Teaching or Tenure Track Positions

Teaching or Tenure Track Positions

The School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University welcomes applications for tenure track or teaching track positions at the rank of assistant or associate professor for Fall, 2019.

About the School of Design

The School of Design, situated in a top-ranked research university, is one of the oldest and most respected design programs in the country. In fall of 2014 the School launched new programs that focus on Design for Interactions at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. Collectively, these programs place social and environmental concerns at the heart of curricula via distinct areas of focus that include: design for service, design for social innovation, transition design and design studies. These areas of focus serve to integrate design practice and theory across all levels and tracks within the School of Design.

The School of Design (with a student body of approximately 225), along with the Schools of Architecture, Art, Drama and Music, resides within the College of Fine Arts, one of the seven colleges at Carnegie Mellon. CMU is one of only a few research universities with a top-ranked design program and as such, offers a wide range of transdisciplinary educational and research opportunities.

We offer a Bachelor of Design degree (BDes) in a flexible undergraduate curriculum with tracks in Communication Design, Product Design and Environments—that requires designers to have a deep understanding of dynamic spatial relationships at multiple levels of scale in both physical and digital environments. The new BDes curriculum enables students to specialize in one track, or customize an interdisciplinary degree in two of the three tracks.

At the graduate level we offer a two year Master of Design degree (MDes) that culminates in a year-long thesis project, and a one year Master of Professional Studies degree (MPS), for people with a design degree, or equivalent experience. We also offer a one year Master of Arts degree (MA) for students with no previous design experience. The School of Design was one of the first programs in North America to offer a doctoral degree in Design; in fall of 2014, a new PhD in Transition Design was launched.

The School takes a transdisciplinary approach to design education and its position within a premier research university provides faculty with an unparalleled opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from diverse disciplines. Faculty at the School of Design believe in teaching through making, are passionate about teaching, and interact with students at all levels in our program. We have a highly collaborative, values-based culture and faculty frequently ‘team teach’ with colleagues with complementary expertise. We are actively engaged in a conversation about the future and the positive role that design and designers can play.

About Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is a private, top-ranked global research university with more than 11,000 students, recognized for its excellence in the arts, technology, transdisciplinary programs, and research. Located in Pittsburgh, PA, the campus is a center for higher learning and research, positioned in close proximity to several other world-class institutions, including the University of Pittsburgh.

About the Positions

In addition to teaching four classes per academic year, tenure-track faculty are expected to produce research, scholarly work, artistic work and/or engage in design practice that elevates the field. Examples of faculty activities include but are not limited to: participation in gallery exhibitions; a significant client base; work published, in print or on-line, in scholarly, research, popular journals, and trade publications; invited talks/workshops at significant venues; patents held; items in production or collections; grants and sponsored research; professional honors and awards; and significant contributions to professional societies and organizations.

In lieu of research, teaching track faculty take on a teaching load of six courses per academic year, and frequently participate in freelance and/or consultancy work.


The School of Design is looking for tenure or teaching track faculty, especially at the assistant professor rank. Successful applicants will teach at all levels of the undergraduate and masters programs, frequently team-teach with colleagues from complementary disciplines, and serve as thesis advisors to masters students, and doctoral students where appropriate.

The School invites collaborative applicants with the following qualifications. We are particularly interested in candidates who can bridge across multiple areas of expertise listed below.

1. A design masters degree or equivalent professional expertise in one or more of the following design disciplines:

Communication or Graphic design: emphasis on the exploration of communication design in real-world contexts with strong graphic design underpinnings (stellar understanding and application of typography, imaging, grid systems, color, composition, etc.), and a demonstrated agility in a range of digital media (knowledge of, and practice in, screen-based communication and prototyping tools).

Interaction design: emphasis on pioneering work that expands our experience of products, environments, systems, and services, through a hybridity of digital and physical means. Candidates should have a keen interest in emerging technologies (e.g. conversational interfaces, artificial intelligence and mixed reality) and a range of prototyping approaches.

Service design: emphasis on interaction design, social, and environmental concerns, and a familiarity with the theoretical and practical foundations of service design and their implications in broad contexts.

2. University level teaching experience at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels or equivalent professional experience. We are especially interested in candidates who are willing and qualified to teach at all levels of the curriculum.

3. Additional expertise in one or more of the following areas is welcomed:

  • Narrative & storytelling
  • User experience
  • Design for sustainability
  • Social design
  • Design thinking & strategy
  • Design studies


The Application Package

Interested individuals should include the following in their application package:

1. Letter of application that includes a statement outlining:

  • Stated interest in either a tenure track or teaching track position
  • your interest in this position and how you see yourself fitting into the program (for example, courses within our curriculum that you might teach, a description of projects, and courses or initiatives you would like to develop in the future)
  • your teaching philosophy
  • where you think the discipline of design is in general, and specifically where your area of interest or sub-discipline is headed

2. Current Curriculum Vitae (CV)

3. Portfolio that includes 8-10 visual examples and descriptions of professional work and/or research or creative work (as defined above)

4. 8-10 visual examples and descriptions of your students’ work (or proposed project briefs and/or class outlines for applicants who are new to teaching)

5. 2-3 examples of course syllabi (real or hypothetical) and/or research proposals

6. 3 names, titles, phone numbers and emails of references

Rank and tenure are negotiable and all positions include a comprehensive benefits package.
Salary is commensurate with experience and rank.

Submission and Timing

Candidates should apply online at: www.design.cmu.edu/facultysearch/
Questions can be addressed to Professors Mark Baskinger, mbasking@andrew.cmu.edu; Charlee Brodsky, cb12@andrew.cmu.edu; Wayne Chung, wcchung@andrew.cmu.edu; and Molly Steenson, steenson@cmu.edu, co-chairs of the search committee.

Deadline for submission of applications is January 11, 2019. Interviews will be conducted from mid-February through mid-March 2019. Successful candidates will be notified in early to mid-April in anticipation of the fall 2019 academic start date.

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