The School of Design is an inquisitive community of students and faculty that addresses firsthand the issues of the world around it.

We take pride in our professionally oriented programs, many of which have a long history at Syracuse University. We offer undergraduate degree programs in communications design, design studies, environmental and interior design, fashion design, and industrial and interaction design and graduate degree programs in design and museum studies. Concern for sustainable design practices, social issues, and excellence in professional practice forms the core of our programs.

100+

Years of design at Syracuse University

#14

Most Admired Interior Design Schools

DesignIntelligence 

1

Design learning community

Bringing first-year students together in a supportive environment

Learn from Industry Experts

Our faculty are active professionals who practice in their fields while they teach. They are dedicated to ensuring that you reach your potential and give you one-on-one instruction in your studio classes. Our school maintains a special relationship with the Syracuse community through the activities of our various student groups (including chapters of professional design organizations) that continually work on projects with not-for-profit agencies as well as funded research design collaborations.

Eight Floors Dedicated to Design

Our programs are housed in the Nancy Cantor Warehouse, the University’s building in downtown Syracuse, which allows our students and faculty to benefit from a city atmosphere and interactions with local design firms. First-year design students may choose to live in our Design Learning Community, an academically and socially supportive residential environment on Main Campus.

We also encourage our students to reach beyond the local community and study abroad at one of the University’s many international centers, including Florence, Italy, and London, England.

Professionally Oriented Programs

Integral to our curricula are opportunities to acquire career development skills critical for professional designers. Professional practices are addressed in many of our courses, while visiting and resident designers provide unique insight into their respective disciplines. Internships provide invaluable experience in a real-world setting. Undergraduate students may choose to minor in entrepreneurship and emerging enterprises, which includes coursework in essential business tools.

Design students present their portfolios each spring at events in New York City. Fashion design majors present their senior collections at the annual on-campus fashion show and may have their collections selected for the annual New York City fashion show.


Director’s Welcome

It is always a great pleasure to welcome our new and returning students to the Warehouse. Every year brings an exciting new start full of limitless potential.

Design at Syracuse has a long and proud history of over 100 years and with it an impressive group of engaged alumni. We are one of the top multidisciplinary schools housed within a Tier-1 research university, and the opportunities this affords students are second to none. At Syracuse, design students take full advantage of collaborations across the full spectrum of the University, from engineering to management, psychology to ceramics, and beyond. Here, design is informed by the full breadth of academic discourse, enhancing our investigations into the complexities of contemporary design practice and scholarship. We are equally committed to sustainability and socially inclusive design, where making is not simply an act or a craft, but a form of critical design thinking which explores and provokes transformative change.

This year we are excited to welcome Meri Page as a new tenure-track faculty member to the school. We were very impressed with her talent and drive in the interview process and know she will be an excellent addition to the communications design program as well as the wider school team. Sally Tomkins also joins us on a one-year teaching contract in fashion design. Sally spent nine years with Jockey International as the senior vice-president of research, design, and product development. She is passionate about helping student designers prepare for a career in the design industry, and will be a wonderful addition to the fashion design team.

We are also very excited to announce that we are launching our newest degree, a B.S. in design studies. We are particularly enthusiastic about this new program because it allows students to augment their studies in design with many of the amazing programs and classes offered across the University, offering flexibility for students to pursue a dual major and/or minor in complementary subjects such as psychology, visual culture, entrepreneurship or sustainability, as well as the opportunity to take a semester abroad, studying in any of our nine international campuses or one of our 60+ world partner programs.

Design is synonymous with innovation and entrepreneurship, and Syracuse’s School of Design is at the heart of a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus. We led the original bid to the Blackstone Foundation, securing $900,000 to fund a Entrepreneurship LaunchPad based in the Library, which has been a huge success. This year we led another successful bid to fund five new faculty hires to establish a cluster of experts across the campus focused on innovation and entrepreneurship. We look forward to hiring a faculty member in this role in the spring.

As part of the wider design ecosystem we have many stories of successful entrepreneurial endeavors: our students have won thousands of dollars in pitch competitions and national innovation competitions; others have started their own businesses, securing hundreds of thousands of dollars of investment in the products they have designed. It is participation in these kinds of experiences – across the campus and beyond – that prepare our students for success as innovative entrepreneurial creatives.

Le Corbusier said “good design is intelligence made visible.” Here at Syracuse, we strive to explore a holistic, socially inclusive, sustainable approach, solving global challenges informed by the unique breadth of disciplines and expertise across the school, University, and globe.

Here’s to another outstanding year,

Dr. James W.R. Fathers
Director and Professor, School of Design