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The Bay Area and Silicon Valley is a world and regional center for innovation and creativity, serving as the primary regional public higher education institution has broad ramifications. Since the late 1970’s, San José State University has sponsored strong academic programs in design education. Faculty and graduates of the programs have been instrumental in the development of design in the region and have achieved national and international acclaim. They have founded and work in well-established design firms, corporations, and creative studios throughout world. 

The need for design has become increasingly essential as new media and information technology leads the California economy, designers work in industries that demand skills and understanding of visual communication, new computing technologies, complex critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and research. For these reasons our enrollments have grown consistently over the years, and we anticipate that demand for our programs will continue to rise—1250 students study in the Department of Design.

San José State University operates one of the largest and most racially diverse departments of design in the western United States. California State University (CSU) has a unique mandate to provide professional design education in California, and the San José State University Design Department is one of a very few public schools in the State that offer complete education in Animation/Illustration, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, and Interior Design in a single unit.

The Department strives to maintain and develop comprehensive curricula that provide current, innovative, undergraduate (and potentially graduate education) training in the practice and theory of design in a broad spectrum of fields and specializations.

The Department offers 5 areas of focus, and is highly structured providing students with an unambiguous degree path. Faculty prepare students both conceptually and practically for a variety of careers based on these offerings. Design’s programs use names that generally indicate disciplinary practice: Design Studies; Animation/IllustrationGraphic Design; Industrial Design; Interior Design. The diversity of its students makes us a unique program that represents the future of the field.

All the design programs at SJSU have an excellent reputation in their respective disciplines and the resulting dynamic adds up to the strongest center of design education in the CSU and one of the strongest in California.

For information about our mission statement and program learning outcomes, click here.