Design Studies offers multidisciplinary education in design and research of interior design environments, textiles and apparel design, and design as a broader discipline, through participation in formal classroom instruction and ongoing research and scholarly endeavors. Students benefit from a broad-based program and faculty specializing in areas such as design visualization, environment and behavior studies, history of interiors and textiles, interior architecture, material culture, textile and apparel design, and textile science.

Three undergraduate degree majors are offered: Interior Architecture; Textiles and Fashion Design; and Design, Innovation, and Society. The department also offers multiple undergraduate certificates in Design Strategy, Material Cultures Studies, and Textiles and Design. There is also a Human Ecology: Design Studies graduate program, offering both an MFA and PhD degrees.

Student internships in the undergraduate majors augment campus course offerings, providing students with unique learning opportunities in their chosen fields. Design Studies majors have access to many design resources; a computer laboratory equipped to support design work; a digital fabrication lab, textile studios for sewing, weaving, printing, and more; an interior architecture resource room, the Human Ecology Makerspace, the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, the Ruth Davis Design Gallery, and the Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery. In addition, a strong collaborative environment exists for students and faculty interaction with other departments, institutes, and museums on the campus and other design programs within the state and country.


For more information, visit the School of Human Ecology Design Studies faculty and staff directory.

Resources and Scholarships

Advising & Career Center 

The Advising & Career Center (ACC) fosters undergraduate students' personal, academic, and professional development. Through advising, academic planning, and career education, we support students as they navigate the college experience—from exploring our majors as prospective students to becoming Human Ecology alumni. 

Academic Advising

Each Human Ecology student is assigned to an academic advisor in the Advising & Career Center. Human Ecology academic advisors support academic and personal success by partnering with current and prospective Human Ecology students as they identify and clarify their educational goals, develop meaningful academic plans, and pursue their own Wisconsin Experience. 

To explore academic advising resources or schedule an appointment with an academic advisor, visit Advising in Human Ecology

Career Development

Each Human Ecology student is assigned to a career advisor in the Advising & Career Center. Active engagement in the career development process is a vital component of a student’s personal growth in college and future success as a lifelong learner, professional, and global citizen. Human Ecology career advisors help prepare students for life post-graduation through advising and integration of career readiness throughout our curriculum.

To explore career development resources or schedule an appointment with a Human Ecology career advisor, visit Career Development.

Scholarships and Other Financial Resources

The School of Human Ecology awards many merit and need-based scholarships each year. Students can learn more about these opportunities on the Human Ecology scholarships webpage. To be eligible for these awards, scholarship recipients must be registered as full-time Human Ecology students. For further questions on the scholarship application, please contact the School of Human Ecology Scholarship Coordinator at

Students who experience personal challenges or emergency financial situations may inquire about the availability of short-term loans with the Human Ecology Academic Deans ( In addition, university scholarships, loans, and employment are available through the Office of Student Financial Aid (333 East Campus Mall #9701; 608-262-3060).