A student sits at a large worktable with the word "Process" in different graphic treatments.

Graphic Design (BFA)

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design program at University of the Arts offers a broad view of what a graphic designer can and should be in today’s world, and prepares students for employment in fields ranging from publication design to motion graphics to branding and more.

As a student of Graphic Design, you’ll learn

  • well-informed design processes and problem-solving strategies for all forms of visual communication; 

  • to think critically, creatively and experimentally; and

  • to consider broader personal experience and knowledge in pursuit of eloquent design solutions.

The program is cross-disciplinary and fosters collaboration with other programs at the University, as well as with local arts organizations, nonprofits and social agencies.

Our robust curriculum is based on critical thinking, design theory, technique and history, and balances experimental concerns with practical ones in order to equip graduates for success as professional designers. Starting with the School of Design’s first-year core courses—tailored to provide students with a solid foundation for rigorous study in their second through fourth years—the program emphasizes formal aesthetic, theoretical and analytical knowledge, with a deep exploration of today’s rapidly evolving media landscape. Each year’s studies step up in complexity and scope to allow you to build on what you’ve previous learned.

As a UArts Graphic Design graduate, you’ll know how to analyze what you see, speak about it, develop meaningful concepts, and generate compelling design narratives and solutions. You’ll also know how to promote yourself and your work, and how to land jobs that excite, challenge and nurture you throughout your career.

Student Spotlight

A headshot of Ana Villarreal.
Ana Villarreal

BFA ’19

Graphic Design (BFA)
Hometown: Metepec, Mexico, and Seoul, South Korea
Aubrey Fink sitting on a park bench with a book.
Aubrey Fink

BFA ’19

Graphic Design (BFA)
Hometown: Delaware County, Pennsylvania
A picture of Jonathan White in a cap and gown.
Jonathan White

BFA ’19

Graphic Design (BFA)
Hometown: Clinton, Maryland

Faculty Spotlight

Our Graphic Design faculty bring experience from a range of backgrounds, from corporate branding to photographics. 

Angela Riechers, Graphic Design Program Director
Angela Riechers

Graphic Design (BFA)
Award-winning designer with work in myriad national publications
JArrett Fuller headshot
Jarrett Fuller

Graphic Design (BFA)
Runs Twenty-Six, a multidisciplinary design and editorial studio
John Connolly headshot
John Connolly

Graphic Design (BFA)
Founding Principal and Creative Director of the New York City-based agency, Ideas On Purpose

About the Curriculum

Sample Courses in the Graphic Design Major

The Graphic Design program delivers a professional degree that develops the student’s mastery and expertise in the current marketplace for the practice of graphic design or a related communications-oriented field.

Graduates of the Graphic Design program will:

  • Be experienced in both hierarchical and non-hierarchical forms of collaboration as professional preparation

  • Possess a unique intellectual and visual voice

  • Be able to adapt to a changing, unpredictable world and its communication needs where the methods of communication can be expected to evolve and expand.

  • Demonstrate a strong work ethic driven by both logical and inventive working processes.

  • Possess a high level of expertise within industry-standard technological environments and the propensity to prototype for high-level, complex technologically-based practices.

  • Be strategic thinkers with the ability to explain these strategies as a fundamental aspect of their design process.

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First Year

Design Process, Theory & Communication
Drawing as Seeing & Meaning
Digital Design Lab
Thinking Through Science
Writing I Placement
Free elective (your choice)
Drawing as Thinking
Video Production, Body as Form, Found & Fabricated Narrative
Writing II Placement
Design Studio
Art History Survey II

Second Year

Electronic Media/Production I
Communication Design
Visual Perception & the Language of Form
Visualizing Language I: Typographic Hierarchies
Critical Studies (your choice)
Free elective (your choice)
Design History

Third Year

Digital Interactive Techniques
Visual Communication I: Design in Context
Visual Language II: Text Strategies
Java Scripting
Contemporary Issues in Design
Free elective (your choice)
Advanced Digital Interactive Techniques
School of Design Workshop
Communication Media & Strategies or Design for Understanding
Critical Studies (your choice)

Fourth Year

Business Communication for Design Professionals or Design Internship
Senior Studio |
Design Strategies: Nonlinear Narratives & Audience Based Design
Critical Studies (your choice)
Free elective (your choice)
Senior Studio II
Design Strategies: Brand Identity

Explore the Full Curriculum

Alumni Spotlight

Nijel Taylor Headshot Graphic Design Alumni
Nijel Taylor

BFA '14

Graphic Design (BFA)
Senior Designer at Superunion, a global branding agency
Mike Tyson Headshot Graphic Design Alumni
Mike Tyson

BFA '12

Graphic Design (BFA)
Design Director, London office of global branding agency Siegel + Gale
Craig Holden Feinberg
Craig Holden Feinberg

BFA '02

Graphic Design (BFA)
Has worked with clients in Miami, Montreal, Washington D.C., Denver

Alumni Spotlight

Watch this profile on Mike Tyson BFA '12.

Our alumni work at a variety of companies and organizations internationally. Below are a few places our alums have landed.


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