2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
    May 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Graphic Design, B.F.A.

The BFA in Graphic Design prepares students for the dynamic field of visual communication. It is a focused professional degree structured to facilitate in-demand creative skillsets and develop a capable, diverse, and competitive portfolio. The program seeks to educate creative problem solvers who utilize the power of design to promote ideas, create awareness, and invigorate commerce, and designers who generate thoughtful visual solutions in traditional and interactive mediums.
With its solid foundation in formal design theory and history, its curriculum targets a rich academic experience and industry expectations by providing an active and diverse curriculum. Programming includes instruction in branding, typography, print media, user experience, interface design, motion graphics, and the technology that drives the discipline.

National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD) accredits this and all Maryville Design & Visual Art Programs.

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

General Education Requirements

(42 credits)


(3 courses)

  • Literature or Foreign Language elective
  • Philosophy elective
  • Humanities elective (excludes coursework from Design and Visual Art subjects)

Social Science

(3 courses)

  • Psychology elective
  • History or Government elective
  • Social Science elective

Natural Science & Quantitative Reasoning

(2 courses)

  • Science elective
  • Science or Math elective

Liberal Arts Electives from College of Arts and Sciences

(2 courses)

  • 2 Liberal Arts electives from the College of Arts and Sciences


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

Graduation Requirements

  • 128 credit hours minimum (last 30 hours in residency)
  • A minimum half the major credit hours in residency
  • A minimum half the minor credit hours in residency
  • ​60 credit hours must be completed at a 4-year institution