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Communication Design Major

Designers who graduate with a B.F.A. in Communication Design are design thinkers and makers who create useful, usable, desirable, and memorable designs. Communication designers have the skills of graphic designers, with the leadership skills to define problems that impact communication and determine what outcomes should be created, from a logo to an omnichannel branding campaign. Graduates from our program have worked for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, including National Geographic, Procter & Gamble, Facebook, AmeriCorps, Amazon, The Minnesota Vikings, and Vineyard Vines. A degree in Communication Design will prepare you for a career as a designer producing visual design for screens, services, and print.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Understand and apply the process of design thinking;
  2. Communicate visually, verbally, and in written form in a clear and compelling manner;
  3. Apply a high level of aesthetic and technical skill appropriate to the discipline of graphic design.

Program Goals

The Communication Design program has two interrelated goals:

  • Prepare students for design practice in the professional context.
  • Provide the basis for their continued creative and personal growth.

Students in the Major achieve this through our studio-based, highly engaged curriculum.

Building Foundations

The earliest courses in our B.F.A. develop learners’ ability to communicate messages through creating compelling imagery and typographic layouts. Students learn to draw to test their ideas and explore creating various visual media. From the start of the Communication Design degree, students learn design research methods like interviewing, observations, and surveys, as well as rapid prototyping and testing to discover what and how to create so it meets stakeholders’ needs. Students at this level develop a refined sense of using color and typography to enhance communication and usability.

Middle Coursework

Intermediate courses build knowledge, thinking, and skills through creating designs that span logotypes, smartphone app and website prototypes, publications, packaging, and service design. At this level, students become systems thinkers as they consider the impact and accessibility of their designs, with particular attention to how design affects the environment and society. Two of our intermediate-level courses prepare students with professional interviewing skills and networking opportunities with practicing professionals, equipping them to secure internships anywhere in the world.

Culminating Experiences

During the upper-level years, Communication Design students participate in Highwire Brand Studio, a nationally recognized interdisciplinary program with students from Marketing and Emerging Technology in Business and Design who design real-world projects for for-profit and non-profit clients. Students can study away or abroad during one semester of their BFA coursework and not extend their time at Miami—enriching their understanding of design’s utility in different cultural contexts. Students conclude their Communication Design B.F.A. degrees with a semester-long thesis project on a topic of their choice. This project challenges students to complete the design process: define a project, conduct research, then create and test a culminating prototype.

At Miami, Communication Design majors can:

  • Experience real-world projects through interdisciplinary studios, special projects, and study abroad programs.
  • Co-major, double-major, or minor in our unique Emerging Technology in Business and Design, Arts Management, Art Education, Art History, Museums and Society, Fashion, or Art Therapy programs.
  • 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 cutters, 3D printers, CNC labs, and 3D visualization labs.
  • Receive personal mentorship for seeking internships and careers in design.
  • Access Communication Design studios and production facilities 24 hours a day.

What Our Graduates Can Do

Six objectives guide the design of every learning experience in the BFA in Communication Design. Our program will prepare you to master the following:

Evidence-Based Process

Conduct research that effectively guides the design of relevant outcomes.

Detailed, Engaging Design

Create design outcomes with a high degree of formal detail and aesthetic acuity.

Design that Matches Needs

Create design outcomes that support people in completing the activity being addressed.

Design Process

Operate the design process from problem definition to execution and implementation. evidence.

Verbal Communication

Demonstrate verbal communication skills that deliver messages effectively to intended audiences.

Visual Communication

Demonstrate visual presentation skills that deliver messages effectively to intended audiences.

With this knowledge, thinking, and skills, graduates with a B.F.A. in Communication Design are prepared for a wide range of design careers.

Admission and Portfolio Review Requirement

Beginning Fall 2024, the Department of Art admission portfolio review is the only requirement to declare the B.F.A. in Communication Design. Students will complete courses as advised in our roadmaps.

All applicants to the B.F.A. in Communication Design can be considered for admission to the Communication Design Minor.

Department of Art Admission Portfolio Requirements


The B.F.A. in Communication Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR), and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).

Contact Us

Department of Art
124 Art Building
Oxford, OH 45056