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.


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A headshot of Ana Villarreal.
Ana Villarreal

BFA ’19

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

BFA ’19

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

BFA ’19

Graphic Design
Hometown: Clinton, Maryland

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

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    Angela Riechers, Graphic Design Program Director
    Angela Riechers

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

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

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

    Sample Courses in the Graphic Design Major

    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

    About the Curriculum

    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.

    To explore the full curriculum, click here.

    Click the images below to read more.

    Nijel Taylor Headshot Graphic Design Alumni
    Nijel Taylor

    BFA '14

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

    BFA '12

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

    BFA '02

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

    Watch this profile on Mike Tyson BFA '12 below.

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


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