Combining the traditional with the groundbreaking

In the College of Design’s Department of Graphic Design, we make waves nationally for combining traditional art media and new media, blending and experimenting with techniques and tools in ways that have never been done before. We push the boundaries of art and design, and we challenge our students to experiment, collaborate, and build innovative skillsets through their creative endeavors.

We are the first to offer a BFA graphic design program in the state of Iowa. Through our course offerings, students graduate from the Department of Graphic Design prepared for a career in graphic media.

Degree programs

Iowa State’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design, Master of Arts in Experiential Graphic Design (MAxGD), and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Graphic Design are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Mekena Little Headshot

The College of Design has taught me so much about not only the history and technical skill of Graphic Design but also the ways of working and preparing for internships and full-time jobs.

Mekena Little – Graphic Design, Class of 2023

Success in design

Students in the College of Design graduate career-ready with internships, capstone projects, professional practice, and portfolio classes integrated into each of the design programs, and with support from the Design Career Services Office. The College of Design also hosts an annual Design Career Fair that is focused only on design majors. It attracts more than 125 firms recruiting for jobs and internships, with College of Design alumni making up more than half of the recruiters in attendance.

With 91% of our 2021-2022 graduates employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation, our students are in high demand. Some recent graduates of Iowa State’s graphic design program have pursued careers in the following:

  • Advertising design
  • Animated products design
  • Book design
  • Digital art
  • Exhibition design
  • Film or television titling and design of on-air graphics
  • Interactive media design
  • Magazine design
  • Museum exhibitions, publications and signage
  • Newspaper design
  • Packaging and label design
  • Video or film design and production Website design
Graphic design students learning audio equipment and mixing in AK Studio class with Alex Braidwood in Los Angeles.

A Designer in the Making.

Find your place at Iowa State University’s College of Design, where we like to ask questions, poke and prod, create something new, and make a difference through design.

Policy and governance