Note: For complete information on this program, the department's major in New Media and Web Design, or other communication programs, see the department's website.

Interdisciplinary Minor in Web Design
at North Dakota State University

Coordinator: Ross F. Collins, professor of communication

Web Design Program Steering Committee:

This interdisciplinary program emphasizes theory and skills needed to manage internet web content and delivery. Students complete a nine-credit core covering design concepts, software tools, coding languages and applied projects. Students also choose twelve credits of electives from options in design, scripting, programming, digital media, management, theory, or independent study. A three-credit capstone project is required. The program is coordinated through the communication department. Students should apply for the minor through the registrar's office.

What can you do with a web design minor?
The minor is an excellent choice for students who are looking for knowledge in web site design and maintenance for a variety of career goals. Businesses and institutions more and more expect employees to maintain web sites as intra-office communication vehicles. As well, nearly all firms of any size expect communication professionals to understand the process of building and maintaining a web site. In fact, this knowledge is becoming more than an extra for many jobs—it's becoming a core requirement.

The university’s interdisciplinary approach allows students to specialize in several facets of web design and maintenance through elective choices. Those students who wish to specialize in art and design aspects will choose at least two courses in that area, such as ART 185, COMM 242, or COMM 362; those who wish to emphasize corporate and organizational web site concepts and maintenance may choose courses such as BUS 370, COMM 442, or CSCI 462; those who wish to emphasize education-based Information Technology (IT) may choose courses such as MIS/CSCI 371, MIS/CSCI 377, or CSCI 462. Note that students who wish to obtain the breadth of knowledge necessary for advanced systems administration and programming are encouraged to seek majors in computer science or managment information systems.

Prerequisite for formal admission to the minor: CSCI 116, Business Use of Computers, or equivalent.

Core (9 credits)

Electives (12 credits)

Students must choose from electives in at least two departments. It is recommended that students select electives based on a chosen specialization within the minor, such as web design, programming, or systems administration. Up to six credits may be counted for both a major and the web design minor. In addition to the courses listed below, special topics may be offered from time to time thorugh the university's division of continuing studies.

The independent study option
This option is designed for students who wish to undertake an in-depth study of areas related to web development that are not usually available though the regular class schedule, usually specific coding languages. Options include CSS, XML, JavaScript, MySQL, PHP, Perl, Ajax. Students may suggest a topic by contacting program coordinator Ross Collins.

The web minor capstone
This core course offers students the opportunity to put into practical use the knowledge gained through web minor coursework by building a working web site for an actual client. Students are encouraged to choose an on-campus group, or off-campus non-profit/small business which needs a web site, but normally wouldn’t be able to afford services of a commercial web design firm. Because it would not offer genuine client/designer interaction, students may not choose to design a site for a family member, friend, or their own business.

After choosing a possible client, the student approaches one of his or her web design minor instructors to act as a project advisor. The role of the advisor is to offer suggestions, to evaluate the site map and the final site, but not to provide extensive technical, design, or problem-solving assistance. Students proceed to establish a professional relationship with the client, work out a site map, build the site within a reasonable time frame (about three months), and submit the site map and final site to the advisor for evaluation.

Note: credit cannot be given for capstone work completed without prior approval. To apply, contact web minor coordinator Ross Collins.