The Graphic Design area program at the Lamar Dodd School of Art prepares students to communicate ideas and experiences by integrating visual and textual content across various media. Its course of study develops effective visual responses to communication problems. Professional graphic design practice is diverse and dynamic; thus, the area of Graphic Design stresses a strong grounding in design and communication fundamentals like typography, information hierarchy, concept development, and visual exploration.

Graphic Design

The program aims to prepare students for creative lives and professions related to visual communication with a variety of courses that develop abilities in collaboration, build an understanding of audiences, and encourage experimentation across media. The program encourages an interdisciplinary approach to design and benefits from the wider offerings within the School of Art and the greater University.

The Graphic Design program is only offered at the undergraduate level. Students interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in the area of Graphic Design must first submit work for review to be accepted to the major through the portfolio review process. Learn more about the portfolio review process by which undergraduate students apply to their area of emphasis here, and find more information about BFA course requirements at the Lamar Dodd School of Art here.

Graduates secure positions in a variety of creative positions in firms ranging from boutique design studios that focus on motion, experience, or branding design; to the entertainment and publishing industries; to in-house creative departments for museums, apparel brands, and digital companies. Alumni have secured positions at the following firms and companies, including:

  • CNN
  • IBM Design
  • Evernote
  • Facebook
  • Free People  
  • Inc. magazine
  • Aveda
  • Turner Broadcasting
  • Son & Sons Marketing
  • Gensler New York
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Primal Screen

Admission to the Graphic Design Major

Students interested in pursuing the Graphic Design concentration must enroll in ARGD 2010, Graphic Design Survey. (Prerequisites are: completion of ARST 1050 and 1060 or 1080.) Multiple sections of ARGD 2010 are offered each academic year (typically in the fall semester only) with an enrollment of sixteen students per section. After completion of ARGD 2010, students are eligible to apply to the graphic design major via portfolio review which is typically held on Reading Day.

Successful completion of the review results from area faculty judgment of various facets of student work and performance including the pieces submitted (exploration, conceptual approach, execution, and craftsmanship), candidate's grades, and professionalism and participation in the course, as well as the area’s resources. Once accepted into the Graphic Design area, it will take a minimum of five semesters to matriculate through the program.

A progress review will be held in the second semester of major coursework in which Graphic Design faculty will determine continuation in the Graphic Design major based on grades, effort, participation, and attendance in Graphic Design courses. An overall 3.0 average must be maintained in all Graphic Design classes in order to enroll in required Graphic Design Senior Portfolio Project course (ARGD 4110 ). ​

Required Equipment

Students accepted as graphic design majors are required to have a Mac laptop with current Adobe Creative Cloud software in their first semester of major coursework. Be sure to choose the educational subscription pricing option. Details regarding current minimum machine requirements will be provided once students are accepted into the area. Students do not need their own laptop to take the ARGD 2010 Graphic Design Survey class. Shop at the Apple Education Store for student pricing on Macs. For Apple Loan information visit

Visit the website of the Graphic Design area for more information.