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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) Degree in Graphic Design

Majors Overview April 14, 2015

Get information about Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree programs in Graphic Design and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) Degree Programs in Graphic Design

Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) program are trained to seek a career as a graphic designer. They are taught about ways of tying together drawing, design, and color theory in creating visual messages.

They gain skills and knowledge in various techniques and software programs, which allows them to devise original designs. Over the duration of their studies, coursework includes participation in internships with local businesses or professional organizations.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require the submission of a portfolio of artwork related to the field. Students enrolled in some programs may be expected to be able to use the Internet.


Students enrolled in the B.F.A. program in Graphic Design often spend 66% of their time studying art courses and the remainder in liberal arts courses. Classes include topic areas such as culture, communication, technology and media skills, aesthetics, and design history. Core coursework may include subject areas such as:

•Color theory
•Computer graphics

Career Choices

Graphic designers may want to have their work appear on the Internet, on company letterheads, in company logos, on signs and billboards, or in print publications.

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, job growth rate of seven percent have been predicted for graphic designers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, graphic designers brought in an average annual wage of $44,150; the highest income in the field was $77,490 or more (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Armed with only a B.F.A. in Graphic Design, students can seek entry-level careers in the graphic design industry; however, some may opt for continuing education by earning a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Graphic Design to develop advanced skills in the field. Coursework in M.F.A. programs includes the development of a cohesive professional portfolio of work in graphic design specializations, such as online advertising or print work.

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Quick Fact
In 2018, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma.*
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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