures

DES 77: Introduction to Structural Design for Fashion

DES 1 does not have an equivalency process and this course must be taken at UCD. Submission periods are listed as follows; please do not submit materials outside of these dates. Questions: contact Ariel Collatz

Fall: October 10-15

Winter: January 10-15

Spring: April 10-15

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