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Graphic Design BFA

Nancy Ciolek, Program Chair
(585) 475-7472, nacfad@rit.edu

http://cias.rit.edu/design

Program overview

Graphic design is the study and practice of communicating ideas and information through printed, environmental, and digital presentations. Typography and images are integrated to express messages that interest, inform, and persuade intended audiences. With the addition of visual movement, navigation, and sound, digital presentations also are developed. Using research, critical thinking, creativity, and a range of problem-solving principles, graphic designers solve complex visual communication problems within the constraints of time, space, budget, and technology. Areas of study include publication design, signage and environmental design, corporate identity, interactive media, packaging design, and information design.

Curriculum

The BFA in graphic design integrates major courses, studio and open electives, the liberal arts, and art/design history. Computer skills, design perspectives, career preparation, and exposure to the related areas of publishing, photography, engineering, and information technology are integrated into the curriculum.

Graphic design, BFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
FDTN-121 2D Design I 3
FDTN-131 3D Design I 3
FDTN-111 Drawing I 3
ARTH-135 LAS Perspectives 1: Survey of Western Art and Architecture I 3
  LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar† 3
GRDE-106 2D Graphic Design 3
GRDE-107 Time Based Design 3
FDTN-112 Drawing II 3
ARTH-136 LAS Perspectives 2: Survey of Western Art and Architecture II 3
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing 3
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
GRDE-201 Typography 3
GRDE-202 Design Imagery 3
GRDE-205 History of Graphic Design (WI) 3
  LAS Perspectives 3, 4 6
  Studio Electives‡ 6
GRDE-206 Typography and Imagery 3
GRDE-207  Interactive Media Design (SMTL) 3
MAAT-383 Design Production 3
Third Year
GRDE-301  Information Design 3
GRDE-302 Web and User Interface Design 3
  Art History Elective§ 3
  Studio Electives‡ 6
  LAS Immersion 1, 2 6
GRDE-306 Professional Practices 3
GRDE-307 Design Systems and Methodology 3
GRDE-308 Environmental Graphic Design 3
Fourth Year
GRDE-401 Collaborative Design 3
  Senior Graphic Design Elective** 9
  Free Electives 9
  LAS Immersion 3 3
GRDE-402 Senior Capstone Project 3
  LAS Elective (SMTL) 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 120

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

(SMTL) Refers to science, math, technical literacy requirement.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.

† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2014-15 academic year.

‡ Studio elective courses are those designated with studio/lab hours listed in the course description.

§ Art history elective courses include Women Pioneers in Design (GRDE-323), 20th Century Editorial Design History (GRDE-326), Graphic Design in Film (GRDE-367).

** Graphic design electives include Senior Internship (GRDE-498), Branding and Identity Design (GRDE-421), Editorial Design (GRDE-418), Advertising Design (GRDE-428), Advanced Information Design (GRDE-423), Advanced Interactive and Web Design (GRDE-422).

Art history electives

Students are required to select three art history electives to broaden their understanding of the historical development of the arts. Art history electives include:

Course
ARTH-366 18/19th Century Art
ARTH-382 Medieval Craft
ARTH-386 Latin American Art
ARTH-384 Late Medieval Art
ARTH-383 Installation Art
ARTH-374 Illuminated Manuscripts
ARTH-386 History of Things: Studies in Material Culture
ARTH-376 Early Medieval Art
ARTH-377 Displaying Gender
ARTH-372 Art of the Americas
ARTH-388 The Gothic Revival
ARTH-387 The Gothic Cathedral
ARTH-371 Art and Architecture of Ancient Rome
ARTH-392 Theory and Criticism of 20th Century Art
ARTH-373 Art of the Last Decade
ARTH-369 20th Century Art Since 1950
ARTH-368 20th Century Art: 1900-1950
ARTH-457 Art and Activism
ARTH-511 Art and Architecture of Italy: 1250-1400
ARTH-512 Art and Architecture in Italy: 1600-1750
ARTH-518 Art and Architecture in Florence and Rome: The Sixteenth Century
ARTH-517 Art and Architecture in Florence and Rome: The Fifteenth Century
ARTH-573 Conceptual Art
ARTH-581 Realisms and Avant-Gardes in Russian Art
ARTH-576 Modernism and Its Other: Realism and Expressionism
ARTH-571 Extreme Abstraction
ARTH-521 The Image
ARTH-584 Scandinavian Modernism
ARTH-578 Edvard Munch
ARTH-574 Dada and Surrealism
ARTH-568 Art and Technology: from the Machine Aesthetic to the Cyborg Age
ARTH-588 Symbols and Symbol-Making: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Art

Additional information

Professional memberships

The School of Design maintains memberships in a variety of professional organizations, including Industrial Designers Society of America, ACM Siggraph, Society of Environmental Graphic Designers, American Society of Interior Designers, American Institute of Architects, ICOGRADA, American Institute of Graphic Arts, and International Interior Design Association.

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

Graphic design is the study and practice of communicating ideas and information through printed, environmental, and digital presentations. Typography and images are integrated to express messages that interest, inform, and persuade intended audiences. With the addition of visual movement, navigation, and sound, digital presentations also are developed. Using research, critical thinking, creativity, and a range of problem-solving principles, graphic designers solve complex visual communication problems within the constraints of time, space, budget, and technology. Areas of study include publication design, signage and environmental design, corporate identity, interactive media, packaging design, and information design.

The School of Design maintains memberships in a variety of professional organizations, including Industrial Designers Society of America, ACM Siggraph, Society of Environmental Graphic Designers, American Society of Interior Designers, American Institute of Architects, ICOGRADA, American Institute of Graphic Arts, and International Interior Design Association.

Curriculum

The BFA program in graphic design integrates major courses, studio and open electives, the liberal arts, and art/design history. Computer skills, design perspectives, career preparation, and exposure to the related areas of publishing, photography, engineering, and information technology are integrated into the curriculum.

Semester conversion
Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. Each program and its associated courses have been sent to the New York State Department of Education for approval of the semester plan. For reference, the following charts illustrate the typical course sequence for this program in both quarters and semesters. Students should consult their academic advisers with questions regarding planning and course selection.

Graphic design, BFA degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
  Freshman Elective 2
2010-216 Vector Imaging 2
2010-211 Raster Imaging 2
2013-211, 212, 213 Drawing I, II, III 9
2013-231, 232 2D Design I, II 6
2013-241, 242, 243 3D Design I, II, III 9
2010-301 Elements of Graphic Design 3
2015-222 Design Survey 2
  Liberal Arts* 12
1720-050, 052 First-Year Enrichment 2
  Wellness Education† 0
Second Year
2039-225, 226, 227 Survey of Western Art and Architecture I, II, III 9
2010-302 Typography I 3
2010-313 Introduction to Time-Based Design 3
2010-401 Typography II 3
2010-402 Imagery in Design 3
  Studio Electives 9-12
  Liberal Arts* 12
  Wellness Education† 0
Third Year
2010-471 History of Graphic Design 3
  Art History Electives§ 6
2010-403 Symbol and Icon Design 3
2010-404 Design for Publications 3
2010-405 Information Design 3
2010-406 Environmental Design 3
2010-512 Introduction to Interactive Media Design 3
2010-501 Career Skills and Professional Practice 2
2010-561 Introduction to Web Design 3
  Studio Electives 9
  Liberal Arts* 12
Fourth Year
  Open Electives 18-24
Choose 9 of the following courses:  
   2010-502    Corporate Design 3
   2010-504    Design Systems 3
   2010-505    Advertising Design 3
   2010-506    Concept and Symbolism 3
   2010-507    Design for Marketing 3
   2010-511    Advanced Information Design 3
   2010-512    Introduction to Interactive Media Design 3
   2010-513    Senior Project 3
   2010-514    Editorial Design 3
   2010-523    Senior Internship 3
   2010-524    Portfolio Development and Presentation 3
   2010-562    Advanced Web Design 3
Total Quarter Credit Hours 184

* Please see Liberal Arts General Education Requirements for more information.

† Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

§ Please refer to the list of art history electives.

Graphic design, BFA degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
FDTN-121 2D Design I 3
FDTN-131 3D Design I 3
FDTN-111 Drawing I 3
ARTH-135 LAS Perspectives 1: Survey of Western Art and Architecture I 3
  LAS Foundation 1: First-Year Seminar 3
GRDE-106 2D Graphic Design 3
GRDE-107 Time Based Design 3
FDTN-112 Drawing II 3
ARTH-136 LAS Perspectives 2: Survey of Western Art and Architecture II 3
ENGL-150 LAS Foundation 2: Writing Seminar 3
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
GRDE-201 Typography 3
GRDE-202 Design Imagery 3
GRDE-205 History of Graphic Design (WI) 3
  LAS Perspectives 3, 4 6
  Studio Electives† 6
GRDE-206 Typography and Imagery 3
GRDE-207  Interactive Media Design (SMTL) 3
MAAT-383 Design Production 3
Third Year
GRDE-301  Information Design 3
GRDE-302 Web and User Interface Design 3
  Art History Elective‡ 3
  Studio Electives† 6
  LAS Immersion 1, 2 6
GRDE-306 Professional Practices 3
GRDE-307 Design Systems and Methodology 3
GRDE-308 Environmental Graphic Design 3
Fourth Year
GRDE-401  Collaborative Design 3
  Senior GD Major Elective§ 9
  Free Electives 9
  LAS Immersion 3 3
GRDE-402  Senior Capstone Project 3
  LAS Elective (SMTL) 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 120

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

(SMTL) Refers to science, math, technical literacy requirement.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

† Studio elective courses are those designated with studio/lab hours listed in the course description.

‡ Art history elective courses include Women Pioneers in Design (GRDE-323), 20th Century Editorial Design History (GRDE-326), Graphic Design in Film (GRDE-367).

§ Graphic design major electives include Senior Internship (GRDE-498), Branding and Identity Design (GRDE-421), Editorial Design (GRDE-418), Advertising Design (GRDE-428), Advanced Information Design (GRDE-423), Advanced Interactive and Web Design (GRDE-422).

Art history electives

Students are required to select three art history electives to broaden their understanding of the historical development of the arts. Art history electives include:

2039-300 History of Design
2039-306 Architecture Interior and Furniture Design I
2039-307 Architecture Interior and Furniture Design II
2039-308 Architecture Interior and Furniture Design III
2039-310 History of Crafts
2039-315 Pre-Columbian Art
2039-316 Florence and Rome 1400-1470
2039-317 Florence and Rome 1470-1520
2039-318 Florence and Rome 1520-1590
2039-320 History of Art Criticism
2039-330 Philosophy in Art
2039-340 Symbols and Symbol Making
2039-355 Latin American Art
2039-360 18th and 19th Century Art
2039-368 Scandinavian Modernism
2039-375 20th Century Art Since 1950
2039-376 Renaissance Painting in Flanders
2039-385 Installation Art
2039-390 Native American Art and Culture
2039-395 Theory and Criticism of 20th Century Art
2039-410 The Art of Art History
2039-415 Thinking About Making
2039-425 Public Art/Public Spaces
2039-430 Dada and Surrealism
2039-433 What Is Post Modernism?
2039-435 Art of the Last Decade
2039-438 Body in Art
2039-440 Conceptual Art
2039-443 Art and Technology: From the Machine Aesthetic to the Cyborg Age
2039-452 Art and Activism
2039-459 Art Central Italy 1250-1400
2039-469 Baroque Rome