BDes Business and Marketing Route

Behind the success of every product, business and industry, are designers working on critical aspects-from product concept and development to advertising and packaging. Behind every successful designer is an understanding of business and marketing principles. The Business and Marketing Route gives you access to expertise in the University of Alberta's Faculty of Business.

Through courses in economics, accounting and marketing, business practice and consumer studies you will learn about how the world of business relates to the discipline of design. You will gain an understanding of the marketplace in which you will work, as well as the business of managing a design practice. And as an entrepreneur or employee armed with an understanding of market and consumer behaviors, you will be better able to analyze, interpret and strategize for success.

Program Requirements (*120)


You can download a draft program checklist for planning purposes or scroll down to see a list of all required courses.

Important Notes about BDes Program Requirements

  • BDes students must carry a minimum course load of 24 credits (eight 3-credit classes) over each Fall and Winter. Therefore the program will generally take between 4 and 5 years.
  • Arts and Science options can not be met with ART, DES or HADVC classes. Your options courses must come from any other Department within the Faculty of Arts or Faculty of Science. The only exception to this rule can be found in the final line of the Year 4 program requirements (please see below).
  • If you transfer into the BDes program with credit from ART 134 and DES 135 (or 6* of equivalent first year studio courses), they will take the place of ART 136 and DES 138. You will make up the missing 6* of studios with any ART or DES courses at any point in your degree.
  • "Senior" level means 200-level or higher.
  • Students may adjust the sequencing of some of the courses below provided that prerequisite course requirements are met for any courses you wish to take.
  • Registration tips for MARK and SMO classes are below.
  • You can generally replace a lower level course with a higher level course for unspecified ART or DES requirements, but not the other way around. For instance you can replace an open "300-level DES" requirement with a 500-level DES class

Year 1 (*30)

  1. ART 136 and 137 (*3/*3)
  2. DES 138 and 139 (*3/*3)
  3. ART 240 (*3)
  4. HADVC 100 and/or 200-level (*6)
  5. 100-level ENGL (*3/*3)
  6. ECON 101 (*3)

Year 2 (*30)

  1. DES 300/301 or 393/394 (*3/*3)
  2. DES (300-level) (*3/*3)
  3. ART or DES (300-level) (*6)
  4. ART 340 (*3)
  5. HADVC 209 (*3)
  6. HADVC (200-level) (*3)
  7. ACCTG 300 (*3)

Year 3 (*30)

  1. DES 400/401 or 493/494 (*3/*3)
  2. DES (400-level) (*6)
  3. ART or DES (300- or 400-level) (*6)
  4. HADVC (200-level) (*3)
  5. DES 483 (*3)
  6. MARK 301 (*3)
  7. MARK 320 (*3)

Year 4 (*30)

  1. DES 500/501 or 593/594 (*3/*3)
  2. DES (500-level) (*6)
  3. ART or DES (300-, 400-, or 500-level) (*6)
  4. SEM 431 (*3)
  5. MARK 432(*3)
  6. Arts or Sciences options (200- or 300-level) or HADVC 4XX (*6)

Registration tips for current Business/Marketing students for MARK and SMO courses

  • Please adhere to the restrictions set by the departments and faculties offering the courses. It may be necessary to take courses in spring and/or summer terms or to take a distance learning course (Athabasca University) or a course at another institution (GMU) to fill your program route requirements. Please note that a Letter of Permission is required, in advance, to take a course at another institution for transfer to the U of A (see Art & Design Advisor).
  • Your "Year of program" is determined by Bear Tracks based on how many credits of your degree you have completed. If you are not in the right year, you will not be able to register yourself online for the classes as indicated below. This becomes problematic for transfer students, because Bear Tracks does not recognize your transfer credit, and may say you are a Year 1 student even though you are in your 3rd year and must take your MARK classes to stay on track. If you anticipate this being a problem, contact your Undergraduate Advisor well in advance of your registration date in March.

ECON 101 (Dept of Economics, Faculty of Arts)

  • Open to on-line registration; no restrictions.

ACCTG 300 (Dept of Accounting and Management Information Systems, Faculty of Business

  • Restricted to year 2; open to on-line registration. A roughly equivalent course is offered at Athabasca University (ACCT 253 - transfers as ACCTG 311 - see Department Advisor).

MARK 301 (Department of Marketing, Business Economics, and Law, Faculty of Business)

  • Open to on-line registration; restricted to year 3 or 4 students. Register in sections A1 or B1 only. If these sections absolutely do not work for you because they conflict with the only offered section of your studios, consult your Undergraduate Advisor as soon as possible. Occasional cohort sections available on and after August 15.
  • Equivalent courses are offered by Athabasca University (MKTG 396) and by Grant MacEwan College (MARK 301) (see Advisor). Proof of completion will be needed by the Business Faculty in September if planning to register in MARK 320.

MARK 320 (Department of Marketing, Business Economics, and Law, Faculty of Business)

  • Restricted to year 3 or 4 students
  • Prerequisite: MARK 301.
  • This course is in very high demand; it is therefore necessary to register on-line immediately if you need this course. If the course is full on-line, see your Art and Design Advisor, who can make a request to the Faculty on your behalf.
  • An equivalent course is offered by Athabasca University (MKTG 406) (see Advisor).

SMO 431 (Department of Strategic Management and Organization, Faculty of Business)

  • Open to on-line registration; restricted to year 4 students.
  • BDes Business/Marketing students are not required to take FIN 301 or SMO 301, which is the stated prerequisite for this course.

MARK 432 (Department of Marketing, Business Economics, and Law, Faculty of Business)

  • Restricted to year 3 or 4 students. If the course is full on-line, see your Art and Design Advisor.
  • Prerequisite: MARK 301