A senior showing off an experimental typography project featuring the word "explore."

The Pre-College program in Design introduces students to the discipline of design and the processes designers use to solve problems.

The program runs from June 22, 2024 to August 3, 2024.

Sessions include studio learning, lectures, critiques, guided work sessions with faculty, and field trips to museums, along with access to Design School workspaces and community spaces.

As a Summer Pre-College student you’ll gain a clear understanding of what to expect in a college-level accredited program in design and build a foundation of skills. You’ll experience learning through the process of making in a studio environment, engaging in activities such as design research, conceptualization, three-dimensional design, and working with images and text. You’ll also have opportunities to present your design work.


This immersive program offers the intensive energy and dynamic creative culture of the college-level design experience at CMU. Design success is largely the result of focused effort and intensity of investigation, and students are expected to invest significant time working in the studio outside of regular class meetings (evenings and weekends) to develop and complete project coursework.

No previous design experience or specific computer skills are required to succeed in this program. A Design Kit that includes basic materials and tools is provided to every student and is included in the tuition cost. Students will need a digital camera and access to a laptop computer.


This is a six-week program provides expert instruction in:

  • Studio Design for Products, Communications, & Environments
  • Design Drawing
  • Design Photography
  • Design Research & Problem Solving Methods

Please see our FAQ section for more detailed information. Applications for the Pre-College program open on December 1. For general questions about the program or the application process, please call the Pre-College office at 412-268-5914.

Apply Here