2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 19, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

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Graphic Design (B.F.A.)

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Program Coordinator/Contact

Young Ae Kim, Graphic Design Program Coordinator
School of Design
Grove Hall 101

Program Information

The major in Graphic Design provides a comprehensive visual communication experience, including mobile technology, interface design, user experience design, animation and motion graphics, product/package design, brand identity design, data visualization design, and entrepreneurship. Graduates of the Graphic Design program will create professional portfolios, engage in real experiences working in industry, and have the opportunity to build strong connections with professionals nationally and internationally. South Dakota State University graduates are prepared to work in almost any field imaginable. 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 Studio Arts Minor  adding breadth and depth to the degree.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Acquire core knowledge of graphic design practice.
  • Demonstrate fluency in the visual vocabulary and technical skills relevant to Graphic Design – Typography, Grid systems across analog and digital media, visual narratives (photography, illustration, and type-as-image), and conceptualization of the work based on research. (Cross-curricular Skill: Critical and Creative Thinking; Problem Solving; Intercultural Knowledge)
  • Imagine and articulate research, conceptualization, and varied solutions (generate effective ideas) to any problem. (Cross-curricular Skill: Critical and Creative Thinking)
  • Display innovative synergies of media types across print, screen, packaging and emerging media and excel in one or several of the following Areas of Emphasis: Print, Packaging & Environmental, Interaction Design, Media Fluency, Motion.
  • Demonstrate the ability to function as an effective member of a team. (Cross-curricular Skill: Teamwork)
  • Demonstrate the professional awareness and physical preparation necessary to enter the design workspace. (Cross-curricular Skill: Critical and Creative Thinking; Information Literacy; Problem Solving; Intercultural Knowledge; Integrative Learning)

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. The Graphic Design degree requires the completion of internship experience during the summer between the junior and senior years and a travel studies course required during the summer any year between sophomore and senior years.

Equipment and Supplies

The Graphic Design major requires students to own a laptop computer by the start of their sophomore year. The required computer specifications are listed on the SDSU website.

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

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Requirements

Bachelor of Fine Arts Requirements: 3

System General Education and/or major coursework may satisfy some or all of the above requirements. Consult program advisor for details. See the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences  for additional information about Bachelor of Fine Arts specifications.

School of Design Requirements

School of Design Electives

Select 6 credits from the list below.  Students are required to complete six credits of elective shops, studios, or history courses in another School of Design discipline. Courses may not include GDES, ART, or ARTH prefix. Contact the School of Design advisor for approval of additional courses. Credits: 6 S

Major Electives

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


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

Summary of Program Requirements

Bachelor of Fine Arts

System General Education Requirements 30 Credit Hours
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Requirements 3 Credit Hours
School of Design Requirements* 14 Credit Hours
Major Requirements 54 Credit Hours
Supporting Coursework 18 Credit Hours
Electives** 1 Credit Hour

*System General Education Requirements, Major Requirements, and Supporting Coursework may satisfy some or all of the above requirements.  
**Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Academic Advising Guide Sheet

The goal of the academic advising guide sheets and sample plans of study is to promote undergraduate student success by guiding all students to timely completion of an undergraduate degree. Students are not limited to the course sequence provided for their academic program. Instead, the sample plan of study is one possible path to completing your degree and is meant to be used as a guide for planning purposes in consultation with an academic advisor. The plans also help students prepare for meetings with their academic advisor and track their progress in their selected academic program.

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