BFA in Graphic Design

 

BFA in Graphic Design
We are very proud of our  graphic design majors. The vast majority of our students receive jobs within a few months of graduation. Our Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design is a professional degree, meaning it has a large number of hours in the major. Approximately 80 of the 130 hours a student takes are  specifically in art and graphic design. This ensures students have as much exposure as possible to various graphic design techniques and processes. No minor is required. Our program  includes a wide variety of courses in Advertising, Motion Graphics, Publication Design, Letterpress Printmaking, Web Design, Interactive Computer Multimedia, Typography and History of Graphic Design.

Graphic Design as a Career

Graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated. Common uses of graphic design include identity (logos and branding), publications (magazines, newspapers and books), print advertisements, posters, billboards, website graphics, and elements and sign and product packaging. For example, a product package might include a logo or other artwork, organized text and pure design elements such as images, shapes, and color which unify the piece. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphic_design).

You can learn more about graphic design at http://www.aiga.org/guide-careerguide/. If you are unsure about majoring in graphic design you could try contacting a graphic designer in your area and shadow them at work for a day.

Challenge
Being a graphic designer is extremely rewarding, but it is not for everyone. It requires dedication, hard work, good communication skills, and the ability to continually adapt and learn. Our classes are rigorous.  Our students are pushed to learn as much as possible, so they are well prepared to take their place in the workforce when they graduate.

Computer Lab
We have a dedicated mac computer lab that is accessible 24 hours a day. We purchase new computers every four years and update software regularly. We have the Adobe Master Collection installed on each computer which includes all of the print, video, and web design tools.

Purchasing a Laptop
Purchasing a laptop is not necessary. The software costs are fairly steep, so we encourage students to work in our computer lab. This gives students the opportunity to be around others who are working on similar projects, and this encourages discourse and learning. Often students want to purchase a laptop, so we encourage them to wait until they are juniors or seniors so they can use their new laptop for their internship or professionally after they graduate.

Scholarships
No previous experience is required to apply for the graphic design program, although we have scholarship opportunities for high school students who have experience and a portfolio. Please contact arts@samford.edu for more information about our scholarship program.

Portfolio

All of our classes are practical and give students the opportunity to create creative portfolio pieces. Students use their portfolio to land internships and jobs. Our graphic design students are required to create a portfolio book, website, and digital PDF portfolio.

Internship
We have a very successful internship program, and we recommend students do their internship during the summer between their junior and senior year. Internships give students real work experience and this often leads to job opportunities. The majority of students are paid during their internships and many receive job offers. The following are a few places our students have interned:  
 
Mental Floss Magazine
Intermark Group
Shades Mountain Baptist Church
Scout Branding Company
Luckie Advertising
New York Times Interactive
Southern Progress Corporation
o2 Ideas

Cohort
All of our graphic design majors have a class cohort. Typically, you will take two graphic design classes with your group each semester starting your sophomore year. Students will get to know their fellow group members and often become lifelong friends.

Change of Major
Approximately one-third of our students have decided to change majors to Graphic Design during their sophomore year. If you change your major to Graphic Design as a sophomore, it will normally take one extra semester to graduate. You cannot skip ahead of your cohort. All of the art and graphic design classes have pre-reqs and rotate in a particular sequence.

Graphic Design Course Requirements

Graphic Design Sequence of Classes