Media Arts, Design, and Technology Department

Graphic Design

Current Info About Graphic Design Program

Graphic design is the process of communicating with meaningful visual form. Students in the graphic design option learn creative problem solving based on a foundation of communication design theory and skills in drawing, photography and typography.

The Graphic Design curriculum teaches students to use typography, symbols, photography, and illustration to meet the needs of their clients or employers. Students are exposed to the basic and advanced theory of design using traditional materials and various forms of communication technology. Coursework prepares students with a foundation in design fundamentals, so they can pursue careers in art direction, graphic design, illustration, animation, web design and other forms of rich media.

Students earn a BA degree in Communication Design with an option in Graphic Design, which is recognized by the AIGA or NASAD as a four-year liberal arts degree that provides a general foundation for further study in a professional program.

See "Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree" in The University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division. Entry into advanced upper-division Graphic Design courses requires the successful completion of the Portfolio Review course, a competitive evaluation of foundation coursework.


Coursework in the Graphic Design option integrates an understanding of the creative process of the designer with a concern for the context and experience of the user. Students learn to use traditional studio methods and contemporary digital communication technologies, producing projects for both print and screen media. Many students choose to participate in the national AIGA-affiliated student graphic design group.

University Catalog Links

Major Specific Requirements

Please review the laptop requirements (PDF) and portfolio review policy unique to the Graphic Design program. If you order your laptop through the Chico State Wildcat Store(opens in new window), be sure to ask if they offer an educational discount.

If you need more information on portfolio requirements, the review process and work that qualifies, please click here.

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