About the School

Carnegie Mellon’s School of Design is one of the oldest and most respected programs in North America, with a rich history in Product (Industrial) Design, Communication (Graphic) Design, Interaction and Service Design. It is one of the only leading programs to offer design degrees at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels within a multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural research university.

The School of Design houses approximately 250 students within a historic building on the beautiful Carnegie Mellon Campus in Pittsburgh, one of America's most livable cities.

Pittsburgh was ranked America’s most livable city in 2010 by Forbes magazine and topped the list of American cities in the Economist magazine’s International Livability Ranking in 2011. With a vibrant cultural scene, easily accessible public transportation and five other colleges and universities close by, Pittsburgh is an ideal place for college students. Restaurants, museums and retail shops are a short walk from the CMU campus and companies such as Google and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) have created a dynamic and entrepreneurial market for the design and information technology industries.

Our Graduates

Design has never been in greater demand than it is now. Businesses, government, and local communities are turning to designers for innovation and problem solving which has created new roles for designers in every sector of the marketplace. The demand for our graduates is increasing, and each year during Confluence, our career fair, many students receive offers of employment prior to graduation.

Our graduates are employed by organizations such as: Whirlpool, Volkswagen/Audi, Motorola, IDEO, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Isobar, R/GA, Apple, The Mayo Clinic, Skype, Pinterest, and The Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.

Alumni build exciting, long-term careers and have been involved in many well known projects such as the design of networking solutions for Facebook, Apple iWork, the Starbucks identity, the Nest thermostat, Pinterest’s interface design, Adidas, New Balance, and Nike footwear, OXO houseware products and the opening film sequence for Spiderman, to name just a few. 

Our graduates have worked at the Mayo Clinic to improve patient/doctor communications and five recent graduates are at IBM where they are developing ideas for new products and services. Still other graduates have established their own firms such as BodyMediaWall to Wall Studios, Pollen Design and Luma Institute. Our students often develop viable product and service concepts; two recent graduates are working with investors to take a product idea (Project Aura) conceived in the classroom to market. 

Many alumni from our masters and doctoral programs pursue careers in research and academia at prestigious institutions such as Georgia Tech, Design Skolen Kolding, Denmark and Jiangnan University School of Design, Wuxi, China.

The Future of Design

The problems facing society today – climate change, resource constraints, loss of biodiversity, economic disparity, pollution, loss of vibrant local communities, and privacy issues within a globally connected world – are more complex and pressing than ever before. And businesses, governments, academic institutions, and grassroots organizations are beginning to direct significant resources toward their solution.

Our new programs provide students with an understanding of these issues and the ability to work collaboratively in trans-disciplinary teams, which is fundamental to designing for complex problems.  Our graduates are qualified to secure top positions today, but will also be poised to become the design leaders of tomorrow as organizations look for new and more responsible ways of working. 

Find out more about Confluence, our student job fair, facilities and study abroad possibilities.