Coordinator: Dawn McCusker
Phone: (540) 568-6500
The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art with a major in graphic design is rooted in fundamental design principles, research and applications, while addressing current and emerging technologies through digital practice. The study of the historical and cultural context of the field broadens students’ knowledge and nurtures their creativity.
Program objectives for the graphic design student are:
- Articulate ideas and understand the fundamental elements and principles of graphic design while using correct terminology pertinent to the field.
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of artistic methods, craft and formal structure as vehicles to enhance a solutions communicative value.
- Demonstrate proficiency in both traditional and digital ways of making.
- Develop diverse problem-solving methodologies that combine theory, research, analytical skills and conceptualization to create effective graphic design solutions.
- Develop a professional graphic design portfolio reflective of one’s knowledge and abilities that encompasses the contemporary design market.
The graphic design program objectives are enhanced by frequent field trips to design-related events, studio visits, guest speakers and vetted internship opportunities which provide students with exposure to top-notch professionals in the field. On campus, students can get involved in student clubs and organizations, such as student chapters of AIGA: The Professional Association for Design. There are opportunities to engage with visiting designers and exhibitions through the Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art as well as collaborate with faculty and peers for shows at JMU galleries. Graphic design majors also have many opportunities to gain professional experience working for a variety of JMU offices and organizations.
Admission to the graphic design major is selective and competitive for a limited number of reserved seats in upper-division (300-400 level) graphic design courses. Declaration of graphic design as a major and completion of lower-division (100-200) prerequisite ART and GRPH courses does not guarantee admission into the program. Admission to upper-division GRPH courses is based on completion of all prerequisite GRPH courses and merit as determined by a faculty review of portfolios submitted in satisfaction of GRPH 208. Portfolio Review .
GRPH 208. Portfolio Review is a 0 credit, pass/fail course that functions as a prerequisite to enrollment in all 300-400 level graphic design courses. Students should enroll in GRPH 208 during the semester following completion of lower-level GRPH courses, or concurrently with GRPH 206 . GRPH 208 portfolios are reviewed each semester. Students enrolled in GRPH 208 will be emailed at the beginning of the semester and will be informed of the exact time and location of the GRPH 208 portfolio review.
Any art major may take lower-level GRPH courses, but is restricted from taking any 300-400 level graphic design course until GRPH 208 has been taken and passed.
Accepted students who receive a passing grade for GRPH 208 will be able to register for upper-division courses GRPH for the following semester and are required to furnish a Macintosh laptop computer and acquire an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Purchase recommendations can be found at: http://www.jmu.edu/computing/purchase/dept.shtml.
Students not accepted will have one opportunity to reapply in the following semester or may choose to continue in another major within the School of Art, Design and Art History .
1 The General Education program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.
This major requires 78 credit hours in art, art history and art-related courses; 36 are graphic design concentration required and elective courses.
Foundation Courses: 18 Credit Hours
Required art studio courses (choose four of the following): 12 Credit Hours
Major Courses (Required): 33 Credit Hours
Major Courses (Electives): 15 Credit Hours
Art and design electives 2 Credits / Units: 6.00
Art history electives (300-400 level) 3 Credits / Units: 3.00
1 A maximum of six credit hours of practicum or internship may count toward the degree.
2 Art and design electives may include courses from architectural design, art education, graphic design, industrial design, studio, studio assistant and internships. Excludes all art history courses and ART 200 .
3 Excludes ARTH 490 , ARTH 495 and ARTH 499 .
Recommended Schedule for Majors