Department of Art

B.F.A. Graphic Design


The Department of Art offers a four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree in Graphic Design.

Graphic designers plan, analyze, and create visual solutions to communications problems. They decide the most effective way of getting a message across in print, electronic, and film media using a variety of methods such as color, type, illustration, photography, animation, and various print and layout techniques.

A bachelor’s degree is required for most entry-level and advanced graphic design positions.

Career Opportunities

Graphic Designers can be employed by large or small advertising agencies, design firms, publishers, in-house creative departments, and on a freelance basis. Type of work includes logo and brand development, advertising campaigns, environmental graphics, layout and production of magazines, newspapers, journals, corporate reports, websites, and other publications. Designers are also developing material for Internet web pages, animation, motion graphics, and other interactive media formats.

  • VML – (Art Director)
  • Bicmedia (Art Director)
  • Design Ranch (Designer, Illustrator)
  • FanThreeSixty (Graphig Designer)
  • Populous – (Graphic Designer and Associate)
  • Hallmark – (Off Site Specialist)
  • Kansas City Ballet (Marketing Coordinator, Graphic Designer)
  • Ashley Cameron Design (Owner, Designer, Front End Developer)
  • Missouri Western State University (Graphic Arts Coordinator)
  • Missouri Western State University  (Marketing Coordinator)
  • Benedictine College (Graphic Designer)
  • University of St. Marys (Creative Manager)
  • Cardwell Creative (Graphic Designer)
  • 40 Digits (Interactive Designer)
  • Uhling (Graphic Designer)
  • Element, LLC (Graphic Designer)
  • Sporting Kansas City (Designer)
  • Missouri Lawyers Media (Graphic Designer)
  • City of St. Joseph (Communications Specialist)
  • Union Station (Graphic Designer)
  • Advisors Excel (Graphic Designer)
  • Lockton (Content Design Specialist)
  • Turn The Page Online Marketing – (Senior Art Director)
  • Summit Publications (Creative Director)
  • Summit Publications (Graphic Designer)
  • Angus Media (Art Director)
  • Angus Media (Designer)
  • Kiewit Energy Company (Mechanical Designer)
  • Gear For Sports – (Screen print Production Artist)
  • Gear For Sports – (Senior Artist)
  • Gear For Sports – (Image Specialist)
  • The North Platte Telegraph (Copy Editor/Designer)
  • Elite Business Systems – (Social Media Specialist)
  • Missouri Star Quilt Company (Photographer/Designer)
  • Walsworth Publishing (Creative Services Designer)
  • Walsworth Publishing (Graphic Designer)
  • Itty Bitty Toes (Graphic Designer)
  • Highland Community College (Graphic Design Instructor)
  • Highland Community College (Graphic Production Manager)
  • US Toy/Constructive Playthings (Graphic Designer)
  • Eye Candy Arts Studio (Graphic Designer)
  • St. Joe Sign (Graphic Designer)
  • Western Robidoux Printing Incorporated (Graphic Designer)
  • Jostens (Creative Resources – Graphic Designer)
  • Dreamweavers (Graphic Design/Sign Management)


A grade of C or better must be earned in all classes required of the major.

Graphic Design Courses

ART 250 Motion Graphics:
This course is an introduction to Motion Graphics and Compositing, which includes the categories of commercial, interactive, broadcast, main title and music video. The course will include lectures, showcases and demonstrations of the history, techniques and applications of motion graphics in media. Projects will cover basic motion graphics principles, design and composition, timing and drama, storyboarding and planning, sound and music development and synchronization. Appropriate and current industry standard computer applications will be introduced and applied. May be repeated for credit.
ART 315 Illustration I:
Techniques and media used in the production of drawings for commercial purposes.
ART 329 Graphic Design I:
An introduction to the practical and theoretical aspects of graphic design, focusing on the exploration of conceptual ideas and the development of visual problem-solving skills. Identity systems, principles of symbology, and the fundamentals of page layout will be explored.
ART 333 Typography:
A study of the principles and practices of historic and contemporary typographic design focusing on such factors as size, form, contrast, color, spacing and design of the printed word and printed page. Students learn typographic structure and informational hierarchies while exploring both the formal and expressive qualities of type. This fundamental course will provide students with a comprehensive overview of typography as a fundamental and aesthetic element of visual communication.
ART 349 Interactive Design I:
Introduction to Web Design from an art and design perspective. Use of techniques and practices involved in web site creation that incorporated a strong visual language as well as interactive elements such as motion and sound will be explored.
ART 388 Interactive Design II:
Introduction to compositional techniques for the application of real-time and interactive time-based forms in digital media design.
ART 395 Graphic Design II:
Further investigation into the concepts and processes of visual communication. Emphasis will be placed on typographic design concepts, color usage, image generation and development, and creative problem solving. Branding strategies, corporate identity, and packaging design will be introduced.
ART 450 Independent Study:
Investigation of a research problem, project, or topic on an individual conference basis.
ART 492 Graphic Design III:
Further investigation into design communications by exploring page layout systems, grid structures, informational design, editorial design, and multi-page formats. Principles of advertising design and layout will be explored.
ART 493 Internship:
Practical guided experience in a range of design, graphic art, typography, illustration, photography and publications tasks.
ART 495 Graphic Design IV:
Advanced exploration and development in visual communication design. This course is intended to provide students an opportunity to focus on a particular visual project or problem in the graphic design field. Preparation of a self-defined independent project includes a written proposal, project documentation, and final project.
ART 488 Final Portfolio:
All aspects of portfolio development, production and presentation. Elements of professional work application and self-promotional expectation in the professional field.


Major/Minor Form 4 Year Plan