The Curriculum in Graphic Design leads to a 124-credit undergraduate Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design including the 31-credit Core Design Program.
Admission into the professional program depends upon available resources and is subject to the approval of a faculty committee at the completion of the Core Design Program. Information on admission criteria is posted each year on the College of Design website.
Transfer students with studio credits from other programs, colleges, and universities must present for departmental review a portfolio of work done in those courses in order to have the credits apply toward studio requirements. Students are required to present this portfolio upon admission and prior to registration for classes. Arrangements for this process must be made with department advisors.
A 30-graduate-credit program is offered leading to the Master of Arts with a specialization in Graphic Design for students planning to undertake a professional degree. (NOTE: Applicants without a degree background in graphic design may be required to complete up to 18 additional credits of coursework).
A 60-graduate-credit post-professional graduate program is also offered leading to the degree Master of Fine Arts.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students in this program will be able to:
- Use creative problem solving and design processes when faced with graphic design challenges;
- Employ visual organization skills in a variety of communication media;
- Understand applications of visual communication including animation, branding, image creation, information design, interaction design, symbology, typography, video, through contemporary and emerging technologies; and
- Integrate cultural, ethical, and historical considerations in preparation for professional practice.
Total Degree Requirement: 124 credits
Only 65 credits from a two-year institution may apply, which may include up to 16 technical credits; 9 P-NP credits of free electives; 2.00 minimum GPA.
International Perspective: 3 credits
U.S. Diversity: 3 credits
Communications: 10 credits
|ENGL 150||Critical Thinking and Communication *||3|
|ENGL 250||Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition *||3|
|LIB 160||Introduction to College Level Research||1|
|One of the following:||3|
|Introduction to Communication Studies|
|Fundamentals of Public Speaking|
with a C or better
Humanities: 6 credits
6 credits from program curriculum sheet.
Social Sciences: 6 credits
6 credits from program curriculum sheet.
Math/Physics/Biol. Sciences: 6 credits
|COM S 106||Introduction to Web Programming||3|
|3 credits from program curriculum sheet||3|
General Education Courses: 12 credits
6 credits of course level 300-400 from program curriculum sheet; Complete 6 credits from department curriculum sheet.
College of Design Core: 13 credits
|DSN S 102||Design Studio I||4|
|DSN S 115||Design Collaborative Seminar||1|
|or DSN S 110||Design Exchange Seminar I|
|DSN S 131||Drawing I||4|
|DSN S 132||Digital Design Literacy||1|
|DSN S 183||Design in Context||3|
Art and Design History: 12 credits
|ART H 280||History of Art I||3|
|ART H 281||History of Art II||3|
|Six credits from program curriculum sheet||6|
Studio Options: 6 credits
6 credits from ARTIS, ARTID, LA, ARCH, or other approved studio course.
Graphic Design: 52 credits
|ARTGR 270||Graphic Design Studio I||3|
|ARTGR 271||Graphic Design Studio II||3|
|ARTGR 272||Digital Photography for Graphic Design||3|
|ARTGR 273||Typography I||3|
|ARTGR 274||Typography II||3|
|ARTGR 377||Graphic Design Internship Seminar||1|
|ARTGR 370||Graphic Design Studio III||3|
|ARTGR 371||Graphic Design Studio IV||3|
|ARTGR 387||Graphic Design History/Theory/ Criticism I||3|
|ARTGR 372||Graphic Materials and Processes||3|
|ARTGR 470||Graphic Design Studio V||3|
|ARTGR 471||Graphic Design Capstone||3|
|ARTGR 480||Graphic Design Internship||3|
|ARTGR 489||Design Ethics.||3|
|Twelve credit options from program curriculum sheet||12|
Electives: 1 credits
Remaining electives sufficient to complete graduation requirements.
Graphic Design, B.F.A.
|DSN S 102 or 131||4||DSN S 102 or 131||4|
|DSN S 132||1||DSN S 183 (or General Education)||3|
|DSN S 183 (or General Education)||3||ENGL 150 (or General Education)||3|
|DSN S 110 or 115||1||General Education||3|
|ENGL 150 (or General Education)||3||General Education||3|
|General Education||3||LIB 160||1|
|ARTGR 270||3||ARTGR 271||3|
|ARTGR 273||3||ARTGR 274||3|
|ART H 280||3||ART H 281||3|
|ARTIS, ARTID, LA, or ARCH Studio or ARTGR 272||3||ARTIS, ARTID, LA or ARCH studio or ARTGR 272||3|
|ENGL 250 (or Communication Study)||3||ENGL 250 (or Communication Study)||3|
|ARTGR 370||3||ARTGR 371||3||ARTGR 480 (or)|
|ARTGR 372||3||ARTGR Option||3||ARTGR 495||3|
|ARTGR 387||3||ART or DSN History, General Education, or Rome Prep||3||Students who elect to participate in the Rome Program need to take additional 3 elective credits to reach the 123.5 needed to graduate.|
|ARTGR Option||3||DSN S 301||1|
|ARTIS, ARTID, LA, or ARCH Studio||3||Elective: ROME, Italian||1|
|ARTGR 377||1||General Education||3|
|ARTGR 470||3||ARTGR 471||3|
|ART & DESIGN History or General Education||3||General Education||3|
|ARTIS, ARTID, LA or ARCH Studio or General Ed||3||General Education||3|
|ARTGR 489||3||ARTGR Option||3|
Admission into the BFA in Graphic Design Program depends upon available resources and is subject to the approval of a faculty committee at the completion of the Core Design Program. Information on the admission criteria is posted each year on the College of Design website.
The department offers the degrees of Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Graphic Design and Master of Arts (M.A.) in Experiential Graphic Design.
Credit earned at Iowa State University or other institution for the Master of Arts degree may be applied toward the Master of Fine Arts degree at the discretion of the program of study committee.
Applicants to the graduate program should have an undergraduate major in an art or design area and demonstrate the ability to do technically competent and original work through the presentation of a digital portfolio for faculty review. Past academic performance and the quality of studio work are critical in the admission process. A minimum 3.0 GPA in the student's undergraduate major is the standard for full admission to the graduate program. Admission is also determined by studio space available within the program area, which changes yearly due to graduate students' progress in their programs of study.
Graduate students who have not completed an undergraduate program of study substantially equivalent to that required of undergraduates in the department can expect that additional supporting coursework, determined by the graduate faculty, may be required.
Prospective students are advised to contact the graduate coordinator with specific questions about admission procedures and portfolio review. Application and additional program information may be obtained from the Department of Graphic Design, College of Design, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-3092.
Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design (M.F.A.)
The Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design is recognized as the terminal degree in the field and requires a minimum of 60 credits. M.F.A. graduates in Graphic Design are skilled in communication design, problem solving, and are adept in the use of visual language, symbology, and interaction. Graduates are proficient in the design of communications and the use of technologies that incorporate human interaction with environments, objects, and electronic and traditional publications. Students and faculty work collaboratively on a required thesis; integrating theory, creation, research, and design problem solving.
Master of Arts in Experiential Graphic Design (M.A.)
This 30-credit degree focuses on preparing students for visual communication. This degree provides a comprehensive exposure to all aspects of user experience, including but not exclusive to wayfinding, exhibition design, interaction, information design, and placemaking.
The MAXGD is for those seeking a graphic design specialization with little to no previous experience in the area. Students may use the degree as a complement to a bachelor's degree in graphic design or another design field to enhance their skills and qualifications for employment. It can also be used to complement those students with an undergraduate degree in a graphic design area that would like to add an additional graduate level study to their coursework prior to enter the field.
MFA in Graphic Design Degree Requirements
Graphic Design Requirements, 27 cr.
|ARTGR 511||Graphic Design Graduate Studio I||3|
|ARTGR 512||Audience and Perception||3|
|ARTGR 521||Graphic Design Graduate Studio II||3|
|ARTGR 522||Critical Media||3|
|ARTGR 530||User Engagement||3|
|ARTGR 540||Design for Behavioral Change.||3|
|ARTGR 610||Thesis Preparation Studio||3|
|ARTGR 620||Graduate Thesis Studio I||3|
|ARTGR 630||Graduate Thesis Studio II||3|
Graphic Design Seminar Requirements, 10 cr.
|ARTGR 510||Graphic Design Theory||3|
|ARTGR 520||Design & Cultural Semiotics||3|
|ARTGR 531||Graphic Design Graduate Project Preparation||1|
|DSN S 501||Introduction to Research Design||3|
Elective Focus Area, 9 cr.
Outside of graphic design but supports area of research, may be studio (ex. DSN S 546) or other class outside the College of Design: See Graphic Design MFA Suggested Minor Course List
May also include ISU Preparing Future Faculty (PFF): 3-11 cr.
Art History, Theory, Criticism, 12 cr.
|Grad-level art/design history, theory, criticism courses in the College of Design||12|
Thesis, 3-6 cr.