Jun 13, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Art - I-Design (ARTD) - BA Major

IDesign Image

67 credits (no minor required)

2.0 GPA required in major. 2.5 GPA required overall.

Letter grade required in all major courses unless otherwise noted.

Art - I-Design Major Map  


The I-Design major is an adaptive design program which develops the creative identity through the interdisciplinary problem-solving skills, new media and technology, entrepreneurial incubation, collaboration, and global cultural experience. Students studying design enrich contemporary society and culture by creating unique expressive forms of communication and experiences through a broad range of design careers.


The I-Design program provides students with an up-to-date and adaptive design education. Employing the Design thinking methodology, the I-Design major is developed as an integrated design program that is localized for the Winona State University environment. As the creative field continues to expand, the program will enable students to become leaders in multiple design-related industries and even their communities.

Building on a foundation that includes studio and digital art, basic graphic design theory, and design history studies, students will leverage traditional studio skills along with modern tools, like professional design software, to gain necessary creative and design skills. Once formally accepted into the program as sophomores, students are exposed to advanced contemporary design theory and practices. Design students expand their knowledge and skills and build a professional portfolio through a dynamic and diverse curriculum which includes design history, critical theory, innovative methodology, and engaging practices and techniques. Inquiry, research, collaboration, analysis, and evaluation are core components of the design curriculum as our students become critical and imaginative thinkers responding to contemporary socio-cultural topics through emergent visual communication forms. Incorporating knowledge from the cross-disciplinary coursework, students learn to use design thinking to resolve challenges creatively and innovatively. 

The I-Design major incorporates a concentration elective (mimicking the area of expertise) that allows students to individualize their program with an area of interest. Students can choose from Studio Practices, Conceptual Illustration, Technology & Interactivity, Business & Marketing, Sustainable Applications, Community Development, and Integrated Studies.

I-Design program objectives:

  • Interdisciplinary Creative Studies: Students will be expected to expand the boundary of traditional academic scholarship. They will pursue outside subject areas and incorporate different types of creative problem-solving skills into their design studies and individual practice. 
  • Integrative Skills: Students learn to collaborate with creative thinkers from other disciplines. It provides students with strategies, skills, and concepts to establish and sustain creative thinking and collaboration that results in increased performance and resourcefulness.
  • Inquiry Learning: The design program employs an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning to increase intellectual engagement and foster a deeper understanding through the development of a hands-on, minds-on and ‘research-based disposition’ towards teaching and learning. “How to Learn” vs “What to Learn”, Inquiry honors the complex, interconnected nature of knowledge construction, striving to provide opportunities for both instructors and students to collaboratively build, test and reflect on their learning.
  • International Exposure: Students in the program must complete a one-credit independent study personal experience that is substantial and directly immerses the student in a different culture. Examples include most study abroad/travel study programs or a domestic multi-day immersion in the design, culture, art, history, architecture, traditions and lifestyle of a different culture or social group. This will strengthen student adaptation to the current global design industry. Advisor and Program approval is required prior to participating in the cross-culture experience.
  • Identity Formation: Students develop a strong creative identity through a concentration of cross-disciplinary studies. It allows them to explore and combine their strengths and areas of interests in their design discipline.

Admission to Program

Students are encouraged to declare the I-Design major upon entering WSU. Application for formal admission, which takes place every semester, requires that students:

  1. Complete (or concurrent enrolled in) ART 150 - Digital Design Fundamentals , ART 243 - Typography and Information Design , and ART 118 - Foundational Drawing  at the time of application.
  2. Demonstrate software competency. Intermediate level software skills in Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign are required to take advanced level design courses. Students will be evaluated through their Design Program Application Portfolio. Additional software test is required if portfolio did not convey the required software skills.
  3. Submit a portfolio of analog and digital work along with the application form. Because seats are limited, admission to the program is competitive based on preparation, portfolio, and academic record. Students who are not admitted may reapply.


  • Design students are required to use Apple laptop computers.
  • In order to graduate within four years, students need to apply for admission into the I-Design program during their second or third semester.
  • Due to the rapid globalization in the design industry, students of the program are required to undertake at least one multicultural activity, such as travel study or study abroad to expand their global exposure and experience. Students can take ART 313 - Western Art and Culture , ART 314 - Eastern Art and Culture , or any study abroad/travel study courses offer by other departments and universities.

Required Courses (49 credits)

Junior Portfolio Review

recommended spring semester junior year - see advisor at least one semester prior

Design Capstone (9 credits)

Practicum (3 credits)

International Exposure (1 credits)

Concentrations Elective: Choose one

Choose one concentration and declare with academic advisor in the second year of design studies. Other elective courses may be allowed with advisor approval.

Concentration A: Studio Practices (18 credits)

Studio Practices concentration is an opportunity for students who wish to extend their creativity into fine arts. This concentration provides students with the opportunities to develop advanced and creative experimental works. Students may explore drawing, painting, digital art, photography, installation, sculpture, typography, and video production while discovering their creative identity.

Concentration B: Conceptual Illustration (18 credits)

Conceptual Illustration is an opportunity for students within the I-Design program to transfer ideas into completed professional works of design in a variety of mediums and extend their creativity into industrial-specific studio practices. The execution of ideas is important, but the true spirit of the concentration is the creative process of developing ideas and bringing them to life. The correct combinations of classes can lead students into the following career paths: medical illustration, game conceptual art, graphic art, creative writing, spatial typography, info-graphics, etc.

Conceptual Illustration Core (6 credits)

Concentration C: Technology & Interactivity (18 credits)

Technology & Interactivity is for students who wish to be on the frontier of design technology and desire to extend their creativity into web technology, programming, UI/UX design, mobile design, mixed reality, game design, interactive installation, data visualization, etc. As technology continues to grow, it offers an abundance of opportunities to develop new visual languages. The Technology & Interactivity Concentration allows students to be more appreciative and adaptive to the technology evolution.

Concentration D: Business & Marketing (18 credits)

Business & Marketing is an ideal I-Design concentration for students who wish to channel their creativity into a career in business and marketing strategy, entrepreneurship, design manufacturing, and production, etc. Study of design and business are intertwined with creativity as a foundation to allow students to thrive in their future career.

Business & Marketing Core (6 credits)

Business & Marketing Electives (12 credits)

Choose four courses:

Concentration E: Sustainable Applications (18 credits)

Sustainable Applications is an opportunity for students within the I-Design program to focus and expand their studies into the sustainable industries and practices. Students have the chance to challenge the design industry and better their traditional practices moving toward becoming more environmentally aware. Students are able to utilize the basic skills and techniques of sustainable design and integrate them into their professional work.

Sustainable Applications Core (3 credits)

Concentration F: Community Development (18 credits)

Community Development provides students with an opportunity to extend their creativity into social activism, design leadership, and social entrepreneurship. Students develop skills to engage citizens and professionals to build stronger and more resilient local communities by providing them with the skills they need to affect change. Designers generate innovative creative solutions to improve non-profits, businesses, and communities.

Concentration G: Integrated Studies (18 credits)

A customized and individualized concentration based on special needs and interests. Combination of courses and detailed proposal needs to be approved by the Design Academic Advisor during the sophomore year. Approved course list must be submitted to the Warrior Hub and added to Degree Audit.

Integrated Studies Core (3 credits)

Integrated Studies Electives (15 credits)

Select 15 advisor-approved credits.


◎ = Oral Intensive

◆ = Math/Critical Analysis Intensive

△ = Writing Intensive

✽ = Physical Development and Wellness Graduation Requirement