Graphic Design

Graphic Design Studio


At Miami, Graphic Design majors can:

  • Experience real world projects through interdisciplinary studios, special projects and study abroad programs.
  • Enjoy a small supportive environment (20 students per class).
  • Print to their heart’s content in a dedicated graphic design printing and computer lab.
  • Work until wee hours of the night in their own recently renovated studio.
  • Be inspired by visiting artist lectures and workshops.
  • Thrive in a liberal arts environment, leaving school a well-rounded, highly marketable individual.
  • Take advantage of innovative fabrication equipment —laser cutter, 3D printer, CNC lab, 3D visualization lab.
  • Co-major, minor or double-major in our unique Interactive Media Studies program or choose between Miami’s many other minor and double-major options.
  • Learn letterpress printing and bookbinding, mixing hand media with new digital approaches.
  • Gain valuable professional experience through paid internships within leading firms.

For more information check out our graphic design blog: www.graphicdesignmiami.org.

Our graphic design program has two interrelated goals: prepare students for the practice of design in the professional context and provide the basis for their continued creative and personal growth.

With a problem-solving format, students develop visual communication skills, explore the integration of type and images through a variety of traditional and computer media, and imaginatively deliver messages responsive to the needs of the sender and the receiving audience. Students learn to be aware of the cultural context in which they work, keeping in mind the responsibilities inherent to a discipline that engages our society.

During the upper-level years, students participate in Highwire Brand Studio and the Interactive Media Studies capstone (Armstrong Interactive), nationally-recognized interdisciplinary programs where students work with profit and non-profit clients. Another opportunity for real-world work is during the required internship experience.

Program requirements include 43 semester hours of basic art/design history and studio courses in the first and second years, including five courses specific to graphic design. Upperclass students must earn 30 hours in graphic design course work, with 18 in the third year and 12 in the fourth year; three additional hours of studio at any level; three semester hours in the history of art at the 300 or 400 level; and 12 additional hours in one of the following eight focus tracks: Art and Architectural History, Business, Communication, Cultural Studies, Environmental Design, Interactive Design, Perception & Cognition, Studio Art and Technical Communication (see list below for specific course choices). Students must also complete at least one summer internship. The program requirements listed below incorporate all requirements in art and the Miami Plan.

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Transfer Admission
Students who wish to transfer from another institution and enter this program must satisfy admission requirements of the graphic design program in addition to those of the Department of Art and university.

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Portfolio Review
In addition to the entrance portfolio review required by the department, a graphic design portfolio review is required toward the close of the first year, including work from ART 111, 151, 171, 121, and 122. Access to upper-level graphic design course work includes portfolio submission and selective interviews with intention to major in graphic design. A limited number of students are admitted each year. Probationary acceptance may be extended to some students; this means their work and performance is evaluated by the faculty at the conclusion of both semesters of the second year. The evaluations determine continuance in the program.

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Program Requirements (as of Academic Year 2014-15)
(128 semester hours minimum)
For earlier catalog years, please see your advisor.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

First Year

First Semester (15 or 16hrs.)
ART111 Visual Fundamentals 2D (3hrs.)
ART121 Drawing 1 (3hrs.)
MPF/ENG111 College Composition (3hrs.)
MPF/ART187 History of Western Art: Prehistoric to Gothic (3hrs.)
MPF (3hrs.)
ART151 Introduction to Design (1hr.)
(offered both semesters, take once)

Second Semester (15 or 16hrs.)
ART171 Visual Fundamentals 3D (3hrs.)
ART122 Drawing 2 (3hrs.)
MPF/ENG112 Composition and Literature (3hrs.)
MPF/ART188 History of Western Art: Renaissance to Modern (3hrs.)
MPF (3hrs.)
ART151 Introduction to Design (1hr.)
(offered both semesters, take once)

Graphic Design Portfolio Review in March

Second Year

First Semester (18hrs.)
ART251 Typography (3hrs.)
ART252 Image (3hrs.)
MPF/ART256 Design, Perception & Audience (Recommended, not Required, 3 hrs.)
ART221 Drawing 3 (3hrs.)
MPF (3hrs.)
MPF (3hrs.)

Second Semester (15hrs.)
ART254 Fundamentals of Interaction Design (3hrs.)
ART455/555 Design History & Cultural Contexts (3hrs.)
ART222 Drawing 4 (3hrs.)
MPF (3hrs.) (CFA111 strongly encouraged)
MPF (3hrs.)

Mid/End of Second Year: Choice of Focus Track (see list below)

Third Year

First Semester (15-18hrs.)
ART351 Design System (3hrs.)
ART353 The Business of Design (3hrs.)
ART355 Applied Interaction Design (3hrs.)
Focus Track Elective(s) (3-6hrs.)
MPF (3hrs.)

Second Semester (18hrs.)
ART352 Identity Systems (3hrs.)
ART354 3D Design (6hrs.)
Focus Track Elective (3hrs.)
ART300/400 Non-western Art History (3hrs.)
Thematic Sequence (3hrs.)

Summer Internship (3hrs.)
(one required, two recommended)

Fourth Year

First Semester (12-16hrs.)
ART453 Highwire Brand Studio (Take either fall or spring, 4hrs.) 
IMS418 Social Media Marketing (Take either fall or spring, 3hrs.)
ART451 The Professional Portfolio (3hrs.)
Focus Track Elective(s) (3-6hrs.)
Thematic Sequence (3hrs.)

Second Semester (12-16hrs.)
ART453 Highwire Brand Studio (Take either fall or spring, 4hrs.) 
IMS418 Social Media Marketing (Take either fall or spring, 3hrs.)
ART452 Senior Degree Project (3hrs.)
Focus Track Elective(s) (3-6hrs.)
Thematic Sequence (3hrs.)

IMS 440 Armstrong Interactive (Recommended either fall or spring opposite Highwire)

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Graphic Design Focus Tracks
(Minimum of 12 credit hours)

Art and Architectural History
Any Language Course (100-400 level, must meet prerequisites)
Any Art History course beyond the 12 crhrs required for the Major in Graphic Design
Any Architectural History course (100-400 level, must meet prerequisites)

Business
MPF/BTE111 Intro. to Management or MPF/MGT111 Intro. to Business
MPT/MGT291 Organ. Behav. and Theory
COM231 Small Group Communication
COM259 Intro. to Public Relations
PSY262 Business Psychology
ART453 and/or ART499 (beyond requirement)

Communication
Any Language Course (100-400 level, must meet prerequisites)
MPF/COM135 Pub. Express. & Crit. Inquiry
MPF/COM136 Intro. to Interpersonal Com.
MPF/COM143 Intro. to Mass Com.
COM146/FST214 Media Aesthetics
COM231 Small Group Communication
COM/ENG257 Scriptwriting: Electronic Media
COM/ENG258 Copywriting for Electronic Media
ENG226 Intro. to Creative Writing

Cultural Studies
Any Language Course (100-400 level, must meet prerequisites)
MPF/AMS101 Intro. to American Studies
MPF/ATH155 Culture in Context
AMS201 Approaches to American Culture
MPF/MPT/ATH175 Peoples of the World
COM337 Intercultural Communication
FST250 History of Popular Culture
HST250 History and Popular Culture
HST252 Representation of History in Film and Video

Environmental Design
Any Architecture and/or Interior Design Studio (with permission of instructor)
ARC211 Intro. to Landscape & Urban Design
MPF/ARC212 Principles of Environ. Systems
ARC225 Design & Human Behavior
ARC309 Furniture Design & Construction
ARC446 The Visual Manifesto
THE200 Production & Performance Practicum

Interactive Design
Any IMS Course (100-400 level, must meet prerequisites)
COM146/FST146 Media Aesthetics
COM231 Small Group Communication
COM/ENG258 Copywriting for Electronic Media
CSA141 or MPF/CIT154 Personal Computer Applications
MPF/CSA151 Comps., Comp Sci. & Soc.
MPF/CSA163 Intro to Comp. Concepts & Prog.
MPT/CSA174 Fund. of Prog. & Prob. Sol.
CSA271 Object-Oriented Programming

Studio Art
Any art studio course not used to fulfill requirements for the Major in Graphic Design
ART450 Alternative Design Media
PSE101 Intro to Paper Sci. & Engineering
PSE102 Paper Properties
PSE104 Paper Testing

Perception and Cognition
MPF/EDP101 Crit. Iss. in the Psych. of the Learner
MPF/PSY111 Intro. to Psychology
PSY221 Social Psychology
MPT/PSY231 Developmental Psychology
PSY241 Personality
MPT/PSY271 Cognitive Psychology
MPT/PSY273 Intro. to Perception
MPT/PSY453 Human Factors
MPT/PSY462 Work Space & Org.
MPT/PSY470 Seminar in Cognition

Technical Communication
Any approved Technical Communication course

The Miami University Bulletin series is the official source of information about the programs and courses of study offered at Miami University.