WELCOME to the College of Design

Iowa State University's College of Design is one of the country's most comprehensive design institutions offering a vast array of design disciplines while providing the benefits of both a small community and large-scale university. We're home to more than 1,850 undergraduate and 100 graduate students. 

Discover what makes us unique:

1. Exploratory First-Year Program
Nearly all undergraduate students enter the college through our Core Design Program, a first-year foundation curriculum that prepares you for all of our degree programs:

We also offer an intercollegiate program, Biological/Pre-medical Illustration, that does not require completion of the Core.

2. Immersive Learning Communities
Our learning communities connect you to a supportive network of faculty, classmates and peer mentors. Explore our design learning communities:

  • The Design Exchange, a one-year residential learning community
  • Design Collaborative, a one-semester non-residential learning community

All first-year students enrolled in the Core Design Program will participate in one of our two communities. 


3. Small Class Sizes in Design Studios
Our studio method is our primary form of instruction, providing powerful ways to develop and refine your creative abilities through inquiry, critical thinking, synthesis and application of knowledge.

Most classes in the College of Design are studios ranging in size from 15 to 20 students, meaning our studios foster close relationships with other students and faculty. Studios meet for long, concentrated periods of time, combining lecture and discussion with hands-on participation.