BXA: Interdisciplinary Degree

CMU is one of the only top-ranked programs to offer interdisciplinary undergraduate degrees. The Bachelor of Humanities and Arts (BHA), the Bachelor of Science and Arts (BSA), and the Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA) are interdisciplinary, intercollege degree programs that allow students to combine humanities, sciences, or computer science studies with selected programs in the College of Fine Arts. Collectively the BHA, BSA, and BCSA programs are grouped under the heading BXA Intercollege Degree Programs.

The BXA design programs provide students with a broad exposure to the humanities or sciences, as well as design. While a design major may take 26 design courses and 15 outside courses, most BXA students take 12 design courses, with the balance of their courses taken outside of the School of Design.

Many BXA design students go on to graduate school, capitalizing on their unusually broad educations. Those heading for the job market work in areas focused on either the humanities or the sciences, where design skills such as visualization and problem solving are a plus. Some examples might include information systems analysis, user research, or strategic planning. 

Requirements and Electives

For a BXA with a design concentration, students must complete 108 units: 96 units of required courses plus 12 units of design electives (see below). A portfolio review is required for admission.

The following courses are required for all BXA design students. Although they are usually offered in the semester indicated in parentheses, students should check the Schedule of Classes and meet with their advisors for confirmation.

 Please note that because this list reflects new curriculum under development, equivalent courses may need to be substituted, in consultation with the BXA design advisor.

Design Courses, 108 units

  • Studio I: Survey of Design (Fall) 9 units
  • Design Workshop I (Fall) 3 units
  • Visualizing (Fall) 9 units
  • Placing (Fall) 9 units
  • Design Lab (Spring) 9 units
  • Design Workshop II (Spring) 3 units
  • Collaborative Visualizing (Spring) 9 units
  • Systems (Spring) 9 units
  • Lab I: Understanding Form and Context (Fall) 9 units
  • Prototyping Lab (Fall) 9 units
  • How People Work (Fall) 9 units
  • Futures (Fall) 9 units
  • Design Electives 12 units

More Information

Please visit the BXA Intercollege Degree Programs Website for additional information. Students can also contact Steve Stadelmeier, the design advisor for BXA programs, or Stephanie Murray, the BXA programs director.

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