BFA in Graphic Design

All programs—art education, graphic design, painting, printmaking, and sculpture—lead to the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. For this degree the candidate must meet the following requirements:

  1. Satisfactory completion of all courses in the chosen program of study as determined by the School of Visual Arts
  2. Completion of a program of study equaling 132 semester credits, registering for eight semesters as a full-time student or the equivalent
  3. Demonstration of proficiency satisfactory to the faculty in all technical or professional courses

Requirements for Entering Major Areas

To enter into a major, students must have completed foundation requirements.

A student who has received a D and is therefore disqualified from entering any major area may submit a portfolio of work to a committee composed of the faculty member who gave the grade of D and the faculty teaching in the major area, with a petition that the admission requirements for entrance to the major area be waived. The requirement for admission may be waived at the director’s discretion in consultation with the faculty committee.

To be permitted to move from the junior to the senior year, a student must receive a grade of C or higher in his or her major subject.

Five-Year BFA/MA Program

Undergraduate students who wish to major in graphic design, painting, printmaking, or sculpture but would also like to obtain state licensure to teach art in the public schools can combine an undergraduate studio art major (BFA) with a Master of Arts (MA) in Studio Teaching. This master’s program includes all licensure requirements.

Refer to the program page for full details.

Liberal Arts Requirements

The School of Visual Arts BFA degrees in graphic design, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and art education require a minimum of 28 credits of liberal arts elective courses. All majors require WR 100 and varying credits of Art History and Contemporary Issues.  The following distribution guidelines will be in effect for liberal arts electives starting with the Class of 2012.

The liberal arts electives must include a variety of courses that fulfill one of the following three tracks:

  1. A liberal arts distribution as follows:
    1. Sciences/Social Sciences/History, 8 credits
    2. Language/Literature/Philosophy, 8 credits
    3. Additional liberal arts electives, 12 credits (except 8 credits for art education). Students who test out of WR100 by taking the Boston University Writing Assessment (BUWA) must take an additional four credits of liberal arts electives from category C.


  2. A CAS minor
  3. An individually designed plan of study (i.e., arts administration or Russian literature) outlined in a detailed written proposal and pre-approved by the student’s faculty advisor at the end of the first year of study.

Graphic Design Program of Study

The BFA requires 132 semester credits. Requirements for students entering the graphic design major were revised for the class of 2014 and beyond. Please consult the School of Visual Arts for details.

Graphic Design
Prerequisites to Elect the Graphic Design Major (total 32 prerequisite credits):
Drawing (2 semesters) 8 cr
Printmaking 4 cr
Painting 4 cr
Sculpture 4 cr
Art History (AH 111, AH 112) 8 cr
Freshman Writing 4 cr
Graphic Design Major Requirements (total 48 credits):
Photography I 4 cr
Design elective 4 cr
Web Design 4 cr
Graphic Design I, II, III (6 semesters) 24 cr
Typography Design (4 semesters) 8 cr
History of Graphic Design 4 cr
Electives (total 52 credits):
Sciences/Social Sciences/History 8 cr
Language/Literature/Philosophy 8 cr
Additional liberal arts electives 12 cr
Additional studio or general electives 24 cr
132 cr