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Academic Programs


person working on screen print project

The bachelor of arts in design major at Salem College blends coursework in studio art, art history, and design into an interdisciplinary program that builds student creativity and skills. The program culminates in a capstone project where students apply their talents to professional design challenges. The major offers concentrations in interior design and graphic design and a design minor.

Student Experience

Design students learn about the various phases of the design process, multiple visual representation techniques, business practices, and historical periods of design to create effective and efficient solutions. Students in design are required to complete an internship in their major. The result is that Salem design students increase their professional network, develop professional skills necessary to enter the workplace, and meet the needs of future employers. Students take advantage of North Carolina’s preeminence in the furniture industry to explore the latest trends in the home furnishing world and leverage global professional networks during visit to the High Point Market, the largest show of its kind open exclusively to the trade.

Students in design have exclusive and unlimited access to the Chair Library.  The library gives them access to a unique resource that no other college or university in the country has assembled. Students can touch, sketch, photograph, study and be inspired by the collection.

Health Leadership Highlights

  • Design students engage with Salem’s Health Leadership focus to explore topics such as ergonomics, sustainability and universal design.
  • Students receive opportunities to design health-content-specific projects that promote well being, mental, and physical health.
    • In ARTD 101, students design relaxation spaces.
    • In ARTD 202 they study good design for healthcare facilities.
    • In ARTD 248 students analyze the ways that furniture interacts with the human body to promote comfort and wellbeing.

Jobs and Outcomes

With a design major, students are able to pursue graduate studies in design or architecture or move directly into the industry with careers with commercial and residential design firms and furniture dealers.

Program Leadership

To meet other faculty, please go to the faculty/staff directory.

Success Stories

Stephany Luna-Rivas, C’19

Class of 2019 Major: Design with concentration in architectural studies I started my graduate studies in the fall of 2020 at NC State University (NCSU) in the master of architecture program. I was awarded the Eduardo Catalano Architecture Scholarship which made it possible for me to further my education. I’m enjoying my time at NCSU...

Layla McCarthy, C’21

Class of 2021 Major: Design with concentration in architectural studies When I started at Salem College, I had no idea where my future was going to take me. I had big aspirations, but I never thought they were attainable. My professors in the design department at Salem changed my mind. They inspired me every day...

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