Our unique, forward-thinking degree moves design beyond being an applied art to also being an applied social science. In this program, you learn to work collaboratively, think critically and consider how design influences the way people interact with the world.

The degree includes core requirements, breadth requirements and program options. Pathways allow you to focus your studies on a particular area, or you can develop your own pathway by selecting various program options that suit your interests.

What do you study in our design degree?

Core requirements

In the program, you complete required courses that develop general design skills such as critical thinking, research, ideation, problem-solving, visualization, craft, technical proficiency, client communication, prototyping, testing and refinement. Core courses are tailored to the qualities of 21st-century designers, demonstrating a major shift in the focus of design from the beauty of everyday things to a broader interest in the psychology of everyday things.

MacEwan's Bachelor of Design offers:

  • An innovative human-centred design curriculum
  • A well-rounded degree with more than 45 design-specific courses
  • Industry-leading faculty
  • A new, state-of-the-art facility
  • The largest digital experience design (DXD) program on the prairies

Options and electives

Outside of the core requirements, you complete options and electives with the aim of extending your knowledge beyond the area of design. You take elective courses in social sciences (such as psychology, sociology and anthropology) and business, and then you have the freedom to choose remaining electives from disciplines throughout the university such as studio arts, communication studies and computing science.

Courses & Requirements
Check the academic calendar to find the courses you need to take and the requirements you must fulfill to complete your program.
Academic Calendar


Over the course of your studies, you can choose up to nine program options that focus on one or more design disciplines. You have access to the full breadth of design training, including publication design, advertising design, branded environments and wayfinding, illustration, photography, motion graphics, visual narrative, video, user interface design, interaction design, web design and development.

If you wish to add more focus to your selection of design program options, four pathways have been developed for you: visual communication design; digital experience design (DXD); Illustration; and Photography, Video and Motion Graphics. You do not need to “declare” a pathway; these are simply recommended paths.

Visual Communication Design (VCD)
Build on the fundamentals of design with this pathway. Visual communication design focuses on branding, advertising, publication design, visual narrative photography and more.
Explore this pathway
Digital Experience Design (DXD)
Focus on the skills, methods and theories you need to design websites, applications (apps), wearables, game interfaces and other digital products. Learn to make digital products that are useful, usable and desirable.
Explore this pathway
Learn to use illustration as a communication tool. This pathway combines studio art and design courses, preparing you to deliver illustrations for print publications and digital media such as the web, video and motion graphics.
Explore this pathway
Photography, Video & Motion Graphics
Gain the technological and creative expertise you need to create images that command attention, deliver a message and tell a story.
student in photo studio Explore this pathway

Your department, your community

On the department website, you can learn more about your instructors, check out student and faculty research and find details on events and activities organized by the Design Students Organization.  

Department of Design