Skip to content

Main Navigation

major maps

Graphic Design

College of Fine Arts

theater masks icon

Arts Pass

grad cap icon



Getting Started

Begin 10 half-semester studio courses

  • Prioritize DESGR 1100 & 1600 and ART 2205, 2206, & 2207
  • Take ARTH 2500

Meet with an advisor to:

  • Declare the major
  • Learn about navigating course sequence
  • Submit portfolio to advance to 2nd year of program

Making Progress

In your 2nd year:

  • Complete any remaining foundation courses by fall
  • Review & ensure you meet requirements to advance to 3rd year of the program
  • Finalize & submit portfolio and self-evaluation for departmental review

In your 3rd year:

  • Complete advanced typography & design courses
  • Take DESGR 3900 - Design Strategy
  • Use degree audit & catalog to track progress toward graduation

Finishing Up

  • Enroll in two-semester capstone courses - DESGR 4600 & 4700
  • Take DESGR 4800 in fall & DESGR 4900 in spring
  • Finish remaining GEs
  • Review degree audit & apply for graduation


Getting Started

  • Join ArtsForce & get involved with student groups like AIGA
  • Make a professional social media account & follow respected graphic design professionals
  • Attend CFA's welcome event ArtsBash

Making Progress

Finishing Up

Knowledge & Skills

Getting Started

  • Explore a variety of artistic mediums in the first-year foundation courses
  • Learn about OUR resources, like UROP & FAF grants
  • Attend office hours to get to know your professors

Making Progress

Finishing Up

  • Work with a Career Coach in the CPDC to create or refine professional documents like resumes/cover letters
  • Complete or edit traditional and/or digital portfolios


Getting Started

  • Join a departmental student group like AIGA
  • Take courses that meet requirements & fuel your creativity
  • Connect with faculty for ideas about careers & professions

Making Progress

  • Complete mandatory advising & continue to check in with advisor as needed to stay on track with degree requirements
  • Go on a learning abroad trip
  • Consider adding a minor to explore other interest areas & enhance your degree
  • Seek out an internship or other experience to expand your knowledge & skillset - connect with faculty & CFA's internship coordinator to create a plan

Finishing Up

  • Complete capstone project & showcase your design work & research in the Student Exhibition
  • Participate in graduation ceremonies & activities


Getting Started

  • Use your ArtsPass to access events
  • Explore the college's Create Success Initiative for helpful information about things to do early and often to support your academic success

Making Progress

Finishing Up

  • Create a business venture to feature your work
  • Consider taking on projects through freelance work or other venues
  • Present projects or research at professional events


Getting Started

Making Progress

  • Monitor the ArtsForce Canvas page for internship opportunities
  • Check out resources like the Bennion Center, UROP, Learning Abroad, or the CPDC for additional support & opportunities to build your resume
  • Maintain professional social media accounts to network via LinkedIn or Instagram
  • Meet with a career coach or trusted faculty member to discuss career options

Finishing Up

  • Meet with a career coach to practice interviews & salary negotiation, refine your resume, & create a job-search plan
  • Attend career fairs & expos
  • Apply for jobs or grad school

Start Your Career Journey

Find support at the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC)

Visit cpdc


About the Major

As a creative discipline, Graphic Design is primarily concerned with visual communication. Graphic designers are responsible for determining how to effectively posture messages, and must work to create expressive and efficient visual systems to communicate information, especially as it increases in complexity. In the Graphic Design BFA program at the U you will learn to address these design challenges and develop an understanding of visual design principles, problem-solving methods, critical and conceptual thinking, image-making, typography, and organizational structures. The program starts with our first-year foundation courses that cover topics such as action, construct, evidence, illusion, mapping, matrix, seeing, and touch, as well as communication design and typography. Our process-oriented curriculum is designed for you to explore visual communication strategies and techniques across a variety of media, and you can choose from a range of electives including advertising design, motion graphics, sustainable design practice, graphic illustration, information graphics, and more. In your final year, you complete a capstone project that showcases the culmination of your knowledge and skills. Beyond coursework, you can also take advantage of opportunities to engage in undergraduate research, internships, and learning abroad experiences. With a Graphic Design BFA degree, you will be prepared to enter the field as a nationally-competitive creative professional.

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain functional competence with principles and elements of design and demonstrate the techniques and technologies needed to realize artistic goals
  • Be able to formulate and express ideas through creative problem solving in the production of contemporary visual art and design research into creative processes, by gaining knowledge to identify, critically analyze, and assess information from a variety of sources and perspectives
  • Demonstrate a general understanding of major historical and contemporary concepts, theories, and approaches to research in the study of visual art and design
  • Demonstrate an understanding of fundamental concepts, visual expression, and professional standards related to visual arts locally, nationally and globally
  • Present work that demonstrates the technical facility and conceptual understanding needed for entry into professional art practice or to undertake graduate study in an academic or professional program
  • Possess the research and communication skills necessary to understand and participate in the field of visual arts and design

Plan & Prepare

At the U, we plan for our students to have an exceptional Educational Experience identified by four broad categories we call the Learning Framework: Community, Knowledge & Skills, Transformation, and Impact. This major map will help you envision, explore, design, and plan your personalized Exceptional Education Experience with the Learning Framework at the core. In addition to assisting you in planning your coursework and navigating the requirements of your major, this map will help you incorporate other kinds of experiences to expand your knowledge, support your development, and prepare you for the future you want.

Discover More.


Health and Kinesiology


Theatre Teaching BFA


Health, Society and Policy
Last Updated: 4/12/22