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Available program formats: In class: BA
Explore graphic design at Columbia College
The BA in Graphic Design provides personalized instruction designed to build your portfolio and launch your career in visual communication. You will receive training in techniques and research, while gaining a better understanding of the history and criticism of graphic design.
Throughout the program, you will gain technical skills in the software programs (like Adobe Creative Cloud) needed to deliver dynamic design solutions.
The foundation courses will provide an understanding of the arts across mediums including drawing, printmaking and photography. Then you will delve deeper into typography, web design, and branding. All design students are also required to complete an internship, applying your design skills in a professional setting.
Opportunities to study:
- Layout design
- Web design
- Promotional design
Launch a career in visual communication.
Graphic designers are critical to organizations that use visual messages to educate, motivate, and inspire people to take action. Designers use critical thinking skills to create visual solutions to complex societal problems. Our program prepares you to integrate research, technology, and aesthetics to build design solutions for printed, digital, and built environments.
Learning graphic design hones important skills and leads to a wealth of fulfilling career opportunities. You could go on to work at design firms, startups, nonprofits, Fortune 500 corporations, or start your own freelance business.
Some possible paths include:
- Graphic design
- Brand management
- Motion design
- Publication design
- Web design
- User Interface/ User Experience
- Creative direction
"I’ve been encouraging my students to try and move forward creatively, allow for that creative time to bring a little joy to you and others when it’s needed very badly. Make something every day."Read about Scott
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Your degree starts here Take these courses
Available program formats
- General education requirements 39-42 credit hours
- Core requirements 51 credit hours
- Electives 21-24 credit hours
- Multicultural requirements 6 credit hours
- Total degree requirements 120 credit hours
Some courses you may take
This course covers how to plan, strategize, and design the visual components of a corporate identity or brand. Focus is placed on creating cohesive designs that function across various mediums. We will explore logo design, branding standard guides, and brand implementation in 2D and 3D outcomes. Prerequisites: ARTS 140 and ARTS 216.
The study and application of the fundamentals of graphic design including history, theory and practice. The course brings together a blend of the aesthetic principles of design and hands-on computer-based production skills. Students are introduced to Adobe InDesign. Prerequisites: ARTS 216 and either ARTS 250 or ARTS 319.
The primary focus of this class is on promotional and advertising graphics. Understanding the biases, social outlook, and cultural views of today's users is critical in designing for both print and web. The purpose of this course is to give you the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the research, planning and design for promotional design. Through the projects, students will continue to work with the Adobe software programs Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop. Students will also learn the basics of Adobe After Effects and a template-based web building platform. Prerequisites: ARTS 217 and ARTS 316
The history of the human race has been recorded with visual symbols from the earliest expressions on cave walls to the small screens on our pocket computers. This course explores the history of letterforms, principles of composition, and the expressive potential of type through readings, research and projects. Prerequisites: ARTS 140.
An introductory level course that explores the methods of digital video art making - primarily as a fine art form distinct from, but intersecting with, narrative filmmaking. This course builds basic skills in video preproduction, videography techniques, sound, and digital video editing software. Students supply their own digital video camcorder. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
October 9, 2015
Student & faculty art takes community by storm
Value Colleges listed Columbia College as the No. 2 school in Missouri for online programs in 2020.
April 20, 2020
"The day I walked into Columbia College, I felt more at home than any of the previous colleges I attended ever made me feel."
— Lauren Custer, Criminal Justice student
August 3, 2020