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


Savannah Bain '19
Hometown: Hendersonville, Tenn.

It was during Savannah’s first design class as a freshman
when her eyes were opened to the endless possibilities in
the field. And it was her professors who first recognized her
drive and passion for design. Within two years, Savannah was
completing a six-month graphic design internship in Texas
and minoring in business to expand her post-MC options.
“After graduation, I hope to get my
cosmetology license and one day open a foundation that gives free haircuts to homeless citizens,” she said. “I feel equipped with my design major and Business minor to design marketing and advertising pieces for my foundation. It will be no small feat, but Maryville College never taught me to think small.”

Outcomes of Recent Gradsclick or touch to open

Featured Graduates

Kristien Scott ’16
Currently: Graphic Designer at Epic Nine in Maryville, Tenn.

With the help of the College’s Career Center and Associate Professor of Art Adrienne Schwarte, Kristien landed an internship at Epic Nine while a student. That opportunity led to a full-time graphic design job with the design and marketing firm that specializes in solutions for small businesses.
“I create design branding and marketing materials for our clients,” she said. “On a daily basis, my work can consist of creating branding materials, digital and print ads, social media graphics and print materials. I love working in the graphic design field. Every day there are new things to learn and new ways to create something awesome!”

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.”