BDes Social Sciences Route

The disciplines of design have become increasingly engaged with concerns that go far beyond the traditional and conventional role of design in creating objects or images for use or information. Today the emphasis on the user of design products has required design thinking to focus increasingly on psychological, social and cultural considerations rather than simply on materials, processes and formal concerns.

The Social Sciences Route will attract a more theoretically-oriented student and will contribute significantly to the creation of a new type of designer that employers and society as a whole will increasingly need, one with a unique educational balance between design and the social sciences. Graduates from this Program Route will find future opportunities in areas of planning and user-centered approaches to design where, in the realization of complex design projects, an understanding of the connections between conventional design methodologies and the methodologies of the social sciences will be necessary.

Program Requirements (*120)


You can download a draft program checklist for planning purposes or scroll down for a list of 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 choose, you may replace up to two of your Arts/Science options with courses from other Faculties. Examples: students interested in fashion could take Human Ecology (HECOL) courses; students interested in medical illustration could take Anatomy (ANAT) courses; students interested in sports and recreation can take physical activity (PAC) courses.
  • "Senior" level options must be 200-level courses or higher.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You can generally replace a lower level course with a higher level course for unspecified ART, DES, and options requirements, but not the other way around. For instance you can replace an open "300-level DES" requirement with a 500-level DES class, or a 100-level arts/science option with a 300-level arts/science option.

Year 1 (*30)

  1. ART 136 and 137 (*3/3)
  2. DES 138 and 139 (*3/3)
  3. ART 240 (*3)
  4. HADVC 100 or HADVC 2XX (*6)
  5. 100-level ENGL (*3/*3)
  6. ANTHR 101 OR PSYCO 104 OR SOC 100 (*3)

Year 2 (*30)

  1. DES 300/301 or 393/394 (*3/*3)
  2. DES 302/303 or 395/396 (*3/*3)
  3. ART or DES (300-level) (*3)
  4. ART 340 (*3)
  5. HADVC 209 (*3)
  6. Social Science Option (1xx or 2xx) (*6)
  7. Arts or Science Option (1xx or 2xx) (*3)

Year 3 (*30)

  1. DES 400/401 or 493/494 (*3/*3)
  2. DES (400-level) (*6)
  3. DES 483 (*3)
  4. HADVC 2XX (*3)
  5. Social Science Option (2xx or 3xx) (*6)
  6. Arts or Science Option (1xx or 2xx) (*6)

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. Social Science Option (3xx or 4xx) (*6)
  5. Arts or Science or non-Arts/Science Option (2xx or 3xx) or HADVC 4XX (*6)

Social Science Option courses must be chosen from the following disciplines. Courses from these departments may also be used to meet the "Arts and Science Option" requirements.

  • Anthropology (ANTHR)
  • Community Service-Learning (CSL)
  • Human Geography Planning (HGP)
  • Economics (ECON)
  • History (HIST)
  • Interdisciplinary Undergraduate (INT D) - subject to approval by the Advisor
  • Linguistics (LING)
  • Middle Eastern and African Studies (MEAS)
  • Political Science (POL S)
  • Psychology (PSYCO - only those courses designated as Arts courses)
  • Science, Technology and Society (STS)
  • Sociology (SOC)
  • Women's Studies (WST)