Why study Design at MC?

The Major and Minor in Design provides guided instruction and discourse in design process, principles, elements, creativity, problem-based solutions and develops a strong visual literacy and criticism of the role and impact of design in a global society. The program complements the broad knowledge grounded in the liberal arts tradition with specialized technical and aesthetic design skills and expertise.

The curriculum exhibits experiential and cooperative learning in conjunction with independent design research and projects, centralized towards compelling, effective, and culturally sensitive visual communication. For all students, the curriculum embraces the belief that design both enriches and is enriched by its interconnectedness with other areas of human behavior and the environment.

Maryville College Works is a comprehensive career preparation program that is integrated into the College’s four-year liberal arts curriculum. Key components include assessment, advising, networking and professional experiences.

THE MARYVILLE COLLEGE DESIGN LAB is an internal service organization, created to provide quality graphic design and consulting services for local, regional and national non-profit, non-governmental organizations and MC campus groups, divisions and organizations. It also serves as an internship and ‘living lab’ for design majors to enhance design and communication skills and build their professional portfolios.

Meet a current student

Brandi Payne '18
Hometown: Sevierville, Tenn.

Brandi always knew she would go into the design and illustration fields. After she toured Maryville College and met with faculty members, she knew it was the school for her. Two years later, her growth as an artist is evident: In 2017, she took home two ADDY awards from the Knoxville chapter of the American Advertising Federation. “Professor Adrienne Schwarte and Dr. Carl Gombert are always willing to help me and critique my work,” she said. “Their guidance is exceptional. It was with their help and encouragement that I got involved with drawing comics for the campus newspaper and with the Maryville College Design Lab, where I design posters for the College’s music and theatre productions. Both opportunities provide real-world experience about managing deadlines and creating work that meets the clients’ needs.”

Outcomes of Recent Gradsclick or touch to open

Featured Graduates

Erika Collins ’14
Currently: Graphic Designer for Cirruspath

After leaving MC, Erika joined Cirruspath, a fast-growing software start-up located in Knoxville, Tenn., where she continues to build on skills learned at MC. “My work in our marketing department consists of designing all materials – from video editing to seeing through every detail of our print materials. The experiences of the design classes at MC were unmatched, as the assignments reflected real-world projects. I attribute my accomplishments in this field thus far to the invaluable instruction of Professor [Adrienne] Schwarte, whose knowledge of the field provided  me with the skills necessary to easily transition into a design position.”


As an associate producer for RIVR Media, Emily assists in the development and editing processes for a leading television production company whose clients include such networks as A&E, ESPN and GAC. "Through the detailed instruction of Professor Adrienne Schwarte, I graduated Maryville College as a resourceful and knowledgeable young professional able to hold her own at prominent companies in the production industry," she said. "The design major coursework and projects primed me for real-world professional environments. Not only did I learn the technicalities of good design and work ethic, I gained a sophistication that has allowed me to be competitive in a fast-paced world."