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Minoring in design is a great way for students to diversify their studies and incorporate design skills and thinking into their overall academic experiences. Students who are already School of Design majors are not eligible to earn a design minor. 

Minor in Design Course Curriculum

For a design minor, students must complete 54 units: 27 units of required courses, plus 27 units of design electives. All courses must be unique to the design minor.

Required Design Courses

  • 51-261 or 51-262 Design for Interactions for Communications (formerly CDF) (9 units)
  • 51-264 Design for Interactions for Products (formerly IDF) (9 units)
  • 51-173 Human Experience in Design (9 units)

Three design electives:

  • 51-xxx (9 units)
  • 51-xxx (9 units)
  • 51-xxx (9 units)

The balance of coursework (27 units of design electives) is drawn from design courses that are scheduled in consultation with the design advisor. You must have design advisor approval before registering for these courses. Students’ home advisors should help them integrate minor or elective courses with their overall plans for graduation. 

Keep in mind that a minor is not intended to be an overload.

Application Requirements

  • The completed application form located at the bottom of this page. Please be sure to include the name and email of your home department advisor.
  • Your unofficial transcript. You can include a PDF with the application form below or you may print out an unofficial copy of your transcript from your SIO.
  • Portfolio Submission. Including a link to your online portfolio is preferable and can be found in the application below. For those who do not have a Portfolio, the Design Project may be substituted. The Design Project may be downloaded here and completed prior to the due date. Alternatively, the Portfolio or Project may be dropped off at the Design Office in Margaret Morrison 110 on or before the review date listed above.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Your demonstrated design abilities in your Portfolio, or in the Design Project review.
  • Your personal statement.
  • Your academic transcripts.

Portfolio Guidelines

Work may be submitted in its original form, online with a provided URL, or via a shared CMU Box folder.

  • Include 10-15 examples of your best work from a variety of media. Any medium is acceptable, but variety is important.
  • Include your name and a brief description of each piece.
  • Include a sketchbook if you have one. The sketchbook can count only as one piece.
  • If you do not have an online portfolio, you can also download the Design Project information.

Note - Faculty conduct portfolio reviews without students present. Be sure your work can be interpreted in your absence.


A limited number of spaces are held for minors. It is the student's responsibility to submit an instructor permission form for each requested course before Registration Week. After Registration Week, the reserved spaces will be given to other students



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More information

Admission depends mainly on a student’s demonstration of design skills and aptitude. Students are notified of acceptance by the end of March. For any questions, please contact Design Advisor, Jamie Kosnosky.