FARGO, N.D. • North Dakota State University has combined three creative programs into one school.

The university’s architecture, landscape architecture, and visual art departments were combined to form the NDSU School of Design, Architecture and Art.

The new school allows the university to be a leader in the region by strategically capitalizing on design and design thinking, according to the school.

“This is a great opportunity for us to combine 100 years of design excellence in architecture with emerging new design fields to create a powerhouse of design thinking,” David Bertolini, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences said in a news statement. “The new school will disrupt current design education practices to provide valuable careers to benefit the state and the region.”

The new school has more than 500 students, according to NDSU, including 70 graduate students pursuing degrees in the three founding departments. All three departments have had significant enrollment increases the past four years.

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The school also said it pans to form affiliations and create more opportunities to work with campus partners such as the Nice Center for entrepreneurship. Others may include apparel, merchandising, interior design, and hospitality management; and strategic communications and advertising.

Opportunities to work with complimentary disciplines and faculty members in mechanical engineering, public history, civil engineering, construction management and others also are being explored. The university said these affiliations and partnerships are a key component to expanding opportunities for students and faculty in both the school and across the campus.

"There is not a discipline on campus where the school is not a potential partner,” said Michael Strand, school director and professor of art. “Design plus anything is possible and is a key to bringing innovative solutions to both challenges and opportunities we have today.”

NDSU said it has the only architecture and landscape architecture programs in North Dakota, and that as such it helps position the school as a destination for design and art education.

Program enhancements, such as shared facility, new programs, diversified experience for students and increased research capacity through interdisciplinary approaches, are goals of the new school.

“The impact of design and art is everywhere,” Strand said. “With more than 50 years of collective experience supporting a vibrant learning community of 500-plus students in unparalleled shared faculties within the region, we are thrilled to come together as a school to inspire efforts across disciplines to reimagine and create thriving and healthy communities.”