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Design Connections FAQs

Why does your application process start and end so early?

As one of many residential pre-college programs on a major university campus, we are required to provide various units on campus, such as Housing and Dining, information on our summer programming needs well in advance of program start dates. Due to this, finalizing our participant numbers by late April is necessary. 

Where does the Design Connections Experience take place?

All Design Connections activities are based at the College of Design at NC State University, and participants are housed (double occupancy) in residence halls on campus. 

Who supervises the students?

One of the best parts about Design Connections is our wonderful and energetic staff! Counselors are all undergraduate and graduate students at the College of Design. They are the best possible ambassadors for their design disciplines and are eager to share their knowledge about design and registering to design colleges with participants. Our staff is carefully selected from a large pool of applicants to ensure the best possible experience for all of our participants.

What should my student pack?

HERE is a sample packing list. Please note that linens (bed sheets, pillows, blankets, comforters, towels, etc) are NOT provided, but can be requested. If you might have difficulty acquiring items on the sample packing list (ie. extra long twin size sheets), you will be able to make requests on the forms in our online application.

Can students drive themselves to campus?

Unfortunately, parking on campus for our Design Connections Experience is NOT available. Parking on NC State campus is very limited and not secured overnight, and students will not have access to, nor will they be able to check on their cars during the experience.

Parents or guardians will need to plan to drive their students to campus and check their student into the program on Sunday arrival. 

Can I check my student out early from the experience?

The program format requires that all participants engage fully during studio instruction, and all other activities scheduled throughout the program. Prior exposure to design is not required but the experience has a full and engaging schedule that builds on itself each day and requires daily attendance and mandatory participation. Therefore, it is HIGHLY recommended that parents and guardians avoid any circumstances (scheduling doctor’s appointments, family vacations, sport events, etc) which would require their student to be checked out early.

In the event of family emergencies, families will be provided with contact information to call Design Lab staff to request immediate pick-up of their student.

My student has dietary restrictions. What meal options are available?

Meal options will be available for a wide variety of dietary restrictions. Meals are provided by NC State University Dining, usually at Clark Dining Hall. To preview their dining options, you may visit their website: You may also wish to review information provided by University Dining at:

Students are allowed to bring their own snacks and are encouraged to bring a refillable water bottle to campus. 

Any dietary restrictions or food allergies should be listed on the Medical Form in our online application system.

Do you offer programs for students during the school year?

Yes! We offer Weekend Workshops for high school students here at the Design Lab during the school year. Please visit our website for a menu of our programs.

To receive monthly updates on our programs, please sign up for our newsletter. We hope to see you at the Design Lab soon!

I have questions about the College of Design’s admissions process. Who should I contact?

For all questions regarding admissions and scheduling a tour at the College of Design, you need to contact the Student Services Office at College of Design undergraduate admissions information is also available here.

Students attending our Design Connections Experience will attend an admissions presentation during their week on campus.