Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design

General

Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

The School of Graphic Design’s BFA program guides students through the nuanced skill-development process required to achieve excellence in typography, print, packaging, branding, user experience, and motion graphics. The faculty is comprised of nationally recognized professionals who challenge their students to reach their personal creative potential.

Course Description

Semester 1

  • GR 102: Design Technology: Digital Publishing Tools
    Core / 3 Units
  • GR 150: Introduction to Visual Communication
    Core / 3 Units
  • LA 242: History of Graphic Design
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • WNM 105: Design Technology: Visual Design Tools
    Core / 3 Units

Semester 2

  • ADV 236: Digital Photography
    Core / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • FND 122: Color Fundamentals
    Core / 3 Units
  • GR 107: Introduction to Interaction Design
    Major / 3 Units
  • GR 122: Typography 1: Hierarchy and Form
    Core / 3 Units
  • LA 108: Composition for the Artist
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • WNM 249: Web Design 1
    Core / 3 Units

Semester 3

  • GR 221: Graphic Design 1: Visual Communication
    Core / 3 Units
  • GR 310: Typography 2: Formalizing Structure
    Core / 3 Units
  • LA 291: Designing Careers
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • WNM 205: Motion Graphics 1
    Major / 3 Units
  • WNM 250: Web Design 2
    Major / 3 Units

Semester 4

  • GR 321: Package Design 1: 3D Thinking/Making
    Core / 3 Units
  • GR 324: Branding Principles
    Major / 3 Units
  • GR 327: Graphic Design 2: Integrating Principles
    Core / 3 Units
  • LA 120: Art History Through the 15th Century
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • LA 121: Art History Through the 19th Century
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • LA 202: English Composition: Creative Persuasion & Argument
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • WNM 305: Motion Graphics 2
    Major / 3 Units

Semester 5

  • GR 322: Package Design 2: Executing 3D Design
    Major / 3 Units
  • GR 330: Typography 3: Complex Hierarchy
    Major / 3 Units
  • GR 360: Graphic Design 3: Nature of Interaction
    Major / 3 Units
  • LA 306: Creatively Speaking: Presentation for Designers
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • LA 435: The Power of Signs: Semiotics & The Visual Arts
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units

Semester 6

  • GR 350: Visual Systems 1
    Major / 3 Units
  • GR 365: Strategies for Branding
    Major / 3 Units
  • GR 370: Package Design 3: Advanced 3D Branding
    Major / 3 Units
  • LA 127: Topics in World Art
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • LA 133: Short-Form Writing
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units
  • LA 254: Human-Centered Design
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • LA 359: Urban Sociology
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units / Recommended for summer

Semester 7

  • ADV 498: Collaborative Project: The Agency
    Elective / 3 Units
  • GR 425: Visual Systems 2
    Major / 3 Units
  • GR 426: Package Design 4
    Major / 3 Units
  • GR 434: Typography 4: Refinement of Form
    Major / 3 Units
  • LA 222: 20th Century Art
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units

Semester 8

  • GR 460: Senior Portfolio
    Core / 3 Units
  • GR 500: Internship in Graphic Design
    Elective / 3 Units
  • LA 110: Writing the Short Story
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • LA 315: Social Media Strategies
    Liberal Arts / 3 Units / Recommended for summer
  • WNM 349: Web Design 3
    Elective / 3 Units

Unit Requirements

Degree Requirements

BFA Graphic Design Degree Requirements

  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and LA 107 Writing for the Multilingual Artist or 108 Composition for the Artist

And the following general education requirements:

  • Minimum 2.0 GPA and the following general education requirements:
  • 1 Written Communication: Composition
  • 1 Written Communication: Critical Thinking
  • 1 Written Communication: Context & Style
  • 2 Art Historical Awareness: Western Art
  • 2 Art Historical Awareness: Surveys
  • 1 Historical Awareness
  • 1 Quantitative Literacy
  • 1 Cultural Ideas & Influences
  • 1 Employment Communications & Practices

After the above general education requirements are met, take Liberal Arts electives as needed to fulfill the Liberal Arts unit requirement.

Academy of Art University / Academy of Art University

Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Critical & Creative Thinking

  • Identify appropriate audiences for defined problems
  • Demonstrate the resourcefulness and flexibility necessary to conceive appropriate design solutions

Conceptual Skills

  • Develop and prototype potential design solutions for specific problems
  • Create visual communications that are audience-appropriate
  • Develop design solutions that function within a defined context recognizing physical, cognitive, cultural and social human factors

Formal Skills

  • Create visual communications demonstrating competent formal design skills based on design principles: composition, balance, hierarchy, harmony, and contrast
  • Create visual communications demonstrating competent formal design skills based in aesthetics: appropriate typography, composition, and construction of meaningful imagery
  • Utilize the appropriate media, materials, tools, technology, platforms, and techniques to create visual communications

Professional Readiness

  • Effectively present and communicate ideas
  • Demonstrate the skills necessary for a chosen career path through the presentation of a satisfactory body of work

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.
Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

For nearly 90 years, artists and designers have called Academy of Art University their home. Founded in San Francisco and family owned since 1929, it is the largest private art and design university i ... Read More

For nearly 90 years, artists and designers have called Academy of Art University their home. Founded in San Francisco and family owned since 1929, it is the largest private art and design university in the nation. Read less
San Francisco