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Bachelor of Graphic Design

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Overview

At NC State University, graphic design majors can:

  • Establish a strong design foundation through sequenced core studios and then move on to advanced studios in special topics like data visualization, branding, and accessible design.
  • Explore and become proficient in a wide range of media — print, web, mobile, virtual reality, augmented reality, and embedded technology.
  • Thrive in a creative culture ripe with graphic designers, industrial designers, landscape architects, architects, and artists.
  • Learn to think through making, using rapid prototyping techniques to test ideas early and often.
  • Practice visualization strategies such as mapping, diagramming, and storyboarding.
  • Apply appropriate research methods to more effectively put people at the center of design solutions.
  • Expand individual knowledge by taking an advanced studio in another College of Design discipline (a swing studio).
  • Study abroad for a semester or summer at our NC State Prague Institute, or take advantage of other study abroad options.
  • Gain valuable professional experience through paid internships within leading firms, and/or participate in sponsored studios as part of the graphic design curriculum.

Graphic design students study comparative ideas about, and methods for, creating a wide range of visual communications. Sequenced core studios supported by typography and image-making courses progressively introduce and develop the necessary skills, processes, and sensitivities across a range of media. Through project-based assignments, students acquire strong formal and conceptualization skills. They learn and practice graphic design strategies, such as mapping and diagramming, to understand design problems, audiences, contexts, and visualization techniques, including ideation and iteration, to explore and refine design possibilities and determine appropriateness.

In advanced courses during the junior and senior years, students develop a particular body of knowledge and skills, where they apply the concepts, methods, and techniques they have acquired to real-world contemporary design problems. Students interact with clients and organizations through upper-level studios and internships to gain experience working with commissioners, communities, and end-users. Upon completing the program, students have built a portfolio of professional work that prepares them for entry-level positions in the areas they will pursue as careers.

Courses

The Core Sequence

For three consecutive semesters in the sophomore and junior years, students take one core studio (6 credits) plus a co-requisite typography studio (3 credits). This series of scaffolded courses prepares students for upper-level advanced studios in the areas of branding, interaction, and service design, as well as other systems-based design areas.

Sophomore Fall

  • GD 201 Design, Context, and Experience (6 credits, Core Studio)
  • GD 217 Typography and Technology (3 credits, Co-Requisite)

Sophomore Spring

  • GD 202 Designing for Settings, People, and Use (6 credits, Core Studio)
  • GD 317 Typographic Language, Writing, and Reading (3 credits, Co-Requisite)

Junior Fall

  • GD 301 Branding, Interaction, and Service Design (6 credits, Core Studio)
  • GD 317 Information and Publishing Design Systems (3 credits, Co-Requisite)

Advanced Graphic Design Studios

Beginning in the spring semester of the junior year, students take three GD400 topical and interdisciplinary studios that address advanced visual communication and interaction problems. Advanced studios challenge students to create comprehensive systems of artifacts and interfaces that demonstrate student knowledge of branding, interaction design, service design, and user experience design, expressed in a range of physical and digital media.

Graphic Design Practicum Studio

GD401 is taken in the fall semester of the senior year, with emphasis on the transition from college to career. In preparation for professional practice, each student launches or updates a portfolio website and prepares a résumé.

Additional Courses

Image and Tech Tinkering (GD210), Graphic Design History (GD203), Graphic Design Theory and Practice (GD303), plus Design Electives that focus on topics pertinent to industry, which students select based on individual interest.

Curriculum

The following sample curricular display shows the graphic design and general courses necessary to complete the Bachelor of Graphic Design degree within four years. Students can take general courses in a different order than shown, as well as during summer sessions.

To get audit information, after clicking the link, first choose Design and then choose Graphic Design.