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

Majors Overview February 4, 2015

Students in Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree programs in Communication Design will be prepared to implement and conceive the visual side of electronic media outlets and printed materials. Students will demonstrate their creative ability and be taught the skills needed to communicate ideas or information effectively in hopes of triggering a response.

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

Earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree in Communication Design will benefit individuals with the artistic abilities and enthusiasm needed to improve communication in innovative ways.

Program coursework typically includes hands-on instruction in studio settings and is aimed at refining students’ talents in digital animation, Internet publishing, multimedia design, digital photography, and graphic art. Program graduates are trained to seek jobs in art-related and design fields.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Some schools that offer communication design programs include coursework that covers design, drawing, and introductory art. Admission to a B.F.A. degree program in any given university may depend on the nature of the review attracted by the work a candidate does in the early classes.


Students usually take four years to complete communications design bachelor’s degree programs, and coursework usually includes studio work, which results in the creation of art that can be used in building a portfolio that some schools mandate as a graduation requirement; students can later use them to showcase their skills and knowledge to potential employers.

Students may also be required, in some schools, to participate in an internship program that often leads to job opportunities.

General studies classes are a general requirement within the coursework of a B.F.A. degree program; these may include natural science, history, math, and English classes. Program coursework may include these subject areas:

•Sound design for new media
•Digital media production
•Digital image processing
•Website design
•Design software development
•Computer-aided drafting
•Animation and modeling
•Virtual architecture
•Multimedia computing

Career Choices

Graduates typically seek occupations with multimedia art firms and graphic design firms, in addition to firms in advertising and marketing. They can choose from employers such as digital gaming companies, television studios, journals, magazines, and newspapers.

As web design in some form is used by every industry, graduates may also seek employment in numerous career fields in design departments. They can choose from many possible career titles:

•Art production manager
•Website developer
•Creative director
•Graphic designer
•Digital design artist

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 6% has been predicted for graphic designers over the 2012 – 2022 decade, while growth rates of 3% and 20% are expected for art directors and web developers respectively (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, graphic designers banked an average annual wage of $44,150, while art directors earned $80,880 and web developers took home $62,500.

Continuing Education Choices

Further career opportunities and an improved portfolio could result from earning an advanced degree. Bachelor’s degree graduates can opt for continuing education by earning a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Graphic Design, Visual Arts, or Communication Design.

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