Graphic Design (BGD)

(Effective Fall 2019)

This major prepares students for careers in graphic design, including advertising, branding, editorial design, environmental graphic design, and interactive and Web design. Students build design expertise through an emphasis on process, technique, and concept development. The senior portfolio integrates a broad range of learning experiences and skills in preparation for entry into the job market or graduate school.

Career Opportunities

Graphic designer, interactive/digital/UI designer, art director, and creative director for in-house, studio, and agency settings. Students may also choose to pursue an advanced degree in art or design.

Recommended High School Subjects

Academic subjects with strong emphasis on communication, analytical skills and aesthetics are helpful. Geometry and some training in art are desirable.

Special Equipment Needs

Students enrolled in this major will be required to purchase a Freshman Art Kit.

Remediation Strategies

All entering students will be tested for English, math, and reading deficiencies. Students are expected to remediate any deficiencies as explained in this catalog (see ).

Transfer Procedures

Graduates of Penn College's two-year Advertising Art major can transfer all courses into the Graphic Design major; however, major courses (defined as those with ART, PHO designators) must have been completed with a grade of 'C' or better. Internal and external transfers with fewer than 61 credits can carry parallel courses into the baccalaureate when grades are 'C' or better. Transcripts should be submitted with the application for admission and will be evaluated by Admissions staff and by School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications staff. Those accepted for transfer will begin the baccalaureate at the course/skill level consistent with their academic work.

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:
  • demonstrate advanced graphic design skills in both interactive media and print media.
  • create design projects with attention to concept, form, and function.
  • create designs that demonstrate image making, editing, and production formatting. 
  • create designs that demonstrate display and publication typography.
  • present concepts and design using verbal and visual skills. 
  • apply problem-solving skills and concept development to all stages of the design process.
  • design, and create print and digital projects in the areas of branding, editorial, environmental, package, and web design for a diverse range of audiences and demographics.
  • demonstrate proficiency with industry-standard software, hardware, and other technologies.
  • demonstrate the ability to collaborate and critique through the design process.
  • apply research, theory, and formal design principles to the creation of graphic design.

Performance Standards

Students must earn a grade of 'C' or better in all courses with an ART and PHO course designator to receive credit for their completion. Students earning a 'D' or below must retake courses in which they are deficient before those courses can be considered as meeting the prerequisite requirements for more advanced courses. Failure to achieve a grade of 'C' or above in a course, after the maximum attempts allowed by College policy, results in withdrawal from the major in which the course is required.


First Semester Credits
FYE101 First Year Experience 1  
ART107 Visual Literacy for Designers 3  
ART180 Drawing 3  
PHO150 Digital Photography 3  
ENL111 English Composition I 3  
CSC124 Information, Technology, and Society 3  
Second Semester Credits
ART102 Two-Dimensional Design 3  
ART109 Design and Color 3  
ART125 Art History: Ancient through 15th Century 3  
BWM150 Introduction to Web Page Development 3  
MMM Math Elective (MTH151 or Higher) 3  
ENL201 Technical and Professional Communication 3  
ENL121 English Composition II 3  
Third Semester Credits
ART145 History of Graphic Design 3  
ART202 Introduction to Three-Dimensional Design 3  
ART225 Type Design I 3  
ART270 Computer Graphics I 3  
BIM120 Social Media in Business and Society 3  
Fourth Semester Credits
ART210 Introduction to Graphic Design 3  
ART235 Type Design II 3  
ART275 Computer Graphics II 3  
ART285 Introduction to Graphic Design for the Internet 3  
SPC101 Fundamentals of Speech 3  
Fifth Semester Credits
ART320 Environmental Graphic Design 3  
ART361 Advanced Graphic Design for the Internet 3  
ART340 Illustration 3  
MTH172 Introduction to Geometry 3  
SCI Science Elective 3  
Sixth Semester Credits
ART311 Package Design 3  
ART330 Modern Art and the Contemporary Image 3  Writing Enriched Requirement
HIS116 World History I 3  Cultural Diversity Requirement
HIS126 World History II 3  Cultural Diversity Requirement
OEE Exploration Electives 3  
PHO230 Commercial Photography 3  
Seventh Semester Credits
ART411 Branding 3  
BGD Specified Graphic Design Elective 3  
PHL110 Introduction to Philosophy 3  
SCL Science Elective with lab 4  
OEA Open Elective 3  
Eighth Semester Credits
ART420 Portfolio Design 3  
ART496 Senior Project 3  
OEE Exploration Electives 3  
OEA Open Elective 3  

Note: Internship may replace one specified BGD elective. A student must take a Science, Technology, and Society Elective to satisfy either the Science Elective or the Humanities Elective.


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