College of Design
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The College

Located in one of the major design cities and in one of the largest research universities in the U.S., the College of Design encompasses the full range of design disciplines at the University of Minnesota and is home to seven undergraduate majors, 19 graduate degree programs, 10 centers, and the Goldstein Museum of Design.

The faculty, students and staff in the college seek to advance the quality and value of the natural, designed, and social environments with an emphasis on sustainable, socially responsible, civically engaged, user-sensitive, critical and collaborative design work.


Quick Facts

Thomas Fisher



Current Undergraduates

Current Graduates

Our Mission

Through a unique commitment to creativity and advancing technologies, the College of Design at the University of Minnesota leads, innovates and educates in the full range of design fields by researching ongoing and emerging issues, exploring new knowledge, and addressing and solving real-world problems; all while adhering to socially responsible, sustainable, and collaborative design thinking.


Our Vision

As one of the most comprehensive design colleges in the country, the College of Design will be the recognized leader in advancing transformative thinking and practice, and reinventing our disciplines and professions for a new century.

In order to prepare our students to confront the real challenges of our time, every College of Design graduate from the University of Minnesota will:

  • Be able to apply design thinking as a way to address issues big and small confronting the local and world community
  • Understand and be prepared for the social, environmental, and economic ramifications of each problem they address and every decision they make in their work
  • Not only be able to conceive unique ideas, but be capable of implementing those ideas through actionable plans, projects, or strategies.

Degrees offered

College Initiatives

We have several new initiatives underway that will link the college internally as well as with the larger university and community. These include:



Ranging from the research of our Center for Sustainable Building Research, our M.S. degree in sustainability, and our faculty work in areas such as landscape ecology, affordable housing, and homelessness.


Digital design, including the research underway in our Human Dimensioning Lab, as well as faculty work in the area of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).


Culture and world heritage, embracing everything from our Center for World Heritage Studies in conjunction with UNESCO to our Goldstein Museum of Design, the largest design museum in a design college in the country.


Urban and rural outreach, involving several research units -- the Metropolitan Design Center, Center for Rural Design, and Center for Changing Landscapes -- as well as faculty work among migrant workers and in urban neighborhoods and city schools.


Product design, connecting most of the units in the college as well as with other colleges, such as the Institute of Technology and the Carlson School of Management, and several Twin Cities corporations.


Human factors, linking faculty in the College of Design with those in kinesiology in the College of Education and Human Development and in mechanical engineering in the Institute of Technology.