Design Camp at NC State University


Design Camp is an annual summer pre-college program offered to high school students who are interested in design, held at NC State University College of Design. Since its inception 29 years ago, Design Camp has introduced more than 3,000 high school students to the exciting world of design. Design Camp informs students about college study in design and raises awareness of the impact of art and design through a series of weeklong summer programs.

Design Camp is presented by CAM Raleigh and NC State University’s College of Design.

Design Camp projects challenge students to explore their creativity and critical-thinking skills while pushing them to try a range of techniques and media. The exploration of the design process teaches students to question, make choices, generate alternatives, work collaboratively and ultimately broaden their understanding of the world around them.

Camp participants work with camp faculty on projects involving each of the following design disciplines: architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, art + design and graphic design. In addition to studio projects, students participate in other activities all aimed at stimulating their creativity and deepening their understanding of the design field.

Design Camp is for:

  • High school students eager to learn more about design in a college environment
  • Beginners interested in developing skills and creativity through hands-on experiences
  • Teens wanting to meet other high school students who enjoy art and design from around the state and country
  • Young artists and designers serious about preparing portfolios for art and design college admission

2013 Dates:

Overnight Camp 1: June 23-29, 2013
Day Camp: July 14-19, 2013
Overnight Camp 2: July 28-August 3, 2013

Registration is now closed. 2014 Design Camp registration will open in February 2014.

Download an information sheet on this year’s Design Camp HERE.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible?
High school students (rising sophomores and juniors for Design Day Camp and rising juniors and seniors for Overnight Design Camp).

What does it cost?
Registration for the Overnight Design Camp is $1000 and Design Day Camp is $500. These fees cover the cost of instruction, lodging (for overnight camps), meals, project supplies and activities.

Do you offer financial assistance?
Limited financial assistance may be available. CAM Raleigh will consider requests for financial assistance based on demonstrated need. Parents/Guardian must submit a completed Financial Assistance Request Form (available in February 2013) and the student applicant must include a letter stating their goals and artistic interests. Students should complete their Design Camp registration before applying for financial assistance. Further details on financial assistance coming soon!

How do I apply?
Since we are working on a new and improved registration process this year, please stay tuned to this website ( for information on how to apply. Registration will open on February 19, 2013. Design Camp fills up very quickly so please apply early! We fill the camps on a first come, first served basis.

Where does it happen?
All Overnight Design Camp and Design Day Camp studio activities are based at the College of Design. Additionally, campers will visit CAM Raleigh.

Overnight camp participants are housed (double occupancy) in residence halls on campus. We do not honor roommate requests. Counselors reside in the residence halls to supervise activities at all times. The College of Design does not provide housing or overnight supervision for day campers.

Who supervises the campers?
One of the best aspects of Design Camp is our wonderful and energetic staff! Camp Counselors are all undergraduate and graduate students at the College of Design. They are the best possible ambassadors for their design discipline and are eager to share their knowledge about design and applying to design colleges with camp participants. Our staff are carefully selected from a large pool of applicants to ensure the best possible camp experience for all our participants.

Can campers drive themselves to camp?
We highly recommend that parents plan to drive their campers to camp. Parking on NC State campus is very limited and not secure overnight.  Exceptions can be made for those students attending the day camp, but they must contact camp staff at least one month prior to the start of camp to request a parking permit.  Parking permits cannot be ordered upon arrival at camp.  Please contact with any questions.

What is the schedule for the Day Camp?
Day Camp begins on a Sunday, when we have our orientation and first group activities. All Day Campers are required to attend orientation. During the week, Day Campers must be dropped off between 8:00-8:25 a.m. and picked up at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Because Design Camp has a very rigorous and full program schedule, late drop offs and early pick ups are highly discouraged. Drop off and pick up information and schedule information will be sent to registered participants.

I live out of state and want to attend the overnight camp.  Does the camp provide transportation to/from the local airport?
The camp does not provide transportation to and from RDU airport.  We can, however, put campers in touch with one another so that they may share taxi service and carpool to and from the camp.  And of course, camp staff will assist campers needing to schedule taxi service to the airport at the conclusion of camp.

Do you offer other summer design programs for high school students?
In addition to on-campus Design Camps, CAM Raleigh offers workshops/studios at the museum exploring specific design disciplines. Look for additional information on Summer Studios and Design Lab programs for high school students in January 2013. Information on weekend workshops can be found HERE.

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 at

If you have questions about Design Camp not covered here, feel free to email them to design Thank you for your interest in our programs!