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Ohio University > Fine Arts > Art > Academics > Programs > Graphic Design

Graphic Design


At Ohio University, the graphic design area places emphasis on providing an understanding of the student’s personal and social responsibility as well as developing the student’s capacity for critical thinking and stimulating imagination and innovation. Courses offer students an opportunity to learn the importance of graphic design in our increasingly complex society. Students in the graphic design area also undertake visual explorations in printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, painting, and photography along with their design studio classes. Studio classes, inside and outside the graphic design program, as well as liberal arts courses, prepare students for the design practice while also providing intellectual, personal, and creative growth. The program culminates in a group exhibition in Ohio University Gallery in the Spring of the senior year.

The area chair of Graphic Design is Mark Franza. Prospective students and others seeking further information about the program can reach Mark adleta via email at:

Program Overview

All students enter the School of Art + Design as Bachelor of Arts (BA) majors and share common requirements in general academics, studio foundations, and art history. To become a studio art BFA major in graphic design, students must first complete the Foundations Program, take two 2000-level studio graphic design courses (ART 2510 and ART 2520) plus two studios outside of graphic design, and submit a portfolio of studio work for review at the end of the sophomore year. (See details below.)

BFA Graphic Design Course Requirements

Major Requirements 3.0 GPA + General Academics Requirements 2.75 GPA 9 credit hours

• English Composition
• Quantitative Skills
• Junior Composition

21 credit hours: at least 3 credits in each of the 6 areas at 2000-level

• Applied Science and Math
• Cross Cultural Perspectives
• Fine Arts
• Humanities and Literature
• Natural Science
• Social Science
• Take 5 credit hours General Elective

19 credit hours—First Year Studio Art Foundations Hours

• Description
• Function
• Image
• Structure
• Critical Perspectives

24 credit hours 2nd Year

• 2000-level Art History Hours (8 credits)
• 2000-level Studio Hours (16 credits)
• ART 2510 and ART 2520 (graphic design studios)
• plus 2 studio courses outside area of concentration, or a topics course.

BFA Graphic Design students apply to the major at the end of the 2nd year. Third and Fourth Years 16 credit hours of 3000-Level Studio Hours

• Graphic Design Studio I ART 3510
• Graphic Design Studio II ART 3520
• plus 2 studio courses outside area of concentration, or a topics course.

20 credit hours of 4000-Level Studio Hours

• Graphic Design Studio III ART 4510 + Graphic Design Practicum I ART 4954
• Graphic Design Studio IV ART 4520 + Graphic Design Practicum II ART 4956
• plus 2 studio courses outside area of concentration, or a topics course.

6 credit hours of 3000/4000-Level Art History Hours Total credit hours to graduate is 120. Students enrolling in graphic design courses are required to have:

• Computer Bundles for graphic design courses.
• Graphic Design Font Library

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

• No requirements beyond university admission requirements.

Change of Program

• No selective or limited admission requirements.

External Transfer Admission:

• No requirements beyond university admission requirements.

Opportunities Upon Graduation

Many graphic design graduates secure positions with design firms nationally and internationally in areas such as corporate design, brand and identity design, package design, information design, interactive design, collateral design, publication design, book design, signage, environmental design and type design. Through the rigor of the academic studies as well as the development of practical skills, graduating designers are also prepared to enter advanced
degree programs.


* Students interested in design might also want to explore the design program offered through the School of Visual Communication in the Scripps College of Communication as well to ensure that they are selecting the program that best fits their goals.


University-wide Graduation Requirements 


To complete this program, students must meet all University-wide graduation requirements.


Graphic design classes are held on the fourth floor of Seigfred Hall. The classrooms, on the north side, provide optimum lighting for color and studio activities. Because technology is inherent to graphic design, each student needs to maintain a personal computer as per the above specifications. Students are required to bring their computers with the recommended software and complete Graphic Design Font Library to all studio classes. The Vandercook letterpress room has an extensive and rare collection of metal and wood type for designing and printing. View work by OU Graphic Design students at


Schedule for 2014 Portfolio Review for entrance into Graphic Design
Wednesday March 12, 2014—Seigfred 408—8:30 to 9:30 am

• Bring your portfolio to Seigfred Hall, Room 408.
• Along with the portfolio, include:

Department Data Sheet
— Statement of Purpose (typed on 8.5 x 11 plain white paper, 9–11 pt type)
— The Application to Major Area Form (available in the SoAD office)
— Current DARS report

• This list is subject to modification, however any changes will be announced before the review.
• Sign-in to register your portfolio with the monitor.
• WARNING: Do not miss this deadline. NO late portfolios accepted. Portfolios missing any of the documents will not be reviewed. No portfolios will be accepted after 9:30 am, March 12, 2014.

Portfolios are reviewed by all members of the graphic design faculty as well as the MFA Graphic Design students who participated in teaching the sophomore-level classes. The outcome of the review is based on the work that is presented and not on the grades received in the graphic design studio courses. This requires the student to be critical, selective and objective in order to show the very best of their work. The order and relationship of one piece to another effects how the work is viewed. Therefore, it is more than a gathering of good work, it is a design problem that considers color, form, texture, materials, scale, surprise, details and whole pieces that are sequenced with sensitivity to the rhythm within the whole. A well-considered portfolio, like a book, has a beginning, middle and end that highlights the work in the best possible way. The labels will be concise to enable the viewer to understand the project/to gather an overall impression without interfering with the designs.

Portfolios will be returned on Saturday, March 15 between 10:00 am and noon, or Monday, March 17, before 9:00 am in Seigfred 405. The Application to Major Form, stating the results of the assessment, completed by all graphic design faculty, will include comments and recommendations. Please read this evaluation sheet carefully. Students denied acceptance into the graphic design program may continue on a path to secure their BA in Art by applying for entrance into other programs in the School of Art + Design. They must follow the portfolio requirements along with required forms of the individual disciplines.

Schedule for Junior Review for Graphic Design
Thursday March 13, Room 408 Junior Review Form should be carefully filled out and brought to the interview along with a portfolio of recent selected work.

Graphic Design classes will be canceled on March 12, 13, 14. Seigfred 408 will be closed during these dates. This classroom will be used for portfolio reviews and junior reviews.

Junior Review Sheet 2014


Mark Franz

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design

Don Adleta

Professor of Graphic Design

Molly Schoenhoff

Lecturer, Graphic Design, Art