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Visual Communication Design - B.A. and B.F.A. PDFDownload to print

College of Communication and Information

School of Visual Communication Design

231 Art Building
Tel: 330-672-7856 | Fax: 330-672-9714


The intention and emphasis of the visual communication design degree program is the preparation of students for the graphic design and illustration professions. Specifically our program develops technical proficiency and design expertise in the organization of imagery and typography to communicate information in both the two-dimensional and three dimensional form. Our students produce work for print, video, screen displays and interactive experiences, as well as package design, exhibition design and environmental wayfinding. There are many study abroad/away opportunities. For more information contact the Office of Global Education or CCI's Coordinator of International Programs.

All bachelor-level degrees in design, illustration and photography require a combination of visual arts and liberal arts courses. The School of Visual Communication Design offers the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.). The decision as to which degree is best for a particular student depends on the student's educational and career goals, academic standing and performance in studio coursework.

According to the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Bachelor of Arts is a liberal arts degree that focuses on design and illustration "in the context of a broad program of general studies." To achieve this end, the School of  Visual Communication Design's B.A. degree program requires a secondary area of study in the form of a minor.

According to the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Bachelor of Fine Arts is "the professional degree" and "focuses on intensive work in the visual arts supported by a program of general studies." The School of Visual Communication Design's B.F.A. degree program consists of approximately two-thirds of the coursework in the "creation and study of the visual arts," with the remainder in general studies. Because of the greater emphasis on upper-level studio courses, the B.F.A. allows majors the opportunity to build greater expertise in a given area of the field.

Career Opportunities

Graphic Designers held about 259,500 jobs in 2012. Most worked in specialized design services, publishing, advertising public relations and related services. In 2012, about 24% were self employed. Some designers do freelance work—full time or part time—in addition to holding a salaried job in design or another occupation.
(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Many graphic designers hold positions in interactive design and user experience, which is yet to be accurately tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Admission Requirements

The Bachelor of Arts
General Admissions for Freshman Students: Admission Requirements at the Kent Campus: The freshman admission policy at the Kent Campus is selective. Admission decisions are based upon the following: cumulative grade point average, ACT and/or SAT scores, strength of high school college preparatory curriculum and grade trends.

The university affirmatively strives to provide educational opportunities and access to students with varied backgrounds, those with special talents and adult students who graduated from high school three or more years ago. For more information on admissions, visit the admissions website for new freshmen.

For more information about admission criteria for transfer, transitioning and former students, please visit the admissions website.

The director of the School of Visual Communication Design may impose additional requirements considered reasonable and necessary. Each transfer student will be evaluated individually in terms of his or her ability to perform within the program. A transfer applicant’s strengths and deficiencies will be considered and his or her transfer credits will reflect that consideration.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts
Admission to this program is determined upon the successful completion of the VCD Sophomore Portfolio Review and the support of the VCD faculty members. The Bachelor of Fine Arts requires a minimum 2.750 GPA in major, 2.500 GPA overall and satisfactory grade in VCD 20196 Sophomore Portfolio Review.

The School of Visual Communication Design recognizes that competence in visual design as well as intellectual capacity are necessary qualities in students who plan to prepare for a career in visual communication design. Therefore, the right is reserved to require evidence of achievement in design and related areas from all students endeavoring to enroll for the first time as majors in the school. Early admission is recommended.

Progression Requirements

Students must receive a minimum B- (2.700) in VCD 13001 before enrolling in VCD 23001. VCD 13001 may be taken a maximum three times until a minimum  B- grade is achieved.


Graduation Requirements

The Bachelor of Arts
Minimum 120 credit hours. Minimum 39 upper-division credit hours. Minimum 2.250 GPA in the major and 2.000 GPA overall.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts
Minimum 126 credit hours. Minimum 39 upper-division credit hours. Minimum 2.750 GPA in the major and 2.500 GPA overall.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the ethics (and legal issues) closely associated with fields of visual communication.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of traditional hands-on skills relative to craftsmanship. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the basic use of digital technologies as they relate to their areas of study.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to create visual response to communication problems, including understanding of hierarchy, typography, aesthetics, composition and construction of meaningful images.

National Association of Schools of Art and Design
11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21
Reston, VA 20190-5248