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The participatory nature of the online classes really helped me to develop a deep understanding of the material covered in all of the courses. Classmates shared how the subject matter was applied in their careers which gave real meaning to all of the information learned.

Brandon K.
Burlington, IA
Master of Business Administration

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Graphic Design Degree - Bachelor of Arts

Click here for degree requirements if your class started prior to May 5, 2014.

Curriculum

Major Requirements (42 credit hours)

(Click a course name below to view course details)

What is design really? The fundamentals, problem solving, and history of Graphic Design-Course Cluster (9 credits hours)

  • GD 116 Problem-solving and Idea Generation

    This course explores methods for generating original solutions to the creative problems faced in graphic design. The importance of research and research methods will also be emphasized.
    University Syllabus

  • GD 210 Design Basics

    This course analyzes fundamental elements and principles of design necessary to solve graphic design problems. Topics including grids, hierarchy, contrast, balance, and color will be applied to print- and web-based projects. Problem solving and critical thinking skills will be further developed.
    University Syllabus

  • GD 215 History of Contemporary Graphic Design

    This course examines the history of contemporary graphic design. Students evaluate and discuss contemporary design issues with emphases on the evolution of visual communication and its impact on contemporary design.
    University Syllabus

Other Required Courses (33 credit hours)

  • GD 220 Fundamentals of Print Design

    This course examines the basic fundamentals specific to print design. The topics explored include typography, grid implementation, layout, white space, and color. Students will learn how a project goes from an initial idea to a final printed product.
    University Syllabus

  • GD 230 Fundamentals of Web Design

    This course provides a theoretical overview of issues relating to web design. Topics include web standards, design problems, accessibility/usability, and hosting. Projects are based on research and presentations rather than technical applications.
    University Syllabus

  • GD 260 Typography

    This course analyzes how typography is used properly and effectively in graphic design. Students gain skill with typographic terminology as the typographic relationship among graphic elements in symbolic communication is explored with various print- and web-based projects. Prerequisite: GD 116, GD 210 and GD 215, AND proficiency in current version of Adobe Creative Suite software
    University Syllabus

  • GD 320 Single Page Design

    This course applies the fundamental concepts of graphic design through the creation of projects ranging from posters to business stationery and from one-color to multiple color projects with real-world specifications and issues. The use of project appropriate software will be established. Prerequisites: GD 220 and GD 260
    University Syllabus

  • GD 332 Interactivity Basics

    This course provides and in-depth study of interactivity, including the elements of user experience and methods for designing and developing effective interactive interfaces. The fundamentals of design as related to interactivity and user experience will also be covered. Prerequisite: Proficiency in current Adobe Creative Suite Software and GD 230
    University Syllabus

  • GD 350 Branding

    This course focuses on brand identity. Processes will be explored by designing print- and web-based projects related to brand strategy development and implementation. Research methods specific to design problem solving will be utilized. Presentation techniques are stressed and developed. Prerequisite: GD 260
    University Syllabus

  • GD 355 Identity Design

    This course will focus on the creation of effective identity solutions (logos, logotypes and marks), typographic sets, and color palettes. Research of the client’s needs, the stakeholders and the audience will be utilized to establish solutions. Prerequisite: GD 350
    University Syllabus

  • GD 420 Publication Design

    This course explores advanced methods and techniques with a focus on page layout and publication design. The full range of industry standard hardware and software will be utilized. Projects ranging from brochure to book design and layout will enable students to further develop their problem-solving skills and critical thinking abilities. Prerequisite: GD 320
    University Syllabus

  • GD 430 Web Page Design

    This course covers the specific design needs and issues found in web design, such as color, contrast, placement and navigation. Prerequisite: GD 260 and GD 332
    University Syllabus

  • GD 435 Website Development

    This course covers the skills and project-based experience needed for entry into web design and development careers. Prerequisite: GD 430

  • GD 490 Portfolio

    This is the capstone course for Graphic Design majors. Preparation for future employment or graduate study through a finished portfolio (both print- and web- based) of work for potential employment in the graphic design industry is emphasized. Resume development and self-promotion is also covered. Prerequisite: This course should be taken after all other major course work has been completed.
    University Syllabus

Elective Course

If you do not have a proficient understanding of print and/or web software, you should begin the major by taking Graphic Design Applications.

Students applying for professional license or certification should verify the University’s offerings meet the requirements with the professional organization.

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