Graphic Design

Create, Innovate, and Communicate your Ideas to the World


Stevenson’s career-focused Graphic Design program will teach you the technical and critical-thinking skills to position you for a successful career in today’s design fields.

This major is designed to prepare students for professional practice and graduate study in graphic design, advertising, marketing communications, electronic or print publishing, web and interactive design, digital imaging, motion graphics, or related fields. As students prepare for a career in Graphic Design, they develop a research-based design process and produce a portfolio.

Stressing manual skills and applications of evolving technologies, the curriculum is characterized by a high-level of problem-based learning that encourages risk-taking and critical-thinking, immerses students in real-world scenarios, includes academic experiences and professional activities outside of the classroom, and allows for significant collaboration between students and between students and faculty.

Graduates of the Graphic Design program will:

  • Solve design problems by thinking creatively and critically.
  • Observe and produce media critically.
  • Apply communication and design theory to design practice.
  • Justify solutions using research, through written and verbal communication.
  • Plan, execute, and revise design solutions considering complex and interdisciplinary elements, including audience, cultural, ethical, human, media, material, and market factors.
  • Produce a design portfolio to professional standards.
  • Exhibit behaviors consistent with the professional and ethical standards of the discipline both within and beyond the classroom.

The Mill Experience

Stevenson’s Student-Run Design and Communications Agency

The Mill Agency at Stevenson University provides an opportunity for students to work with clients in a collaborative student-driven environment. School of Design majors interact and work on communication and design solutions to meet clients’ needs while collaborating in an agency setting. Students use design thinking to execute professional solutions through research, discussion, iterative making, and formal presentations.

Berlin trip

Exceptional Experiences

Twenty-one students spent eight days documenting, researching, and capturing physical and expressive relationships they observed during a study abroad trip to Berlin in spring 2017. The photographic images they came home with were featured in an art exhibition on campus titled Berlin: From Space to Place.

Study Graphic Design at Stevenson

Career Opportunities

Career Paths for Graphic Design Majors

If you are a creative person who’s interested in art and design, you may be interested in a degree in Graphic Design. A background in graphic design will cover creative practice in disciplines such as print design, Web design, advertising, art direction, branding, and more. This can lead to careers such as:

  • Advertising Design
  • Art Direction
  • Corporate Identity/Brand Design
  • Exhibition or Environmental Design
  • Special Effects Artist
  • UX/UI: User Interface/User Experience Design
  • Web/Graphic/Interactive Design

Curious about internships and job placement after you graduate? Visit our Office of Career Services.


The courses listed below are required for completion of the bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Students must also complete the requirements for the Stevenson Educational Experience (SEE).

Specific pre- and co-requisites for each course are listed in the course descriptions.

Major Requirements

FYS 100First Year Seminar1 credit
ART 106Introduction to Art History3 credits
ART 110Fundamentals of Design I3 credits
ART 113Fundamentals of Design II3 credits
ART 116Drawing I3 credits
ART 117Drawing II3 credits
ART 205Graphic Design History3 credits
FMI 101Cinema I: Storytelling3 credits
PHOTO 141Basic Digital Photography3 credits
GDES 125Fundamentals of Digital Media3 credits
GDES 208Web Design I3 credits
GDES 210Graphic Design I3 credits
GDES 211Graphic Design II3 credits
GDES 230Typography I3 credits
GDES 290Internship Preparation1 credit
GDES 308Web Design II3 credits
GDES 310Graphic Design III3 credits
GDES 330Typography ll3 credits
GDES 390 or SOD 390Internship3 credits
GDES 410Portfolio & Professional Development3 credits
GDES 445Senior Capstone Research Studio3 credits
GDES 450Senior Capstone3 credits
 Studio Elective (3 credits)* 
 Studio Elective (3 credits)* 
 Studio Elective (3 credits)* 

*Studio electives include 200-400 level courses in ANIM, ART, GDES, IAD, PHOTO, or SOD 395. Students must choose courses from at least two different course prefix designators.

Minors and Other Options

Minor in Graphic Design

The minor in Graphic Design requires successful completion of a minimum of six courses and 18 credits of courses in graphic design and related disciplines. Graphic design courses encompass a variety of media from print design to screen-based applications. Students in the minor may participate in collaborative work, client-based projects, interactive development, user-experience design, branding strategies, rich-media experiences, visual storytelling, and problem solving through the design thinking process.

GDES, IAD, and ANIM courses count towards the minor in graphic design. The following courses may also be taken for a minor in graphic design:

  • ART 110 Fundamentals of Design I
  • ART 113 Fundamentals of Design II
  • ART 205 Graphic Design History 
  • ART 280 Study Away: Art and Design in Context
  • PHOTO 141 Basic Digital Photography 
  • SOD 395 The Mill – Design Center 

Minor in Photography

The minor in photography requires successful completion of a minimum of six courses and 18 credits with a PHOTO prefix. The following courses may also be taken for a minor in photography:

While learning professional skills in fine art and commercial photography, students will explore topics such as advanced camera functions, studio lighting, visual storytelling, historic processes, and digital imaging. All course prerequisites must be met to be eligible to take the selected course for a minor. Please see the chair of the Department of Graphic Design for more information. 

All course prerequisites must be met to be eligible to take the selected course for a minor. Please see the chair of the Department of Graphic Design for more information. General information regarding minor requirements may be found in the Minors section of the catalog.

Minors at Stevenson

BA Option

Students also have the option of completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design. The student must fulfill all SEE requirements, program requirements, and complete two semesters of a foreign language from the point of placement or completion of 202 level.

Visual Arts and Design Portfolios

Students planning to major in Fashion Design, Film & Moving Image, and Graphic Design are allowed to submit a portfolio of work to enhance their application and to be considered for talent-based scholarships.

Portfolio Details

Graphic Design News

Portrait and Food photographer Brady Robinson visited the Lighting: Theory and Practice class today for the Editorial Photography workshop.Students had the opportunity to work with Brady Robinson and learn about Flash Photogr.

Special guest Carter Brigham from Corcl boats visited GDES 270- Introduction to Corporate Design classes for a mailer project. During her visit Carter gave students feedback on their ideas and students made several variations.

Special guest Liz Donadio (on the left) taught a Lumen Printing workshop to the students of Prof. Volkova's class Historic Photographic Processes.

All News

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Undergraduate Admissions
Owings Mills Campus
Garrison Hall North, Second Floor