Graduate Certificate in Public Interest Design

The Graduate Certificate in Public Interest Design has been created as a means to prepare future leaders in architecture, urban planning, sustainability, community development and other fields to aid currently underserved populations through sustainable, human-centered design methods. The Certificate will provide an educational foundation for entry into the emerging field of Public Interest Design, through academic studies and hands-on experience in the field, working directly with communities in need to address issues such as inadequate shelter, food and water scarcity, disaster preparedness and recovery, and economic well-being.

The Certificate in Public Interest Design will be offered to both graduate students and professionals in Portland and beyond. The certificate consists of 18 credit hours of course options from several disciplines, with a focus on the “triple bottom line” of sustainability (social, environmental and economic), ranging from Social Entrepreneurship to Environmental Sustainability to Creating Collaborative Communities . The coursework is anchored by a seminar in public interest design and culminates in fieldwork or practicum on a real-world public interest design project.

This program represents major progress and is a monumental benchmark in the emerging area of public interest design. PSU and its Center for Public Interest Design have five leaders in this field with decades of field and teaching experience who will provide a needed concentration of study for those interested in effectively advancing their own understanding, abilities and practice for the public good.
— Bryan Bell, Founder of Design Corps