Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design (BFA)


Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts/Department of Art, Design, and Art History

Program Description

The BFA emphasis in graphic design is a professional degree format that blends practical and theoretical coursework. This program prepares students by providing a background in the history and theories of graphic design; a broad basis in the history of art; product and technical design skills; better abilities in drawing; computer fluency; an awareness of ethical issues; and practical professional experience.

This program is offered through the Department of Art, Design, and Art History in the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts. Please see the Colleges, Schools, and Departments section of this catalog for further information.


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Degree Requirements

  • 84 required credit hours
  • 12 general education credit hours
  • 32 elective credit hours

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Special Requirements

Advanced standing as a major in the Department of Art, Design, and Art History is achieved by faculty evaluation of a portfolio of the student’s studio coursework during Major Acceptance Review. This evaluation is usually done during the second semester of the sophomore year or after a student has successfully completed 45 credit hours of study, providing the student has completed a minimum of 18 credit hours of studio coursework.

Following Major Acceptance Review, students are formally advised of admittance to the department as candidates for the BA program or are advised to resubmit their portfolios the following semester. Students whose portfolios do not receive a favorable evaluation when resubmitted are advised to seek another department for their major. The department notifies students of portfolio review dates.

Students must apply for BFA candidacy by completing the BFA candidacy form and presenting an acceptable selection of specialized work. This must take place spring semester of junior year, or upon the completion of 80 credit hours. Successful completion of a written application and submission of specific examples of work in the intended area of emphasis are required for acceptance. Students receive either written notification of acceptance or a recommendation to continue pursuing a BA after the portfolio and application are reviewed by the faculty of the Department of Art, Design, and Art History.

The specific point of declaration of emphasis would be major acceptance review during the second semester of the sophomore year. All core courses must be completed in the first two years and before enrolling in the third level graphic design course.Transfer students, during the entrance portfolio review, declare intent to pursue the graphic design course of study. Entering portfolio reviews are competitive with acceptance limited to 25 new students per year. The first two courses in the sequence ordinarily would permit the possibility of transfer credit in graphic design. However, transfer students might be encouraged to complete the entire sequence.

The program of study requires a high level of accomplishment for continuation in the program. Students will be required to attain a grade of B in any class in the graphic design area prior to progressing to the next. Although the total number of credit hours in the degree program would remain consistent with other University requirements, transfer students would typically complete the program in five years.

Required Courses

  • ART 1010 Creative Strategies (3 hours)
  • ART 1110 Introduction to Drawing (3 hours)
  • ART 1120 Principles of Drawing (3 hours)
  • DESN 1210 Design Concepts (3 hours)
  • DESN 1220 Design: 3-D (3 hours)
  • ART 2110 Figure Drawing (3 hours)
  • ART 2120 Intermediate Drawing (3 hours)
  • ART 4020 Visual Arts Seminar (3 hours)
  • ARHS 2200 Current Art (3 hours)
  • ARHS 2210 Introduction to the History of Western Art (3 hours)
  • ARHS 2320 Introduction to Asian Art (or an approved substitution in art history) (3 hours)
  • ART 2900 Art Major Acceptance Review (0 hours)
  • ART 3900 BFA Review (0 hours)

6 additional credit hours in art history may include:

  • ARHS 4730 Art Theory and Criticism (3 hours)
  • PHIL 3120 Philosophy and Art (3 hours)
  • ARHS 3360 History of Modern Art (3 hours)

15 Credit hours in studio art chosen from the five of the following studio areas:

  • Alternative Media
  • Ceramics
  • Painting
  • Papermaking
  • Printmaking
  • Photography
  • Sculpture

30 credit hours in graphic design from the following:

  • DESN 2270 Digital Applications (3 hours)
  • DESN 2280 Introduction to Graphic Design (3 hours)
  • DESN 2700 Concepts and Theory of Design (3 hours)
  • DESN 3270 Graphic Design Systems: Typography (3 hours)
  • DESN 3280 Graphic Design Products (3 hours)
  • DESN 4270 Advanced Graphic Design (3 hours)
  • DESN 4280 Graphic Design Studio (3 hours)
  • ART 4800 Apprenticeships in Art (3 hours)
  • DESN 4900 Professional Practice in Graphic Design (3 hours)
  • 3 additional credit hours in graphic design. This may include:
    • ART 3850 Topics in Studio Art (in graphic design related areas) (3 hours)
    • ADVT 4040 Advertising Production (3 hours)

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-Revised September 7, 2013-

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