2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
    Sep 19, 2021  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Graphic Design, B.F.A.

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 128-132 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

(Student must earn a minimum 24 credit hours)

Design & Visual Art Programs - General Education Requirements

(Student must earn a minimum of 42 credit hours)


  • ENGL or Foreign Language
  • Philosophy
  • Humanities Elective: COMM, ENGL, HUM, PHIL, REL, Fine Arts or Foreign Language

Social Science

  • Psychology
  • History or Government Elective
  • Social Science Elective: ECON, GEOG, HIST, PSCI, PSYC, SOC, or WGS

Natural Science & Quantitative Reasoning

  • Science - BIOL, CHEM, ENV, FRSC, PHYS, SCI or SUST
  • Science or Math

Liberal Arts Electives from College of Arts and Sciences

  • Liberal Arts Elective 
  • Liberal Arts Elective


Policies concerning all Design & Visual Art programs can be found here:  Design & Visual Art