Graphic Design

BFA in Graphic Design Curriculum

All undergraduate College of Design students interested in Graphic Design first complete the Core Design Program. They then apply for admission to the professional Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design program at the completion of the Core.

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.

Highlights of our program:

  • Sophomore year magazine editorial design project with industry leaders from Meredith Corporation, the publisher of Better Homes and Gardens
  • 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 (PDF) for BFA in Graphic Design
This 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.