Curriculum in Graphic Design

The Graphic Design program in the School of Industrial and Graphic Design prepares students to practice visual communication in a competitive global environment. Graphic Design students follow a curriculum that provides variety and depth in all aspects of the field, supported by Fine Arts electives. Varied career opportunities range from the development of strategies to implement large-scale communications campaigns, to the design of effective communication products such as magazines, logo and identity development, interactive media, web design, packaging, exhibitions, illustration, and environmental graphics. Graphic design students have excellent opportunities for internship experiences as a result of well-established relationships with regional, national and international companies and firms. 

The Graphic Design program maintains the right to limit freshmen and transfer enrollment. Admission into the BFA in Graphic Design is selective, is limited, and is based on a multiple step process. Admission criteria can be found below the curriculum model.

ENGL 1100 English Composition I3ENGL 1120 English Composition II3
GDES 1110 Foundation Drawing4Core Science I4
GDES 1210 Foundation Design I4GDES 1220 Foundation Design II24
ARTS 2100 Foundations of Art History I3ARTS 2150 Foundations of Art History II3
 14 14
Core Literature I (Humanities)3Core Literature 3
Core History (Social Science)3GDES 3710 Graphic Design History (or Core Social Science)4
GDES 2210 Graphic Processes24GDES 2230 Introduction to Graphic Design24
GDES 2220 Typographics I4Art History/Art/Design Elective3
3000-Level Art History3Art History/Art/Design Elective3
 17 17
Core Math3-4Social Science3
Core Science with lab 4GDES 3210 Photo Design14
Core Social Science (or GDES 3710 if not yet completed)3GDES 4240 Graphic Design I24
GDES 3240 Interactive Media24Art History/Art/Design Elective3
 Art History/Art/Design Elective3
 14-15 17
Social Science3Core Humanities (Philosophy)3
Core Fine Arts (Humanities)3Graphic Design Electives4
GDES 4250 Graphic Design II24GDES 4991 Research, Writing and Presentation1
Graphic Design Electives4GDES 4990 Senior Project for Graphic Des25
Elective 3UNIV 4AA0 Creed to Succeed0
 17 13
Total Hours: 123-124

See advisor for approved course listing.

Acceptance and Progression into the Professional Graphic Design Program

  1. Application for Pre-Graphic Design: Once accepted to Auburn University, students will be designated as Pre-Graphic Design (PGDE) for the first year of the curriculum.
  2. PGDE to GDES second year level Courses: After completing the first year level Pre-Graphic Design curriculum, an admission process based on GPA ranking admits qualified students into the Graphic Design second year level program for the GDES 2210 and GDES 2220 courses. Pre-Graphic Design students must complete at least 24 semester hours of credit including: GDES 1110 Foundation Drawing; GDES 1210 Foundation Design I; GDES 1220 Foundation Design II; ARTS 2100 Foundations of Art History I; ARTS 2150 Foundations of Art History II; and at least 6 hours of coursework counting toward the University Core Curriculum.  The formula GPA for entrance to the second level of the pre-Graphic Design program will be calculated on the above listed courses only. (The two highest Core grades will be utilized in the event that more than two core classes have been completed.) Students will be ranked by formula GPA, and the top students will be selected. These students will be notified and then registered in the next level courses - GDES 2210 Graphic Processes and GDES 2220 Typographics I, by the CADC Office of Student Services. Students who are not accepted can reapply in following semesters. In the event of a tie, the numeric grade earned in GDES 1220, Foundation Design II, will be used to break the tie. Students who earn a D or F in a formula course may repeat the class per Auburn University policy, and the subsequent grade will be averaged with the D or F to determine the formula grade. Students may not repeat a course in which the student earned a C or better for purposes of the formula GPA.
  3. B.F.A. in Graphic Design Entrance Review: All probationary second-year level GDES students who have achieved a minimum 2.50 GPA  in GDES 2210 and GDES 2220 are eligible to apply through a portfolio review process for GDES 2230. The Graphic Design Review Committee will conduct an entrance review at the end of each fall, spring, and summer semester. To advance to GDES 2230, it is required that students submit a portfolio of work from GDES 2210 and GDES 2220, and a one-page typewritten statement of intent. The portfolio will consist of 6 projects from the two courses (no more than four projects from one course). The statement of intent should include reasons for choosing the Graphic Design major and address career goals. The Graphic Design Review Committee will evaluate the student’s portfolio and written statement in terms of the individual student’s skills, artistic perception, conceptualization, and professionalism. Upon successful admission by portfolio review, the student will be required to purchase a laptop computer that meets minimum requirements.

Due to prerequisites within the Graphic Design curriculum, all required Graphic Design classes in the Graphic Design major must be completed with a grade of C or better. In the event a C is received in a required course, then the student will be asked to meet with the Graphic Design student advisor. If a grade of D or F is received in any required coursework, a review may be required by the Graphic Design program chair, and the student will be required to repeat the course before continuing in the program.

Students receiving a second C, D, or F in required courses will be reviewed for continuance by a committee of graphic design faculty to determine the student’s ability to meet the requirements of the GDES professional degree program.

Transfer Students for Graphic Design

A student must have a minimum cumulative unadjusted GPA of 2.8 (on a 4.0 scale) on all collegiate work attempted and apply for admission with the university admissions office. If accepted for admission they are eligible to declare Pre-Graphic Design and begin the first-year curriculum.