BDes, Interdisciplinary Design

Division: Design
Degree: Bachelor of Design
Program: Major in Interdisciplinary Design 

Program Length: 4 years (see Degree Requirements)

Campus: North Block, Fountain Campus

Program Entry

There are two primary pathways for entry into the Bachelor of Design (BDes) degree program:

Upon Acceptance to NSCAD University:

Applicants may declare their intention to pursue the Bachelor of Design Major in Interdisciplinary Design. Successful applicants will find BDes noted as their program of study in their acceptance letter. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 for each semester from the moment they start at NSCAD.

Students pursuing the BDes are encouraged to register for DSGN-1550 Design Fundamentals in the second semester of the Foundation Year as their elective option.

The application for entry to the Design degree program can be made by submitting a completed “Declaration of Degree, Major and Minor” form available at the Office of Student Experience, which is located on the second floor of the Fountain Campus on Duke Street. The application is subject to review by the Chair of the Division of Design prior to approval.

Additional Pathways:

For any student applying to change their degree pathway from BA or BFA to BDes must complete the compulsory Design courses in Foundation or equivalent, and have maintained a GPA of 3.0 or better in each semester.

Only students who have declared and been accepted to the BDes program can register for Design Studio 3 / DSGN-3021, with the prerequisites of Design Studio 1 / DSGN-2010 and Design Studio 2 / DSGN-2500.

Please visit the Academic Calendar for a description of all courses available during your undergraduate studies.

Program Requirements

Studio requirement (90 credits) – Students in the Bachelor of Design program must complete 90 credits of studio course work. In the Foundation Year, students normally complete 24 credits of studio course work, leaving 66 credits of studio work to be completed at the upper levels. Liberal Arts and Social Science (“LASC”) requirement (30 credits) – Students in the Bachelor of Design program must complete at least 30 credits of LASC course work. Students complete 6 credits of LASC course work as part of the Foundation requirement, leaving 24 credits of LASC course work to be completed at the upper levels.

Total credit requirement: 120 credits – With advance permission of the department chair, students may take courses deemed to relate to the Major in Interdisciplinary Design that are offered by other areas, to a maximum of six credits.

Completion of Foundation Year 1 (with direct entry into second year BDes). 30 credits of 1000-level courses including:
FNDN 1010 Intro to Studio practice(3-credits)
FNDN 1100 Foundation Drawing I(3-credits)
FNDN 1200 Intro to Visual Culture (3-credits)
FNDN 1800 Writing for the Arts(3-credits)
ARTS 1000 Fundamentals of Wood and Metal(3-credits)
DRAW 1500 Foundation Drawing II
DSGN 1000 Digital Tools for Design(3-credits)
DSGN 1510 Creativity in Design Practice(3-credits)
One of these three: 
DSGN 1010 Material Exploration & Expression(3-credits)
CRFT 1010 Material Exploration & Expression(3-credits)
DSGN 1520 Visual Thinking: Drawing and Modelmaking(3-credits)
Years 2-4. Courses Required:
AHIS 2120 Craft and Design History 1750-1950(3-credits)
AHIS 3150 Issues in Design History or AHIS 3175 Design in Context: 1900 to the present(3-credits)
DSGN 2010 Design Studio 1(6-credits)
DSGN 2500 Design Studio 2(6-credits)
DSGN 2510 Introduction to Interactive Design(3-credits)
DSGN 2505 Typography (3-credits)
DSGN 2015 Product Design: Form(3-credits)
DSGN 2150 Intro to Interdisciplinary Design(3-credits)
DSGN 3021 Design Studio 3(6-credits)
DSGN 3521 Design Studio 4(6-credits)
DSGN 4020 Design Studio 5(6-credits)
DSGN 4510 Design Studio 6(6-credits)
Elective/Open Credits:
DSGN/DRAW 2210 or DSGN 2601 or Draw/CRFT 2240 or Draw 2250(3-credits)
DSGN/CSTU 3100 and/or DSGN 3210 and/or DSGN 4150 and/or DSGN 42XX(6-credits)
DSGN 321x and/or DSGN 4101 and/or DSGN 4250 and/or Liberal Arts and Science) XXXX(6-credits)

Please visit the Academic Calendar for a description of all courses available during your undergraduate studies.

Available Minors

Currently, the BDes is offered in one major program: Interdisciplinary Design. In addition to your major area, you may take a minor in an approved subject. It may be necessary to complete more than 120 credits to meet both major and minor requirements.

Minors to complement your Interdisciplinary Design Major include Art History, Ceramics, Drawing, Fashion, Film Studies, Illustration, Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing, Print/Paper/Book, Textiles and Journalism.


Faculty members are accomplished artists, scholars, educators and leaders in their craft. Glen Hougan is the Design Division Chair. For a list of full faculty, click the button below.

Glen Hougan
Division Chair