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Graphic Design

BA in Graphic Design


Admission to the Program

Formal admission to the major requires satisfactory completion (grades of C+ or better) of the following foundation courses: 

  • GDES-200 Visual Communication Design (3)
  • GDES-210 Typography I: Visible Language for Publications
    and Media (3)
  • GDES-220 Digital and Emerging Media Design I (3)
  • COMM-330 Principles of Photography (3) 

University Requirements

  • A total of 120 credit hours 
  • 6 credit hours of college writing 
  • 3 credit hours of college mathematics or the equivalent by examination 

General Education Requirements

  • A total of ten courses, consisting of two courses from each of
    the five foundational areas
  • At least one course from Area Five: The Natural and
    Mathematical Sciences must include a laboratory science
    component
  • No more than two courses may be taken in the same discipline 

Major Requirements

  • 54 credit hours with grades of C or better 
  • 24 of the last 30 credit hours in the major program must be taken in residence, of which 18 credit hours must be in design and 3 credit hours in art history or studio 
  • All students will submit a portfolio for departmental evaluation prior to beginning their senior year. The department may issue formal warnings to students performing at marginal levels. 

Tracks

Print Media or Experience Design and Multimedia 


Course Requirements

  • ARTH-105 Art: The Historical Experience 1:1 (3) 
  • COMM-330 Principles of Photography (3)
  • GDES-200 Visual Communication Design (3)
  • GDES-210 Typography I: Visible Language for Publications and Media (3)
  • GDES-220 Digital and Emerging Media Design I (3)
  • GDES-230 Graphic Design History (3) 
  • GDES-300 Typography II: Type and Image (3) 

Print Media

  • GDES-310 Design for Print: Digital and Analog Print Production (3)
  • GDES-320 Visual Concepts and Image Making for Design (3)
  • GDES-400 Advanced Design I: Visual Branding and Design Systems (3)
  • GDES-420 Advanced Design II: Publication Design for Print and Digital Media (3)
  • 9 credit hours from the following: 
  • GDES-315 Digital and Emerging Media Design II (3) 
  • GDES-325 Kinetic and Sequential Graphics (3) 
  • GDES-350 Illustration (3) 
  • GDES-405 Experience Design: Interactive Media and Mobile Devices (3)
  • GDES-425 Interactive Experience Design: Senior Projects (3)
  • GDES-450 Packaging Design (3) 
  • GDES-490 Independent Study Project (1–6) with department approval 
  • GDES-491 Internship (1–6) with department approval 
  • 12 credit hours from the following, with at least 3 credit hours from each set of courses: 
  • Set One
  • ARTS-100 Art: The Studio Experience (3) 
  • ARTS-205 The Artist’s Perspective: Drawing (3) 
  • ARTS-210 The Artist’s Perspective: Painting (3) 
  • ARTS-215 The Artist’s Perspective: Sculpture (3) 
  • ARTS-420 Painting Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-440 Sculpture Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-344 Ceramics Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-460 Drawing Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-463 Relief Printmaking Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-464 Intaglio Studio (3) 
  • Set Two
  • ARTH-205 Art of the Renaissance (3) 
  • ARTH-210 Modern Art: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (3) 
  • Set Three 
  • COMM-401 Communication Law (3) 
  • COMM-523 Intermediate Photography (3) 
  • COMM-525 Advanced Photography (3) 
  • COMM-529 Large Format Photography and Studio Lighting (3) 

Experience Design and Multimedia

  • GDES-315 Digital and Emerging Media Design II (3)
  • GDES-325 Kinetic and Sequential Graphics (3)
  • GDES-405 Experience Design: Interactive Media and Mobile Devices (3)
  • GDES-425 Interactive Experience Design: Senior Projects (3)
  • 9 credit hours from the following: 
  • GDES-310 Design for Print: Digital and Analog Print Production (3)
  • GDES-320 Visual Concepts and Image Making for Design (3)
  • GDES-350 Illustration (3)
  • GDES-400 Advanced Design I: Visual Branding and Design Systems (3)
  • GDES-420 Advanced Design II: Publication Design for Print and Digital Media (3)
  • GDES-450 Packaging Design (3)
  • GDES-490 Independent Study Project (1–6) with department approval
  • GDES-491 Internship (1–6) with department approval 
  • 12 credit hours from the following, with at least 3 credit hours from each set of courses: 
  • Set One
  • COMM-331 Film and Video Production I (3) (prerequisite: COMM-105 Visual Literacy) 
  • COMM-401 Communication Law (3) 
  • COMM-435 Introduction to Studio Television (3) (prerequisite: COMM-105 Visual Literacy) 
  • COMM-520 History of Animation (3) 
  • COMM-523 Intermediate Photography (3) 
  • COMM-525 Advanced Photography (3) 
  • COMM-529 Large Format Photography and Studio Lighting (3) 
  • Set Two 
  • ATEC-101 Fundamentals of Audio Technology (3) 
  • ATEC-102 Audio Technology Laboratory (1) 
  • CSC-280 Introduction to Computer Science I (4) 
  • CSC-281 Introduction to Computer Science II (3) 
  • CSC-435 Web Programming (3) 
  • PERF-110 Understanding Music (3) 
  • Set Three 
  • ARTH-205 Art of the Renaissance (3) 
  • ARTH-210 Modern Art: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (3) 
  • ARTS-100 Art: The Studio Experience (3) 
  • ARTS-205 The Artist’s Perspective: Drawing (3) 
  • ARTS-210 The Artist’s Perspective: Painting (3) 
  • ARTS-215 The Artist’s Perspective: Sculpture (3) 

University Honors Program

To graduate with University Honors, students must be admitted to the University Honors Program, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50, and receive grades of B or better in all University Honors course work. There are three levels of University Honors course requirements: Level I (100-200-level); Level II (300-level and above); and Level III (Honors Capstone Project). The department Honors coordinator advises students in the University Honors Program regarding requirements for graduating with University Honors in the major. For more information, go to the University Honors Program.

 

Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its accelerated bachelor’s/master’s programs. Undergraduate students may complete up to 3 credits for every 9 credits required for the graduate degree that may be applied to the requirements for both degree programs.  The department that oversees the graduate program the student enters will determine if the courses the undergraduate student completes will satisfy master’s degree requirements. 

Bachelor’s/master’s students must complete at least 18 in-residence credit hours at the graduate level after the bachelor’s degree is earned and  maintain continuous, sequential enrollment in the two programs. Students must finish the master’s degree requirements within three years from the date of first enrollment in the master’s program.