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BFA Graphic Design

The Graphic Design program from Portland State University provides a comprehensive education in design principles, applications, theories, history, and practice.

Quick Facts

Full-time Duration: 4 years
Starting in: January, April, September
Tuition Fee: $666 per credit
Location: Portland Campus (Portland, United States)

The curriculum places particular emphasis on craft, concept, and research skills, as well as the development of effective design processes, the generation of meaningful narratives and story-telling techniques, and engagement with various community partners. Students work with faculty primarily through studio courses that introduce an increasing complexity of design problems and methodologies, combined with opportunities for independent development and interaction with professionals. The Graphic Design program from Portland State University introduce principles of basic design and art and their specific applications in graphic design. The 200-level courses provide a comprehensive studio experience with an increased emphasis on design thinking.

The first two years of study culminate with a required Sophomore Portfolio Review, occurring once each year at the end of the Spring term. All students majoring in graphic design (including students transferring in with lower- or upper-division credits) must pass this Review to enroll in 300-level graphic design courses. Only after successfully passing the Review are graphic design majors allowed to continue progression through the program. In their 300- and 400-level course work, students choose courses of increasing specialization, have opportunities for engaging in professional internships, and work to develop a professional portfolio as the culmination of their design studies.

It is important to note that owning a laptop computer provides students with critical advantages for successful progression through the graphic design program. Especially in regards to their ability to work in our classrooms and studio spaces, students with laptop computers are better equipped to complete project assignments. conduct research, and maintain an awareness of activities occurring in design both within the program and beyond.

All students majoring in Graphic Design and taking 100-level graphic design courses are advised to purchase one of the recommended laptop systems. The sooner students make a commitment to owning a laptop system, the sooner the advantages of ownership will impact their ability to preform competitively and successfully in graphic design.

Your Potential To Be Exponential

At Portland State University , you feel like you’re part of a movement. The kind that keeps your classmates rooting for you and your professors pulling for you. You’ll form bonds with faculty and friends in small classes that dive deep into the issues that matter most to you. We are proud to be one of the nation’s most transformative universities. Because every time your success inspires others, you change the world.


Courses Included

  • Digital Page Design
  • Digital Imaging and Illustration
  • Narrative and Communication Design
  • Communication Design Systems
  • History of Western of Art
  • History of Modern Design