July 22, 2019 College Creates School of Design to House Graphic Design, Industrial Design

After approval by the University of Tennessee and Tennessee Higher Education Commission in July, the UT College of Architecture and Design has established a new academic unit, the School of Design.  The new school provides an administrative home for the Graphic Design program, which moves from UT’s College of Arts and Sciences into the College of Architecture and Design in August 2019, as well as future degrees including a minor in Graphic Design and an interdisciplinary graduate program.  The school will also house the industrial design minor that the college has offered since 2016.

“This exciting development continues the momentum in our college to further diversify our student body and faculty, enrich research and cross-collaborative opportunities and elevate the incredible design culture in our college,” said Scott Poole, dean of the college.

The School of Design joins the schools of Architecture, Interior Architecture and Landscape Architecture and aligns the college with the nation’s other top-ranked architecture and design colleges, which offer a diversity of programs.

Students gather before the workshop

The establishment of the new school also further strengthens the college’s ability to align with UT’s strategic priority to recruit and retain the best undergraduate students by advancing national recognition and offering a competitive advantage.

To lead the School of Design, Poole named Sarah Lowe, professor of Graphic Design, as interim director. Lowe will provide direction for the installation of the new school and lead the Graphic Design program through 2019-2020.  The college will begin a formal internal search for a director of the School of Design this year.

“It is an honor to lead the School of Design’s inaugural year and facilitate the relocation of the Graphic Design program. Joining a college of complementary design disciplines will expand the opportunities for students interested in design as an agent for change not just across the college but also across the university,” said Lowe.

The college also welcomes new Graphic Design faculty members, Lecturer Timothy Arment and Christopher Cote, the first Graphic Design Fellow in the program’s history, and will be adding a new tenure-track faculty member in the future.

Beginning in fall 2019, enrollment in the College of Architecture and Design will be 700 students, an increase of 27% over 2018 and 56% over 2017.  This remarkable growth is also seen in the capacity enrollment in the School of Design’s inaugural Foundations program, an initiative to prepare first-year students for advanced Graphic Design courses.

“Every program in the college has grown each year for the past eight years, enabling more opportunities for enriched faculty research, technological innovations and new levels of creativity in studio work,” Poole said.

With the addition of Graphic Design, the College of Architecture and Design now offers the following degrees:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
  • Bachelor of Architecture
  • Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture
  • Master of Landscape Architecture (two programs)
  • Master of Architecture (two programs)
  • Dual Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture
  • Dual Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture and Master of Architecture
  • Dual Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture

As well as minors in

  • Industrial Design
  • Architectural Studies
  • Interior Architectural Studies
  • Design Studies

High school students looking to apply for college and college students interested in transferring can schedule a visit by contacting the college’s Center for Student Development at 865-974-5265.  Learn more at

The college’s Industrial Design minor is open to all UT undergraduate students.  Learn more at