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Department of

Graphic Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts – Graphic Design (BFA)

Undergraduate Curriculum

Iowa State’s graphic design curriculum emphasizes how to design through organization of visual and verbal information. Our concept-based approach can be applied to printed material, digital media, motion, and environmental graphics.

Program highlights:

  • Junior-year graphic design practicum, providing real-world experience with clients such as:
    • Habitat for Humanity
    • Special Olympics
    • Campfire Girls
    • National Alliance for Mental Illness
  • Senior-year summer internship or study abroad experience in College of Design’s Rome Program or Graphic Design in Europe
  • Optional travel opportunities to design centers around the country every semester
  • Option studios in a variety of graphic design applications:
    • Web and e-commerce
    • Packaging
    • Typography
    • Publications
    • Motion graphics
    • Exhibition design
    • 3D animation
    • Wayfinding
    • Branding and logo design
    • Narrative
    • Multimedia

Curriculum Sheet

This curriculum sheet 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.

BFA in Graphic Design Curriculum Sheet 2016-2017 (PDF)

BFA in Graphic Design Curriculum Sheet 2017-2018 (PDF)

BFA in Graphic Design Curriculum Sheet 2018-2019 (PDF)

BFA in Graphic Design Curriculum Sheet 2019-2020 (PDF)

BFA in Graphic Design Curriculum Sheet 2020-2021 (PDF)

Approved General Education Course List (PDF)

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