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Graphic design provides a means to communicate powerfully and effectively through images and typography. From the label on a soda can to the most sophisticated interactive website, the creative process always involves working with other designers, photographers, illustrators and printers to meet the needs of a client.

In Pennsylvania College of Art & Design's graphic design program, three years spent in your major focus on conceptual and technical courses that are enhanced by gradual involvement with clients. All faculty in the department are freelance or full-time designers who bring professional jobs to the classroom as competitive assignments. Chosen and published designs can enhance your portfolio with professional work before you graduate.

The required senior internship is another professional experience for graphic design majors – the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your skills to potential employers. The senior year ends in a concentrated effort to hone presentation skills and prepare a final portfolio and senior exhibition. Pennsylvania College of Art & Design's graphic design program is structured to prepare you to work successfully in this highly competitive field.




The 24-hour Designathon at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design is one example of how the college provides valuable community services to area non-profits and to the community-at-large. Students at PCA&D who participate in the Designathon gain real-world experience in creating projects for clients, and gain first-hand experience managing parameters imposed by really tight budgets and deadlines. Visit our news page for archived stories about past Designathon events. 


Graphic Design Curriculum


Sophomore Year

Fall Semester

DGI 201 Visual Communication     3.0 CR

DGI 203 Time-Based Media     1.5 CR
DGI 205 Typography     1.5 CR
DGI 217 Digital I     1.5 CR
DGI Intro to Interactive Design     1.5 CR
Liberal Arts     3.0 CR

Spring Semester
GD 210 History of Graphic Design & Emerging Trends     3.0 CR
GD 206 Typography II     1.5 CR
DGI 218 Digital II     1.5 CR
GD 213 Digital Design Production     3.0 CR
Liberal Arts     6.0 CR


Total Credits: 27.0 CR



Junior Year

Fall Semester

GD 252 Art of Copywriting    1.5 CR
GD 311 Design Studio I     3.0 CR
GD 314 Interactive Design     3.0 CR

GD 318 Advertising     1.5 CR
Graphic Design Core Elective     1.5 CR
Liberal Arts     6.0 CR

Spring Semester
GD 312 Design Studio II     3.0 CR
GD 316 Motion Graphics     3.0 CR
GD 319 Advanced Web Design     3.0 CR
Graphic Design Core Elective     1.5 CR
Liberal Arts     3.0 CR


 Total Credits: 30.0 CR

Summer Internship (required, non-credit)


Senior Year

Fall Semester

DGI 405 Social Media Marketing & Communication     1.5 CR
GD 409 Senior Design Studio I     3.0 CR
GD 417 Packaging     3.0 CR
GD 431 Web Studio I     1.5 CR
Graphic Design Core Elective     1.5 CR
General Elective     3.0 CR
Liberal Arts     3.0 CR

Spring Semester
GD 406 Professional Practices/Portfolio Preparation     1.5 CR
GD 410 Senior Design Studio II     3.0 CR
GD 432 Web Studio II     1.5 CR
Graphic Design Core Elective     1.5 CR
General Elective     1.5 CR
Liberal Arts     6.0 CR


Total Credits: 31.5 CR



For more information on the graphic design curriculum or course descriptions, please download our current catalog.



Statement of Goals & Outcomes: Graphic Design Department


Students who successfully complete the program will be able to:
• Formulate and apply concepts in their work via formal expression, conceptual development and contextual dialogue.
• Demonstrate a range of traditional, technical, and digital skills necessary for employment in the communication arts (or graphic design) industry.
• Formulate and apply critical analysis toward their work and the work of others while benefiting from collaboration among disciplines.
• Demonstrate an understanding of communication arts (or graphic design) and the relevancy of their work in the context of the industry, the industry's history, and the broader culture and community.
• Engage in the business and practical realities of communication art's (or graphic design) business trends and standards, and develop a portfolio of work relevant to acquiring work in the industry.

Foundation Department

Digital Media
Fine Art
Liberal Arts Department
Laptop/Camera Requirements
Student Artwork








Your Place to Prepare for a Life in Art and Design

204 North Prince Street | P.O. Box 59 | Lancaster, PA 17608-0059 | (717) 396-7833

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