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A student shows off her portfolio from pursuing a Design degree from Curry CollegeAre you creative? Artistic? Love using technology? Want to combine those skills in order to thrive in an exciting, ever-changing industry? Then a Design degree from Curry College is for you.

Define your individual language. Express yourself with creativity. Communicate through visual and conceptual compositions. A Design degree helps students develop their own voice, and gives them the skills needed to communicate that voice through works of art.

Through a combination of technology and hands-on learning, students will create their own website and a digital and physical portfolio of work they can use to impress potential employers, submit with grad school applications, and present at our Annual Senior Art Exhibit.

Course Requirements and Information


SA 1770 Design Fundamentals 3
SA 1800 Drawing 3
SA 1790 Light and Color 3
DES 2775 Typography Fundamentals 3
AH 2970 History of Graphic Design 3

Major Requirements:

DES 1600 Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop Basics 3
DES 2770 Design Fundamentals II 3
DES 2769 Desktop Publishing: Adobe InDesign 3
DES 3775 Design and Production 3
DES 3300 Portfolio and Presentation 3
DES 3980 Fine and Applied Arts Seminar (Capstone Course) 3
DES 4050 Independent Studio 3

Major Elective - Choose three of the following (3 credits each):

DES 2072 Digital Art
DES 2768 HTML and Design
DES 2797 Digital Photography
DES 3740 Elements of Dynamic Media
Total: (Major Requirements) 30

Requirements in Related Areas:

SA 3950 Design Concepts 3

Choose two of the following (6 credits):

AH 2720 History of Photography
AH 2910 History of Studio Arts: Paleolithic to Gothic
AH 2920 History of Studio Arts: Renaissance to Contemporary
AH 2930 Contemporary Art
AH 2935 Modern Art
Total: (Requirements in Related Areas) 9


DES 3450 Design Internship 3-9

The design minor begins with a foundation in basic design. Further study is in design-specific software currently used in the design profession. It culminates with an advanced course, Typography and Production, that pulls together all of the technical and aesthetic skills that have been taught in previous requirements.

Our state-of-the-art computer facilities meet the demands of changing technology. We have a Macintosh computer lab dedicated solely to courses in the major; software and hardware are continuously updated. In addition, students are able to print their work on an Epson wide-format printer that prints up to 24." This allows for students to produce printed work on a professional level.

The design minor gives an added perspective to majors in information technology and communication.


SA 1770 Design Fundamentals 3
DES 2770 Design Fundamentals II 3
DES 1600 Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop Basics 3
DES 2769 Desktop Publishing: Adobe InDesign 3
DES 3775 Design and Production 3

All students in the Fine Arts will learn to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in various processes/techniques, and skills/methods in creative media.
  • Identify and apply underlying aesthetic principles in the study, critique, and creation and/or performance of works of art.
  • Analyze the broader social/historical contexts of works of art.

The Design Major

Foundational and Formal Skills

Composition + Visual Literacy

  • Identify formal principles associated with visual language
  • Create works that utilize formal principles of design
  • Implement principles of design across multiple mediums
  • Investigate design principles through drawing and sketching


  • Identify formal principles associated with color theory
  • Create works that utilize expressive and intuitive color use
  • Implement color across multiple mediums and technologies


  • Study history and classifications of letterforms
  • Use design systems (grids) for typographic layout
  • Implement rules (style sheets) for typographic hierarchy
  • Create relationships using type and image, and type as image
  • Connect typographic form to meaning
  • Create works implementing typographic best practices

Oral + Visual Communication

  • Translate abstract concepts and ideas verbally and visually
  • Use of various media to communicate
  • Formulate clear and critical analysis of work
  • Comprehension and use of visual vocabulary in communication
  • Exhibit listening skills while others are speaking

Written Communication

  • Identify a topic and formulate a thesis/argument
  • Analysis, and organization of research content
  • Compare and contrast content and contexts
  • Use of proper grammar
  • Develop own writing style and critical evaluation for content
  • Document references according to an accepted manual style

Intellectual and Conceptual Skills

Critical Thinking

  • Develop process to create several concepts for a single problem
  • Creation of multiple iterations from a single idea / concept
  • Demonstrate creative problem solving within constraints
  • Translation of concepts and ideas toward a visual solution
  • Express authorship and voice in one's own work
  • Recognize design ethics: soc / politic / environ awareness

Content and Context

  • Develop sense of work within a historical context
  • Compare/contrast historical and contemporary issues in media
  • Generate abstract concepts from concrete contexts
  • Use of metaphor to communicate complex ideas and concepts
  • Study signs and their meaning (semiotics)

Information Literacy / Quantitative Reasoning

  • Research and analysis for complex systems of information
  • Selecting, editing, and organization of vast amounts of content
  • Evaluate data in numerical, tabular, and graphic form
  • Charting, mapping, and diagramming content
  • Identify appropriate graphical representation for content
  • Deliver content with clarity & meaning, audience consideration

Creative Strategy

  • Research, analyze, evaluate, an industry need
  • Identify target market and audience
  • Generate a creative brief / creative strategy based on research
  • Work within confines of deadlines and constraints
  • Develop own writing style and critical evaluation for content
  • Development of visual branding and messaging

Technology and Production Skills


  • Demonstrate aptitude using design-specific software
  • Choose appropriate software for a design-specific need
  • Implement best practices using tech. for industry standards

Web Development

  • Design for usability, web compliance, and web standards
  • Develop basic web pages using XHTML/CSS
  • Program basic interactive functions using Action Script 3 (AS3)

Print Production

  • Construct and collect files properly for print
  • Identify and evaluate various print processes
  • Spec'ing a print job (colors, paper, pages, etc.)
  • Managing timing and budget
Students from the Fine and Applied Arts Seminar interact with artist Wangechi Mutu's installation at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

Experience Art and Design

Students from the Fine and Applied Arts Seminar interact with artist Wangechi Mutu's installation at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

"Hour 15" - a recent exhibit on display at the Menino Arts Center in Hyde Park, featured the work of Curry students graduating with degrees in Design and Studio Arts.

Professional Student Exhibits

"Hour 15" - a recent exhibit on display at the Menino Arts Center in Hyde Park, featured the work of Curry students graduating with degrees in Design and Studio Arts. 

Student work is featured from the Drawing I class.

Always Creating

Highlighting student work from the Drawing I class.

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Take the next step

We're excited you're considering our outstanding Curry College academic programs and look forward to helping you reach your career goals.