Graphic Design (BGD)

(Effective Fall 2014)

This major prepares students for careers in graphic design, including advertising, magazine and book publication, environmental graphic design, and interactive and Web design. Students develop design expertise through an emphasis on process, technique, and conceptualization skills. The senior portfolio integrates a broad range of learning experiences and skill development in preparation for entry into the job market.

Career Opportunities

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

Recommended High School Subjects

Two units of high school math (one of which should be algebra), four units of English, two units in the natural sciences, and experience with the visual arts.

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 design and imaging skills applicable to the Web, print, and other media.
  • create projects with a balanced attention to concept, form, and function.
  • organize graphics and images into successful designs.
  • apply color theory in the resolution of design and imaging problems.
  • develop and design logos.
  • communicate concepts effectively using verbal and visual skills.
  • apply problem-solving skills to all stages of the design and imaging processes.
  • demonstrate the ability to design text-heavy documents.
  • apply the grid in the design of visual communication projects.
  • apply image capture and editing skills to visual problems.
  • demonstrate the ability to use type as a graphic design element.
  • propose and produce independent projects based on design principles and concepts.
  • integrate contemporary concepts of interactive design.
  • design and produce two- and three-dimensional projects, including corporate identity packages and environmental graphic design.
  • research and apply design solutions to independent projects.
  • evaluate and critique individual work and work of others based on a breadth of design knowledge.

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 SemesterCredits
FYE101First Year Experience 1 
ART104Visual Literacy 3 
ART180Drawing 3 
PHO150Digital Photography 3 
ENL111English Composition I 3 
CSC124Information, Technology, and Society 3 
FITFitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1 
Second SemesterCredits
ART102Two-Dimensional Design 3 
ART109Design and Color 3 
ART125Art History: Ancient through 15th Century 3 
BWM150Introduction to Web Page Development 3 
MTH151Structures of Mathematics 3 
MTH153Topics in Mathematics 3 
ENL121English Composition II 3 
Third SemesterCredits
ART145History of Graphic Design 3 
ART202Introduction to Three-Dimensional Design 3 
ART225Type Design I 3 
ART270Computer Graphics I 3 
BWM252Mastering Web Design Tools and Technologies 3 
Fourth SemesterCredits
ART210Introduction to Graphic Design 3 
ART235Type Design II 3 
ART275Computer Graphics II 3 
ART285Introduction to Graphic Design for the Internet 3 
SCTScience - Science,Technology and Society Elective 3 
Fifth SemesterCredits
ART320Environmental Graphic Design 3 
ART360Graphic Design for the Web 3 
BWM254Advanced Web Design Practices 3 
MTH172Introduction to Geometry 3 
OEAOpen Elective / Associate 3 
FITFitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1 
Sixth SemesterCredits
ART310Graphic Design: Point of Purchase (POP) 3 
ART330Modern Art and the Contemporary Image 3 Writing Enriched Requirement
HIS115World Civilization I 3 Cultural Diversity Requirement
HIS125World Civilization II 3 Cultural Diversity Requirement
SSESocial Science Elective 3 
BWM350Interactive Scripting 3 
Seventh SemesterCredits
ART410Graphic Design, Corporate Identity (CID) 3 
BGDSpecified Graphic Design Elective 3 
PHL110Introduction to Philosophy 3 
SCLScience Elective with lab 4 
SPC101Fundamentals of Speech 3 
Eighth SemesterCredits
ART420Portfolio Design 3 
ART496Senior Project 3 
BGDSpecified Graphic Design Elective 3 
HTSHumanities - Science, Technology and Society Elective 3 
OEAOpen Elective / Associate 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.