2017-2018 Academic Catalog 
    Mar 25, 2023  
2017-2018 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Graphic Design, B.F.A.

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The Graphic Design program prepares students for the dynamic and ever-changing field of visual communication. The program endeavors 1) to mentor creative thinkers who recognize the power of design to promote ideas, create awareness and invigorate commerce through visual communication and 2) to educate designers who are capable of generating thoughtful and memorable visual solutions.

The curriculum brings experience in both print and digital design and introduces students to the designer’s role in a wide range of business environments - both for profit, (e.g., advertising, marketing, healthcare, financial services, public relations) and nonprofit, (e.g., education, the arts, social causes, public service).

The B.F.A. is an intensely focused professional degree structured to facilitate the development of a mature, diverse and competitive portfolio. It is an undergraduate course of study that consists of 132 credit hours, 90 of which are in art and design core, graphic and interactive design, and art/design history. The graphic design curriculum is sequential in nature. (See curriculum guide for recommended sequencing).

This program prepares students for full participation in the professional design community. Like all of the Design & Visual Art Programs, it is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).

Programmatic Goals

The goals of this program are to:

  • Prepare students for professions that create or implement visual communication/media, and provide a balanced, well-rounded approach to the theoretical, practical, and technical aspects of graphic design
  • Prepare designers who are fluent in the design process/methodology, including the ability to define, research, and generate multiple solutions to design problems
  • Encourage creative problem solving, critical thinking, and self-evaluation
  • Encourage communication skills through presentation, critique, and creative ideation
  • Provide a strong foundation in and abroad exposure to the tools and technology that create visual communication, and encourage self-reliance and perpetual learning
  • Encourage and promote ethical practices
  • Promote collaboration and teamwork


Design & Visual Art Programs - Core Requirements

(27 credits)

Design & Visual Art Programs - General Education Requirements

(42 credits)


(3 courses)

  • Literature/Language - ENGL or Foreign Language (3)
  • Philosophy (3)
  • Humanity Elective (except ADXX courses) (3)

Social Science

(3 courses)

  • Psychology (3)
  • History or Government (3)
  • One course selected from the following disciplines: (3) 

Natural Science/Quantitative Reasoning

(2 courses)

  • Science Elective - BIOL, CHEM, ENV, PHYS, SCI  (3)
  • Math or Science Elective (3)

Electives from College of Arts and Sciences

(except courses within the major) (2 courses total)

  • Elective #1  (3)
  • Elective #2  (3)


Please Note:

Of the 132 credit hours required for this program, one half of the 90 credits (for the major and Design & Visual Art core combined) and the last 30 credit hours must be taken at Maryville to satisfy requirements for graduation.

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