Abstract

As part of a larger project that analyzes disciplinary and interdisciplinary growth in the United States, this article quantitatively investigates the expansion of undergraduate education in design at four-year colleges and universities between 1988 and 2012. It utilizes data from the US Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Survey (IPEDS), which is especially suitable for investigating field-level change. Results show that undergraduate design education is growing in both absolute and relative terms, but this growth varies according to different institution types and conditions. Hence, variables such as control type (i.e., public vs. private), Carnegie classification type, institution size, and institutional revenues have differential influences on the diffusion of bachelor's degree-granting programs and the share of bachelor's degrees. This study provides valuable insights to policymakers, administrators, and design educators who seek to make meaningful interventions within the academy, and it will advance our understanding of the changing institutional organization of design education and the future of design disciplines in the United States.

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