Design Arts

(Bachelor of Arts)

The Design Arts major is the study of the theory and practice of contemporary graphic design and environmental design. The graphic design curriculum includes a series of core courses in the history, applications, and influences of print, video, and interactive communications, while the environmental design area includes options for study in urban design and planning. The program emphasizes the design process as a creative decision-making tool. Students learn to develop and apply problem-solving methods and use design software and hardware along with traditional image-making and modeling techniques, to develop effective design solutions. 

This major provides a contemporary liberal arts education and an array of skills for a range of careers and advanced study, including graphic design, advertising and marketing, publications management, art direction, creative direction, and multi-media and website design, among others. The environmental design focus provides opportunities in urban planning, graduate studies in architecture and environmental graphic design. The program has a practicum and internship component through which students can gain professional experience and portfolio development.

Students have access to a technology studio that features design and imaging software and hardware standard to the design profession. A general-access computer laboratory also supports the Design Arts program. Students have access to industry standard digital design software for producing illustrations, publication design as well as traditional model-building facilities.

Students may study abroad or at other campuses in the United States through UW-Green Bay’s participation in international exchange programs and National Student Exchange. Travel courses are another option for obtaining academic credits and completing requirements. For more information, contact the Office of International Education at (920) 465-2190 or see

The following is a curriculum guide for a four-year Design degree program with an optional Communications Minor and is subject to change without notice. Students should consult a Design program advisor to ensure that they have the most accurate and up-to-date information available about a particular four-year degree option.

Toni L Damkoehler; Professor; M.F.A., University of Wisconsin - Madison

Berel Lutsky; Professor; M.F.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jeffrey A Benzow; Associate Professor; M.F.A., University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, chair

Addie M Sorbo; Senior Lecturer; B.A., University of Wisconsin - Green Bay


DESIGN 131. Introduction to Design and Culture. 3 Credits.

The history of the relationship between the consumer, manufacturing and the role design plays in the development of products and other forms of design that impact the economic, environmental and social spheres of contemporary life.

DESIGN 231. Graphic Design Studio I. 3 Credits.

Problem-solving techniques in graphic communication; development of visual, verbal and project management skills applied in graphic design. Development of design and technological skills using digital tools.
P: ART 106, ART 107 and DESIGN 131 with at least a C grade; REC: ART 105 or ART 243
Fall and Spring.

DESIGN 332. Graphic Design Studio II. 3 Credits.

Project based problem-solving techniques in graphic communication: expansion of design and technological skills. Intermediate and advanced design techniques using digital design tools.
P: DESIGN 231 with at least a C grade
Fall and Spring.

DESIGN 431. Graphic Design Studio III. 3 Credits.

Advanced methods in design research, problem-solving, design theory and technology use applied in graphic design and visual communications. Perspectives on portfolio development and presentation.
P: DESIGN 332 with at least a C grade.
Fall Only.

DESIGN 433. Advanced Studio. 3 Credits.

Applying concepts and skills in advanced communications projects such as web design and epublication, filmmaking and storytelling. Course is repeatable for credit if topics differ; may be taken 3 times for a total of 9 credits.
P: DESIGN 332 with at least a C grade or with consent of instructor.
Fall and Spring.

DESIGN 435. Design Arts Publication Workshop. 3 Credits.

A comprehensive experience in the design and production of a magazine format publication from the early stages of design through to the finished printed product. Combines conventional design skills developed in the graphic communications studios and use of desktop publishing technology. Course is repeatable for credit; may be taken 3 times for a total of 9 credits.
P: jr st and DESIGN 332 with at least a B grade
Fall and Spring.

DESIGN 436. Environmental Design Studio I. 3 Credits.

Introduces use of creative problem solving techniques in defining, analyzing, and solving problems in the built environment at the scale of the individual. Emphasizes basic graphic and verbal presentation techniques and relationships between form, the natural environment, people, and function.
P: ART 106.
Fall Only.

DESIGN 437. Environmental Design Studio II. 3 Credits.

Analysis and design of group spaces, such as houses, classrooms, waiting rooms and other spaces intended for occupancy by groups of people.

DESIGN 438. Environmental Design Studio III. 3 Credits.

Projects at the urban scale: design teams analyze physical, social, economic, historical, and administrative aspects of specific problems. Students formulate urban design programs and produce policies, plans, and designs.
Fall Only.

DESIGN 439. Environmental Design Studio IV. 3 Credits.

Each student proposes, designs and executes a design/research project of an elected topic. Individual projects are acceptable in some instances; projects by design teams are encouraged.

DESIGN 478. Honors in the Major. 3 Credits.

Honors in the Major is designed to recognize student excellence within interdisciplinary and disciplinary academic programs.
P: min 3.50 all cses req for major and min gpa 3.75 all UL cses req for major.

DESIGN 497. Internship. 1-12 Credits.

Instruction and experience in a professional environment where students work in any aspect of the field appropriate to their academic preparation and career goals under professional and faculty supervision. Course is repeatable for credit. No more than 3 credits may be used to meet requirements for a major or minor.
P: jr st and 3.0 gpa in major emphasis (dept will monitor gpa req).
Fall and Spring.