Graphic Design, BSD

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Develop your creative skills for future work in design firms or corporate in-house departments that specialize in branding, information graphics, interaction, motion, exhibit, publication, interface, web design and other design related fields.

The graphic design program in The Design School is committed to excellence in traditional and contemporary graphic design education, professionalism, research, and service for the community at large. Faculty, alumni, students and visiting designers and educators constantly reinforce the link between society and nature and vigorously advocate quality in developing communication strategies.

The BSD curriculum acknowledges the need for creative environments that address ecological concerns and encourages students to develop sustainable transdisciplinary work sensitive to cultural aesthetic. The curriculum develops a strong foundation of design principles through lower-division studio and lecture courses, using this to build an overall understanding of how design can shape perception and meaning using visual media. Upper-division studio courses provide opportunities for students to work in collaborative teams addressing professional projects in information design, interaction design, exhibition design, animation, motion graphics, branding, publication design, web design, interface design and the multiple contemporary facets of sensorial design.

Graphic designers are responsible for designing how information is communicated. Forms of communication include print, video, film and electronic (web). Graphic designers are concerned with appearance, choosing the appropriate mechanism for communication, clarity of information and its effectiveness and how communication is transferred and received.

The BSD program in graphic design places an emphasis on strategic communication developed through a design process that includes research, analysis, conceptualization, planning and realization. The process leads to innovative visual communication design solutions for contemporary design problems that are local to global in scope.

All students who are admitted to the major must pass a degree milestone at the end of the first year to continue in the major. For more information on the milestone process, students should visit https://design.asu.edu/resources/students/milestones. This is an eight-semester graphic design program that requires sequential completion of studio coursework or approved equivalent at any point of entry.

At A Glance

Graphic Design, BSD

Required Courses

A major map outlines a major's critical requirements, courses, and optimal course sequence and aids students in remaining on track to graduation.

While circumstances vary between students and their paths towards graduation (utilizing placement testing to fulfill required math or foreign language courses, fulfilling multiple General Studies requirements with one course, etc.), completing the courses listed in a major map fulfills all of the requirements for graduation.

Application requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements:

Affording college

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Financial Aid
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Career outlook

Based on a diversified portfolio upon graduation, those who opt for the graphic design profession gain employment in:

  • advertising and marketing design
  • brand and corporate identity design
  • broadcast (TV graphics) design
  • interaction and interface design
  • museum or exhibition design
  • publication design
  • visual communication design
  • web design

Specific examples of graphic designers' work include:

  • annual reports
  • books
  • environmental graphics
  • information design
  • motion graphics
  • multimedia presentations
  • publications
  • websites

Graduates may also pursue graduate studies leading to careers in design education and other fields of professional endeavor in design.

Example careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:


Career*growth*median salary
Multimedia Artists and Animators8.4%$70,530
Art Directors5.4%$92,500
Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary 12%$66,930
Audio-Visual and Multimedia Collections Specialists8.9%$48,590
Desktop Publishers-14%$42,350
Graphic Designers4.2%$48,700
Commercial and Industrial Designers 4.4%$65,970
Instructional Designers and Technologists 10.5%$63,750
Prepress Technicians and Workers-19.9%$39,910
Set and Exhibit Designers 10.3%$53,090

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

  • Bright Outlook
  • Green Occupation

What are ASU's Online Programs?

ASU Online offers programs like Graphic Design in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year.

More information on the program is available directly from ASU Online.