Graphic Design

College of Fine & Applied Arts


What is Graphic Design?

Graphic Design is the art of communicating with an audience through images, words, and ideas. You will address challenges as traditional craft and evolving communication technologies overlap. Our major will prepare you to affect positive change in contemporary social and cultural systems. Your coursework will address graphic design fundamentals like:

  • Typography
  • Critical thinking
  • Image making
  • Design history and contemporary practices
  • Research methods
  • User experience
  • Social responsibility

You must submit a portfolio before being accepted into this program.

Career Options

  • Advertising
  • Communications
  • Marketing
  • Multimedia design
  • Publications design
  • User interface/user experience design
  • Web design

Post-Graduation Success1

92% employed or continuing education

86% employed after graduation

6% attending graduate school

$76,522 average starting annual income

Sample employer destinations: Insufficient survey data is available for sample employer destinations.

Sample grad school destinations: Insufficient survey data is available for sample grad school destinations.

Review Criteria

First-Year Major-Specific Criteria

  • Strong talent review (audition or portfolio)

View All Review Criteria

Transfer Criteria

Transfer Guide

Graduation & Retention2

4.0 years to degree

89% first-year retention rate

63% four-year graduation rate

77% six-year graduation rate

Annual Program Costs3

Illinois Resident

  • Tuition: $14,340
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,222
  • Total: $37,490


  • Tuition: $33,460
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses:$18,562
  • Total: $56,950


  • Tuition: $34,408
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,562
  • Total: $57,898