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Graphic Design (AA, BA)

Graphic Design professor Alan Nauts sitting with students outside.

Why study graphic design?

USF’s Graphic Design program will set you up for an exciting career in the evolving fields of advertising and design. You’ll be taught by exceptional faculty — working artists and graphic designers —who will inspire, support, and prepare you for success. You will graduate with the artistry, skills, connections, and portfolio to launch your career.

How You’ll Learn

Our curriculum will expand your creativity and enhance your technical skills. You’ll start graphic design classes your first year, supplemented by other foundational courses (drawing, 2D and 3D composition, painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography) before selecting one of three concentrations:

  • Web Design: You can enhance your employment potential in this growing field as you develop expertise and experience in: design and content for various operating systems and devices; coding languages; current interactive design software and principles; and more.
  • Photography*: By exploring alternative photographic processes, studio lighting, digital technology, and more, you’ll graduate with a strong background in commercial and fine art photography.
  • Illustration*: You’ll develop strong foundational skills in traditional and digital illustration, as well as develop your unique artistic vision and style.

* You can also minor in Photography or Illustration!

Through project-based learning, you’ll work in teams on real projects for real companies. You’ll also work with students in other majors and art forms, thereby expanding your artistic sensibility. Come see what our students have been working on.

Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester.

Graphic Design Students in class

Where You’ll Learn

State-of-the-Art Facilities:Always Open, Always Secure

You’ll have 24-hour access to our facilities and labs, including our Macintosh Computer Lab and Photography Studio.

In the Work Force

We’ll work with you to find the Perfect Internship, based on your interests and goals. All students  do an internship as part of their degree. Recent sites include:

  • Ferguson Advertising
  • Sweetwater Music
  • Parkview Foundation
  • Asher Agency
  • Britton Marketing and Design Group
  • One Lucky Guitar

From Internship to Career

In my junior year, a professor connected me to BFA Commercial Photography where I did a year-long internship. Right before I graduated, the company offered me a full-time job. I’m doing what I love and doing what I went to college for. I give all the credit to USF’s art program.

Zack Kittaka ’16
Assistant Photographer at BFA Commercial Photography

Professional Connections

Graphic Design majors develop strong connections with members of the professional community!

  • Insignia Advertising, a student organization, is an official chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the industry’s preeminent professional organization.
  • USF students attend the local ADDY Awards and compete in the Student American Advertising Awards Competition (truth: USF students win — a lot!)
  • Professional Portfolio Assessment: Each spring, a special event is held where professional designers work with students to assess and evaluate their portfolios.
  • Students attend luncheons sponsored by the local Advertising Federation of Fort Wayne where they network and listen to industry professionals
  • The School of Creative Arts hosts numerous gallery exhibitions, lectures and workshops

Because USF is a small school, students get one-on-one support from faculty — and that’s where I really grew as a designer. Being able to talk constantly to my professors, to pick their brains, and to get direct design feedback was invaluable.

Josh Ackerman ’10
Product Designer at Intuit
San Diego, CA

Career Outlook & Success


Median pay for web designers and developers per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Median pay for graphic designers per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Median pay for art directors per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


of USF’s Graphic Design majors are hired in the industry within 6 months of graduation.

USF alumni have worked in graphic design and advertising positions at a variety of organizations, including:

  • Wilson Sporting Goods
  • Ogilvy & Mather
  • Saatchi and Saatchi
  • Microsoft
  • Intuit
  • One Lucky Guitar
  • Labov Marketing Communications and Training
  • Excell Printing
  • BFA Commercial Photography

Getting a job in my field before graduation was a great feeling and it relieved me of a lot of stress. I always dreamed of working for a sports team and now I’m doing it. USF gave me the confidence, plus the skills to get hired.

Ryan Nix ’17
Social Media/Design
Indianapolis Colts

Ready to start?

I want to learn more

Program Director

Alan Nauts
260-399-7700 ext. 8013