Questions About The Center

Frequently Asked Questions

How is this different from courses offered in the Department of Design?

At the Center for Integrated Design, we're focused on teaching universal human-centered design methodologies, also known as Design Thinking. This coursework does not focus on the technical design skills that you would learn if pursuing a degree through the Department of Design, but rather on the broader problem-solving methods that designers employ.  We are teaching you how to integrate design into your studies and future work. You can apply these methods to anything you’re doing, whether studying theater or physics, business or Japanese. We offer a variety of courses that are equally beneficial to all students curious about developing creative and critical thinking skills essential to imagine new futures in any career path. Our courses are also open to any undergraduate of any major and are meant to be highly interdisciplinary.

What is Integrated Design?

Integrated Design is a collaborative and holistic approach to solving problems from a human-centered perspective. At the Center, we focus on teaching students the methods and mindsets of design, and the most in-demand skills for innovative and creative careers. Through these courses, you’ll learn practical aspects of design to integrate into your major at UT Austin. Our goal is for more empathetic business majors, more collaborative historians, and more iterative scientists. Our flexible and broad curriculum allows anyone to find the courses that are most important to integrate into their future work and life.

Why is design thinking important to students majoring in other fields outside of design?

Students who take classes in the Center for Integrated Design are better and more capable problem solvers. Our students learn design methods and mindsets such as design thinking, a powerful and effective methodology for approaching challenges facing our world. An accounting major in the McCombs School who can collect Design research, develop ideas, and communicate with creative teams will stand out among peers. A liberal arts student who can apply rigorous research to new concepts and build solutions based on those results will be a leader. These are the stories of our students. And it’s not just a few shining examples. The Center teaches hundreds of students each semester. During the past 10 years, companies that invested in design outperformed their peers by 211%. By training students from across campus to solve serious problems using rigorous design skills, the Center offers the opportunity for The University of Texas at Austin to thrive and stand out among peer institutions. What starts at the Center for Integrated Design has the potential to change the world.

Does The Center offer a degree in integrated design or design strategies?

We offer a transcriptable Bridging Disciplines Program (BDP) certificate in Design Strategies that you can pursue in conjunction with your major. All of our ITD courses count toward the certificate. At this time, we do not offer any undergraduate or graduate degrees through The Center. Keep an eye out for future offerings.

Where can I find information about the Design Strategies BDP?<

The BDP office has the entire certificate plan available on its website.

How do I apply for the Design Strategies BDP?

You have to apply through the BDP office, not through the Center for Integrated Design. We created the certificate in conjunction with BDP, but we don’t administer it. You'll find instructions on how to apply here.

Do I have to be pursuing the BDP to take your courses?

Not at all. You can take whichever courses you want as long as you qualify. Note that some have prerequisites and/or applications. And any course you take in the Center for Integrated Design will count toward your BDP, even if you take the course before you apply.

Do you have VAPA courses? Flagged courses? Signature courses?

We occasionally offer VAPA, Flagged, and Signature courses. The offerings and frequency of such courses vary by semester. In other words, we may not be offering these courses every semester. You'll have to check the course schedule to find out.

Why is your course prefix "ITD" and not "CID?"

Because the "CID" course prefix was already taken by a different unit on campus when we launched the program! We chose to use "ITD" for InTegrated Design instead. (Sometimes that's the best you can do.)

Can a graduate student take your undergraduate off-site courses?

No, but thank you for your interest.

Can I audit a course from the Center of Integrated Design?

No, but thank you for your interest.

Can a graduate student enroll in your on-campus undergraduate courses?

No. As of Spring 2019, we no longer allow graduate students to enroll in any of our undergraduate courses. If you enroll in one of our undergraduate courses as a graduate student anyway, we reserve the right to drop you from the course in order to better accommodate our students pursuing the undergraduate Design Strategies BDP certificate.

Are you offering a graduate portfolio program?

Not at this time, but maybe in the future.

Are there graduate courses in The Center for Integrated Design that I can take?

Yes! We started offering graduate courses in Fall 2018, though the offerings and frequency of such grad courses may vary by semester. In other words, we may not be offering graduate courses every semester. You'll have to check the schedule to find out.

Are there opportunities to UA or TA with CID?

Possibly! Send us an email at to check. Sometimes we have opportunities for grad students with relevant experience to TA our courses if our undergraduate course enrollments merit it.