Successful design students in our program share an interest in the visual world, a curiosity about communication in all of its forms, and a passion for the visual interpretation of abstract ideas. They are resourceful, enjoy conceptual problem solving, and are comfortable engaging openly in critical dialogue with their instructors and classmates. Successful students are aware of the client-driven focus of design and develop the maturity and perspective to separate work from self. They enjoy working both in teams and individually, and have excellent written and verbal communication skills.
The B.F.A. Graphic Design program at Shepherd University aims to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of the discipline, its history, theory, practice, and profession—as well as its inherent problems and possibilities. First-year students develop visual literacy by exploring the elements and principles of design. Assignments encourage conceptual thinking and provide opportunities for gaining technical skill and attention to craft. Upper level coursework emphasizes interdisciplinary thinking, theory, and process and the integration of these components through the refinement of creative problem-solving approaches. Projects are designed to integrate these components and offer the occasion to use research, writing, and presentation skills.
Guided by a professionally active and accomplished faculty, the graphic design program offers exceptional courses in design for information design, typography, branding, packaging, editorial, and web site and interaction design. The breadth and depth of the faculty's collective expertise provides students the support to explore the field's many diverse disciplines. Off-site internships provide additional learning experiences where students gain real-world experience, make contacts, and refine their professional portfolios.