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Design in Society Minor

The Design in Society Minor offers students the opportunity to explore architecture as a reflection of cultural, political and social values. By building an awareness of the role and influence of our physical settings, students are equipped with a knowledge that enables them to better discuss and address the meanings and power of the built environment. This understanding aids not only individual work, play and living spaces but also our communities as a whole.


The Design in Society Minor requires a minimum of 15 credit hours.

All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the following courses.

Choose one of the following (3 hrs.):

ARCH 153: Why Buildings Matter
3 credit hours

We encounter architecture every day, and yet few of us understand how it affects us emotionally, physically or intellectually. This course is designed to help non-majors interpret their experiences of the built environment by introducing them to architectural principles that influence constructed artifacts that shape and are shaped by their cultural contexts. Students will examine built works ranging from the everyday to the monumental and from the rural to the urban in order to appreciate architecture's meanings and value across time.

ARCH 154: Why Cities Matter
3 credit hours

Soon, nearly two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. Yet rarely do we pause to consider the meaning and significance of these places as complex products of human ingenuity. This course is designed to help non-majors understand cities both as three-dimensional artifacts and as settings for social and cultural innovation. Special emphasis will be placed on how cities and urban experiences have been interpreted in art, literature, and film.

Choose one of the following (3 hrs.):

ARCH 251: History of Architecture, Urbanism and Art I
3 credit hours

Formal, theoretical, material, pragmatic and conceptual aspects of architecture, cities and art, examined in relation to their cultural contexts, from pre-history to circa 1400. Offered fall semester.

ARCH 252: History of Architecture, Urbanism and Art II
3 credit hours

Formal, theoretical, material, pragmatic and conceptual aspects of architecture, cities and art, examined in relation to their cultural contexts, from circa 1400 to the present. Offered spring semester.

Choose three of the following (9 hrs.):

AADM 350: Arts Criticism
3 credit hours

Designed to help students develop criteria for judging works of art and performances and to match them with potential audiences. Coursework includes readings in arts criticism as well as critiques of current art events. The course will also look at public policy for the arts at the state and federal level.

AADM 365: Cultural Policy
3 credit hours

An introduction to understanding and communicating the impact of arts and culture on public and organizational policy as well as community strategic planning. The course will prepare art students for the various processes in creating and sustaining vibrant arts organizations and communities including the study of cultural policy, strategic planning, and arts advocacy.

ENTR 210: Entrepreneurship Exploration
3 credit hours

An exposure to the dynamics of identifying opportunities and dealing with the risks of implementing new ideas and ventures, while focusing on the early development of independent ventures as well as those within established organizations. Both individual and organizational level issues will be addressed. Includes an analysis of the major functional areas of the start-up firm: accounting, finance, human resources, information systems, logistics, management, marketing, production/operations, purchasing and sales, as well as considerations for entrepreneurship in the international marketplace.

ENTR 250: Ethical Problems/Entrepreneurial Answers
3 credit hours

This course introduces students to the concerns that exist in the 21st century and helps them discover the efforts that they as university students can make to help alleviate social problems now and throughout their life. This course will look at effective responses to social needs and innovative solutions to social problems through case discussion, intensive research and writing projects, guest speakers and experiential projects.

ENTR 301: Entrepreneurship Adventure
3 credit hours

In this course, students will read about, discuss and research innovation theories and innovators. Students will get hands on experience with tools such as business research databases, Excel and Quickbooks. Accumulated knowledge, creativity and acquired skills will be applied to a real-world start-up project with an entrepreneur.

PLSC 220: Introduction to Law and Society
3 credit hours

An exploration of the role that law plays in organizing society, resolving disputes and fostering change. Students will focus on the multitudinous ways in which law influences their daily lives and how social groups work to change the law and improve society. Students will be introduced to theories about law and how law has developed over time.

SOCI 360: Community Studies
3 credit hours

Study of how people arrange themselves socially within cities and surrounding sociocultural environments. Particular attention is given to the processes of urbanism, the urban experience, the community and the concept of place.