Department of

Graphic Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts – Graphic Design (BFA)

Undergraduate Curriculum

Our curriculum emphasizes the importance of learning how to design through an understanding of visual and verbal information. Our concept-based approach can be applied to printed material, digital media and motion graphics.

Program highlights

  • Junior graphic design practicum, providing real-world experience with clients such as Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, Campfire Girls, the National Alliance for Mental Illness and other nonprofit and civic organizations.
  • Seniors complete either a summer internship or spend a semester studying abroad with the College of Design’s Rome Program, or both
  • Option studios in a variety of graphic design applications:
    • Web and e-commerce
    • Packaging
    • Typography
    • Publications
    • Motion graphics
    • Exhibition design
    • 3D animation
    • Wayfinding
    • Branding
    • Narrative
    • Multimedia

Curriculum Sheet

This curriculum sheet (PDF) for the BFA in Graphic Design includes number of required credits, list of courses, and a suggested four-year plan with courses broken into semesters and years.

Recommended High School Preparation

Beyond meeting the minimum high school requirements for admission to Iowa State University and the College of Design, students who plan to enter the professional Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree program are encouraged, but not required, to take courses in art, photography, journalism or computer science that help you develop skills in areas complementary to graphic design.