2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
    May 26, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Graphic Design (B.F.A.)

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Program Coordinator/Contact
Michael (Tim) Steele, Director
School of Design
Grove Hall 101
Fax: 605-688-6769
E-mail: SDSU.SchoolofDesign@sdstate.edu
Click here for additional information.  

Program Information
The major in Graphic Design prepares students for entry-level design positions. Professional graphic designers plan and execute designs for visual communication according to the needs of audiences and clients in the context for which they are intended. The graphic design degree includes a six semester sequence of courses beginning in the freshman year applying knowledge of art, design, typography, digital technologies, and illustration with the intent to interpret, inform, instruct or persuade in consideration of physical, human, social, and cognitive factors. A 12-credit visual arts core taken in conjunction with the graphic design sequence supports the degree and creates a foundation for success. Through taking the core and taking 6 additional ART, ARTH or ARTE courses majors qualify for the Art Minor adding breadth and depth to the degree.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • The ability to conceive and design visual communications and systems involving various integrations of the elements of professional practice.
  • Understanding and the use of basic visual communication principles and process, including but not limited to: theory, principles and history; creative approaches; design processes; vocabulary; spatial, temporal, and kinetic relations; and use of typography, images, color, motion and sequencing.
  • Ability to incorporate research and findings regarding people and contexts into communication design decision-making, including but not limited to: conducting investigations in terms of people, activities and their setting; design at different scales; ability to exercise critical judgment in regards to usefulness.
  • Acquisition of collaborative skills and the ability to work effectively in interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary teams to solve complex problems.
  • Understanding of and the ability to use design technology, including but not limited to: ability to continue to learn technology; ability to conduct critical evaluation of technologies; ability to shape and create technology tools; and ability to recognize and analyze the social, cultural, and economic implications of technology on message creation.
  • Understanding of and ability to use basic research and analysis procedures and skills.
  • Functional knowledge of professional design practices and processes, including but not limited to: professional and ethical behaviors; and intellectual property, patents, trademarks, and copyrights.
  • Experience in applying design knowledge and skills beyond the classroom i.e., field research and experience, internships, collaborative programs with professional and industry groups, and international experiences.

Academic Requirements
Graphic Design students must maintain at least a major GPA of 2.6 and an overall GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for the duration of the program.  A grade of a “C” or better is required in all ART, ARTE, ARTH, GDES, DSGN, LA, ARCH, and ID courses. 

Course Delivery Format
Course content is delivered through hands-on studio work combined with lectures, demonstrations and critiques.

Requirements for Graphic Design Major: 120 Credits

Bachelor of Fine Arts

System General Education Requirements

Institutional Graduation Requirements

School of Design Requirements

Major Electives

  • ART (Art Studio) Elective: 3
  • ART/GDES/MCOM (Animation, Photography or Video Media) Elective: 3

Supporting Coursework


Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Total Required Credits: 120


AH Art History B.F.A. Coursework
S    Supportive B.F.A. Studies

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