The design program, offered by the art department at Salem, requires coursework in studio art, art history and design. The design program offers concentrations in Interior Design, Graphic Design, and Architectural Studies.
Design Program 4-Year Plan

Your Commitment

It goes without saying that you are creative and have a passion for design! You are also likely to be motivated, creative, independent and bring a solid work-ethic to the classroom. You will be encouraged to share your ideas and opinions as well as to seek out inventive ways of learning. You will take part in internships and special projects as well as study abroad in order to broaden your creative horizons. While at Salem you will complete a required research project.

Your Experience

In design at Salem you will be involved with student projects which run the gamut from field trips to furniture market and reports on the latest trends, to volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore Spaces Event.

Your Faculty

The director of the design program is assistant professor of interior design Dr. Rosa Otero, along with adjunct professors Karyn Reilly, Jan Detter, Cynthia Marvin and Adriana Granados, as well as associate professors John Hutton, Kim Varnadoe and Penny Griffin in the art and design department.

Your Results

Thanks to the comprehensive, interdisciplinary nature of the art and design department as well as special courses (such as digital design, architectural details and computer assisted drafting/design), you will graduate with a wide range of professional opportunities, such as graduate school or careers. Recent Salem graduates who majored in design went on to East Carolina University, University of North Carolina, and University of Miami among many others. Recent design majors are working in commercial and residential design firms, furniture dealers and some are teaching.

Design Major (B.A.)

The major in design requires 18 courses, including 10 core courses, 6.5-7.5 courses within a particular concentration, and electives as needed.


  • Interior Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Architectural Studies

Design Minor

A Minor in Design requires the completion of 6 courses.

Visual Literature Minor

The minor involves courses from four different areas: art history, design, english, and studio art.

Design Courses (ARTD)

ARTD 040. Graphic Design and Communication One course

An introductory course in the history, concepts and techniques of graphic design and communication. Lectures will address topics in typography, illustration, book and magazine layout, advertising, marketing and packaging. Students will address exercises relating to the working fields of graphic design. Exercises will be used to educate the students’ ability to

analyze problems, offer creative solutions with craft and present projects in a professional manner. Prerequisite: ARTS 020. Fall, alternate years.

ARTD 102. Design One course

This course develops the elements and principles of design in design as well as the visual and verbal communication skills of the designer. Prerequisites: ARTS 020. Fall.

ARTD 160. Global Textiles One course

Global Textiles will introduce the student to both material and cultural views of textiles by studying textile processes, including weaving, dyeing and patterning techniques used in various cultures around the world. Students will explore the use of textiles as both a functional and decorative element within the field of design through study and hands-on experience. Fall.

ARTD 180. Representation and Documents One course

Formal training in graphics representation as it relates to architectural drawings and documents. Students will become familiar with technical terminology and symbols associated with construction documentation. Students will acquire additional drafting, rendering and modeling skills, both mechanically and digitally generated. Fall.

ARTD 200. Independent Study in Design One-quarter to one course

Independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to students with a 3.0 cumulative average and permission of the chair of the department. Independent study may take the form of readings, research, conference, project and/or field experience. Independent study may be taken for a total of two courses, the maximum in any one term being one course credit. Prerequisite: permission of program director.

ARTD 201. Residential Design One course

An introduction to space planning and furnishing residential interiors. Kitchen and bath design is covered in detail. Prerequisite: ARTI 102. Spring.

ARTD 202. Contract Design One course

Space planning of commercial, institutional and environmental spaces. The emphasis is on total design concept for client presentation with plans, lighting design, furnishings and material samples, specifications and presentation. Prerequisite: ARTD 201. Fall.

ARTD 203. Business Practices in Design One course

Students will become familiar with business principles and practices of the designer and the interactions that take place among the client, designer, trade sources and contractors. Students create their own business plan. Prerequisite: ARTD 201. Spring.

ARTD 204. Architectural Details One course

Study of construction methods and detailing in architecture as utilized by the designer. Creative problems in cabinet design and architectural detailing will be used for the study of construction methods; materials used in construction are also covered. Prerequisite: ARTD 201. Fall.

ARTD 205. Computer Assisted Drafting/Design One course

An introductory course in Computer-Assisted Drafting/Design (CADD). Students will learn the basic commands and parameters of CADD, as well as how to draw floor plans, elevations and other design drawings on-line. Prerequisite: ARTD 102. Spring.

ARTD 206. Historic Preservation One course

Students will gain a general understanding of the historic preservation movement’s history as well as preservation theory, law, and practice at the local, state, federal, and international levels. Topics including cultural landscape preservation and the intersection of archaeology and historic preservation will be explored. The student will also become conversant with the significant types and styles of American architecture. Fall. Cross-listed with PRSV 230.

ARTD 209. Digital Design One course

This course explores the basics of Macintosh computer operations and fundamental techniques of vector-based graphics. Additionally, it introduces Web design, 3D modeling and animation. Software: Illustrator®, PhotoShop®, Sketch Up®.

ARTD 210. Web Design One course

An introduction to the fundamentals of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) in order to develop, edit and manage well-designed Web pages. This course also introduces the basics of user interface and recommended standards. Software explored will include but not limited to PhotoShop®, Illustrator®. Prerequisite: ARTD 209.

ARTD 211. Advanced CAD and BIM One course

This course will introduce students to intermediate and advanced topics in CAD and its use in design and construction. Students will be introduced to Building Information Modeling (BIM) to develop 3D models. Software will include AutoCad®, SketchUp®, and Revit®. Prerequisite: ARTD 205

ARTD 220. Special Topics in Design One course

This course provides the student with the opportunity to explore aesthetic and technical issues presented by faculty or visiting instructors. Permission of program director.

ARTD 248. History of Design One course

Introduction to period styles and motifs in furniture, architecture and the decorative arts of the ancient world to the present, with application to contemporary interiors. No prerequisite. Fall.

ARTD 261. Computer Graphics Application One course

An introduction to Macintosh computer skills and terminology as related to the graphic design field. The use of word processing, drawing, painting, page layout and illustration software will be emphasized. Prerequisite: ARTD 040 or the permission of instructor. Fall, alternate years.

ARTD 270. Internship in Design One-half to one course

An opportunity to use the knowledge and skills the student has learned. Prerequisite: Junior standing in the major.

ARTD 290. Honors Independent Study in Design One course

Advanced independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Normally open to juniors and seniors with a 3.5 average in art. Subject to the approval of the department chair. Honors work may be taken for a maximum of two courses.

ARTD 380. Advanced Design Studio One course

Limited to seniors in the Design Program and taken concurrently with ARTD 391. Course members will develop a project based on their individual interests, demonstrating their mastery of design and technical skills acquired during their academic experience. Expands on subjects already introduced in previous coursework and introduces advanced topics. Projects will be exhibited at the end of the semester during the Senior Thesis Exhibition. Prerequisite: senior standing in the Design major. Spring.

ARTD 391. Senior Seminar in Design One-half course

Senior thesis work. Required of all design majors. Prerequisite: senior standing in major. Spring.

Students interested in majoring in Studio Art, Art History or Design can apply for the Dr. John Preston Davis Scholarship. The Davis Art Scholarship is worth full tuition and is renewable annually with a 3.0 college GPA. Interested candidates must submit a 300 word essay on "Why I want to study Studio Art, Art History or Design" and two letters of recommendation (if majoring in Studio Art or Design, one of these letters should be from an art teacher). Finalists will be invited to interview at Scholarship Weekend. Studio Art and  Design candidates should bring a portfolio at the time of the interview.

Inclement Weather

Due to inclement weather, all classes have been canceled and all offices will be closed on Monday, February 15, 2016.

Scholarship Weekend events scheduled for Monday, February 15, will take place in the Single Sisters House.

Tue Feb 16 00:00:00 EST 2016