Graphic Design Undergraduate Program
What is a Graphic Design Major at Drexel Westphal?
The Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design at Drexel prepares students to inform, persuade, educate, and entertain through the creative use of word and image. The program prepares students with diverse backgrounds to enter the field of graphic design with a competitive edge as skilled design practitioners, creative problem solvers, and multi-talented team members.
Drexel’s top-ranked four-year degree program in Graphic Design provides a balance of theory and practice in rigorous design study enhanced by general education coursework in the humanities, art history, and the physical and social sciences. The curriculum enables students to develop a sophisticated approach to creative problem-solving and analysis; to effectively communicate through excellence in typography and image-making; and to have an immersion in all aspects of visual communication and experience: brand identity, dynamic and time-based media environments, data visualization, and experiential and spatial design.
Graphic Design majors work in the latest applications and emerging technologies, acquiring fluency in and between digital and print media. Students in the BS Graphic Design program at Drexel win numerous awards and recognitions each year from national and international publications such as Graphic Design USA, Communication Arts, UCDA, Print, Graphis, and Creative Quarterly. In addition to the studio and classroom experience, Drexel University’s co-operative education program (co-op) provides Graphic Design majors with experience as a professional designer in the workplace prior to graduation. Graduates of the program are equipped to meet the challenges of an ever-changing design industry and work in a variety of media.
What Skills Do You Learn in the Graphic Design Program?
Graphic Design majors learn to conceptualize, design, and produce visual communication in a wide variety of media, including books & magazines (print and screen-based), posters, ads, packaging, websites, information systems, exhibition design and motion graphics. Students in the Graphic Design program use this work to develop an expansive portfolio of diverse projects, an invaluable tool for our graduates as they seek future employment.
Through the collaborative, project-based curriculum, Graphic Design majors will learn skills and competencies such as:
- Fluency with design software (Adobe Creative Suite… etc)
- Web Graphics
- User Experience
- Motion Graphics
- Brand Identity
- Book, magazine, and package design
- Exhibition and experiential design
- Data Visualization
- History of art and design
- Design research skills
- Professional presentation skills (visual, verbal, and written)
Learn more about the curriculum and see sample plans of study for the undergraduate Graphic Design degree here.
Graphic Design Undergraduate Resources & Facilities in Philadelphia
The Graphic Design undergraduate program is housed in the award-winning URBN Center, the hub for creativity and interdisciplinary collaboration within the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. Four dedicated studios serve the Graphic Design program, including two computer labs outfitted with monitors, iMacs, color and black and white printers, ViewSonic touch-screen monitors, projector systems, and dedicated spaces for student work storage. Constant updates are made to both hardware and software to provide students and faculty with the most current and cutting-edge industry tools.
Graphic Design majors make use of the Hybrid Making Lab, which houses laser cutters, a table-top CNC router, several 3-D printers, a 3-D scanner and small hand tools. Students use this space staring their freshman year, developing a variety of projects and collaborating with other students in the College. Additionally, students have access to a wood shop and metal shop in the Design Arts Annex, which is located on 34th and Cherry Street, a short walk from the URBN Center.
Drexel’s campus is located in the heart of Philadelphia, a city with countless resources and opportunities to engage with design and the arts. Students can marvel at the city’s ubiquitous public art and significant architecture, visit the world-class Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Academy of Natural Sciences, and the Barnes Collection, or visit galleries and design firms in Old City. Graphic Design faculty organize frequent field trips that include studio tours, Design Philadelphia events, and other opportunities to experience and discuss design off campus. The program also leads an annual field excursion to New York City; recent trips have included the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial; Bard Center for Graduate Studies (tour and curator talk on Jan Tschichold); Soviet avant garde design at the Jewish Museum, and various typography and poster exhibitions.
What You Can Do With a Graphic Design Degree
Graphic Design majors are widely sought for diverse co-op opportunities, and graduates are employed by top advertising agencies, design studios, corporate design departments and publishers. A Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design prepares graduates for careers in the competitive and ever-changing graphic design profession and related fields, such as:
- Multimedia designer
- User experience/user interface (UX/UI) designer
- Web designer
- Creative/Art Director
- Package Designer
- Marketing Director
- Content Developer
- Exhibition Designer
- Publication Designer
Drexel Graphic Design students and alumni have secured co-op positions or full-time employment at such companies as:
Learn more about the co-op program and Graphic Design career opportunities here.
Student Graphic Design Portfolio
Applicants to the BS in Graphic Design program at Drexel University are required to submit a portfolio for admission. Applicants should submit eight to twelve pieces of recent work that demonstrate originality and creative problem-solving. Your portfolio submission can include any combination of paintings, drawings, photographs, graphic design, video, animation, sculpture, or many other examples of creative work, all listed here.
Additional guidelines and portfolio requirements, including how to submit your portfolio to SlideRoom, can be found on Drexel’s undergraduate admissions website.
To see the kind of work you’ll create in Drexel’s Graphic Design major, visit our Creative Work webpage.