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Programs : Brochure

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Program Description:
Photo from Victoria Caruso
Florence Center: Design

This program is spring-semester only. Enrollment is limited due to studio capacity.

Students majoring in industrial design and communications design are invited to apply to participate in the SU Florence design program. This program offers participants the opportunity to take courses in collaborative design and contemporary design history, complemented by studio and academic electives.

Program Details
  • Minimum GPA: 2.75
  • Open to visiting students on a limited basis
  • Credit hours: 12-19
  • Portfolio is required for admission

All students take:
  • Italian language (3 credits)
  • DES 485 -- Multidisciplinary Design Studio (3 credits)
  • A History of Art course offered at the SU Florence Center
And one of the following based on major:
  • CMD 450 -- Communications Design Problems (3 credits)
  • IND 481 -- Ethnography and Culture in Design (3 credits)
Admissions Criteria
In the event that the number of qualified applicants exceeds program capacity, some students will be placed on a wait list. Space in the program is limited and both major specific courses (CMD 450 and IND 481) are capped at 15. The decisions on the wait list will be based on the portfolio, performance in the major, as well as cumulative GPA in order to have a balanced, multidisciplinary group of students. Admissions decisions will be made by faculty in the school in consultation with SU Abroad staff after the October 1 application due date.

Portfolio Submission
  • Portfolio should be a single web-friendly PDF (up to 8/10mb each)
  • Provide examples of your three (3) stronger projects, including as much as you feel is relevant to understand your thought and creative process (research, sketches, concepts, design, renderings, etc), for a total of up to 12 pages of content.
  • If you already have a website, it should meet the above minimal requirements.
Signature Seminar

(3 credits; optional for all Florence students) SU Florence offers students the opportunity to participate in a 3-credit Signature Seminar, "The Greek Odyssey." Enhance your semester abroad by navigating the Mediterranean to chart the artistic, cultural, and political origins of Western culture. From morning until night, your classroom will be whatever port, piazza, or ancient temple the day’s journey leads you to. The seminar takes place at the conclusion of semester courses in the spring.

Another Signature Seminar option is Eco-City Europe, a traveling seminar that visits several European cities where the changing transportation, food supply, waste cycle, and energy balance demonstrates an alternative urbanism. You will examine inspiring transitional examples of new lifestyles that attempt to address overall questions of how to confront the changing climate.


Undergraduate students live with Italian hosts. Homestays allow students to practice Italian learned in class and to gain insight into Italian culture and lifestyle. Hosts are carefully screened and most have hosted SU students for many semesters. Hosts represent all walks of life and professions: some are large families, some are retired couples, some are divorced or single parents, some are young couples. Placements are arranged by the housing coordinator in Florence, based on information you provide about your preferences and special needs. Continental breakfast (seven days a week) and evening meals (five days a week) are included in the program fee when you live with a host.

Program Cost

The cost of the SU Florence Center program includes SU tuition and a program fee. Financial aid is available. For a complete breakdown of costs, we have prepared a budget sheet (Florence Planning Budget 2017-18.pdf) for students and their families.

Hear from SU Florence Alumni!

Talk to our SU Florence global ambassadors if you have any questions about the program - they are students who have just recently returned from a semester in Florence. You can also check out our program reviews on


Gael Noyes, admissions counselor for SU Florence:

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2018 10/01/2017 ** Rolling Admission 01/09/2018 04/25/2018
NOTE: Dates are subject to change. Optional Post-Semester Signature Seminars: April 25-May 4 or 6

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.