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B.F.A. Graphic Design

B.F.A. Graphic Design2020-03-10T08:43:52-05:00

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.

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All Graphic Design majors complete internships at businesses, design firms, advertising agencies and organizations to gain practical experience in their field before they graduate. Internships offered in the student’s final year, advance the educational process by extending the curriculum into the business world. Students have the opportunity to pursue internships on-campus, locally, regionally, and nationally. The following list contains just a few of the internship experiences our students have completed and that local businesses and organizations have employed interns at:

  • Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art
  • C3 Creative Concepts International
  • Callahan Creek Marketing Agency
  • Discover The Phoenix Region Magazine
  • EmpowerU Campus, Heartland Foundation
  • Pipeline Productions
  • Saint Joseph Museums
  • Salva-O’Renick
  • Stormfront Productions
  • TOMS Shoes (Creative)
  • The Pitch, Kansas City
  • Sandlot Stategic
  • Sporting KC
  • Meredith Corporation

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, journals, corporate reports, websites, phone apps, and other publications. The following is a partial list of businesses and corporations where MWSU graphic design graduates have secured employment.

  • VMLY&R – (Art Director)
  • Barkley (Studio Artist, Studio Designer, Photo Retoucher)
  • The Sandbox Agency (Director of Brand Activation)
  • Sandlot + Co (Designer)
  • Common Era Collective (Designer)
  • BicMedia (Art Director)
  • Design Ranch (Designer, Illustrator)
  • FanThreeSixty (Graphic Designer)
  • Charter Communications (Product Designer)
  • Populous – (Graphic Designer and Associate)
  • Hallmark – (Off Site Specialist, Graphic Designer)
  • 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  (Web/Graphic Designer)
  • 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, Graphic Designer)

Student Stories

Art students

Graphic Design (Bachelor of Fine Arts, B.F.A.)

General Studies
Major Requirements
ART 110Beginning Drawing I3
ART 120Two-Dimensional Design3
ART 130Introduction to Tools and Techniques2
ART 140Ceramics I3
or ART 379 Sculpture I
ART 160Beginning Drawing II3
ART 170Three-Dimensional Design3
ART 205Survey of Art History I3
ART 229Design Software Applications3
ART 250Motion Graphics3
or ART 388 Interactive Design II
ART 255Survey of Art History II3
Select one of the following:3
Intermediate Drawing
Printmaking II
Photography II
Painting II
Illustration II
ART 315Illustration I3
ART 329Graphic Design I3
ART 333Typography3
ART 339Printmaking I3
ART 349Interactive Design I3
ART 359Photography I3
ART 369Painting I3
ART 395Graphic Design II3
ART 488Final Portfolio3
ART 492Graphic Design III3
ART 493Internship In Art3
ART 494Senior Seminar and Exhibit1
ART 495Graphic Design IV3
Select three additional credit hours in guided art elective3
Select six additional credit hours of Art History6

Graduation Requirements

  1. Earn a minimum of 120 credit hours (100 level and higher, maximum of 6 CED credit hours applicable).
  2. Earn a minimum of 30 credit hours in upper-division courses.  Lower-division transfer courses accepted as meeting upper-division departmental course requirements cannot be used to fulfill this requirement.
  3. Earn 30 of the last 45 credit hours at MWSU in institutional coursework (exclusive of credit by examination).
  4. Participate in required departmental and campus wide assessments.
  5. Earn a grade of C or higher in all major coursework. 
  6. Earn an overall GPA of at least 2.0 and a major GPA of at least 2.0.
  7. Fulfill the Missouri Constitution requirement.
  8. Successfully pass the Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement exam. 

Are you ready to declare this major or minor? Download, sign and submit the form(s) to the Art Department.

Mapping your degree plan is an important task for every student. You should consult with your academic advisor to create a plan for degree completion and monitor it regularly.


  • Grade of C or higher must be earned in all classes required of the major.