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Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Graphic Design

School of the Arts

 
Program description

Graphic design is a creative and analytical process that integrates art and technology to communicate ideas and information. The goal of the Department of Graphic Design at VCU is to educate students to become innovators and leaders in three related areas of professional practice: print design, sequential design and interaction design.

Career opportunities

Graphic Designer, Web Designer/Developer, Art Director, Exhibit Designer, User Interface Designer

Change of major requirements

Completion of the Art Foundation Program is a prerequisite for entry into all fine art and design departments.

Students are required to submit their application and required portfolio here.


Typical application deadlines are November 1 (for spring applicants) and April 1 (for fall applicants).


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Brand Strategist
  • Communication Strategist
  • Digital Content Creator
  • Exhibit Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Marketing Communicator
  • Motion Graphics Designer
  • Packaging Design
  • Print Designer
  • User Interface Design
  • Visual Designer
  • Web Designer
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Art Director
  • Communications Director
  • Marketing Manager
  • Producer
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • Quantitative Foundations requirement only
Science required
  • Natural Sciences requirement only
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.5+ cumulative GPA to declare
Department name:
Department of Graphic Design
Building/room location:
Pollak Building, Room 332
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-1709
Email:
gdes@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Attend Objects+Methods, SOtA, and University lectures.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Keep all your Graphic Design project work for end of the year Sophomore Portfolio Review.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Seek out volunteer work/projects, with an emphasis on graphic design.   
  • Collaborate with students from other Arts disciplines on a project.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Prepare for Junior Review. All work from your Junior year should be kept for consideration.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Collaborate with students from other Arts disciplines on a project.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Prepare for or take an internship for credit (GPA 3.0 or higher)
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Seek out projects with an emphasis on work that will translate as graphic design  
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Attend GDES and Depot workshops hosted by VCUarts alumni.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Attend Objects+Methods, SOtA, and University lectures.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Study Abroad is not allowed during the Fall or Spring of your Senior year.
  • Carefully consider which electives will help you be marketable in your desired career path. Electives from Graphic Design, Arts Cross Disciplinary and Innovate can add to your skill sets in a meaningful way.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Bring back work and research from study abroad and share with your colleagues. The Department hosts lectures and workshops led by returning students to help others learn and think about study abroad
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
  • Seek out project opportunities and jobs with an emphasis on work that will translate as graphic design.    
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
  • Follow up on all job opportunities shared on the gdes-all listserv. Attend alumni events and job fairs offered during Senior Studio.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Graphic Design

School of the Arts

Concentration(s):
No concentration
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Attend Objects+Methods, SOtA, and University lectures.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Keep all your Graphic Design project work for end of the year Sophomore Portfolio Review.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Seek out volunteer work/projects, with an emphasis on graphic design.   
  • Collaborate with students from other Arts disciplines on a project.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Prepare for Junior Review. All work from your Junior year should be kept for consideration.
  • Collaborate with students from other Arts disciplines on a project.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Prepare for or take an internship for credit (GPA 3.0 or higher)
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Seek out projects with an emphasis on work that will translate as graphic design  
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Attend GDES and Depot workshops hosted by VCUarts alumni.
ExcelYear 4
  • Attend Objects+Methods, SOtA, and University lectures.
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Study Abroad is not allowed during the Fall or Spring of your Senior year.
  • Carefully consider which electives will help you be marketable in your desired career path. Electives from Graphic Design, Arts Cross Disciplinary and Innovate can add to your skill sets in a meaningful way.
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Bring back work and research from study abroad and share with your colleagues. The Department hosts lectures and workshops led by returning students to help others learn and think about study abroad
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
  • Seek out project opportunities and jobs with an emphasis on work that will translate as graphic design.    
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
  • Follow up on all job opportunities shared on the gdes-all listserv. Attend alumni events and job fairs offered during Senior Studio.
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