Graphic Design

Program Features

Graphic designers are artists who use technology to create images that inspire and inform audiences. They’re part visual artist, part marketer and part problem solver. And, because they understand both visual and technical perspectives, they’re in demand in many fields including web design, social media, marketing, communications, advertising and more. 

As a graphic design major at Xavier University, you’ll dive into the world of art, technology and marketing while developing a dynamic portfolio needed to succeed as a graphic designer. Here, you’ll take advantage of countless internship and mentorship opportunities in and around Cincinnati, Ohio, a city known for its flourishing art and business communities. You’ll also have access to studio and gallery spaces on campus, where you can create and display your work and discover other local artists.

Scholarships Offered:

The McAuley Art Scholarship is awarded through a juried process to incoming first-year students majoring in art or graphic design with good academic achievement and outstanding artistic talent as exemplified by their high school portfolio. Feb. 1 submission deadline.

Curriculum

The sample course sequence below illustrates class offerings for the Graphic Design major. Consult the official Xavier University course catalog for detailed registration and advising information.

Fall

  • Art 100: Seminar............ 1cr.
  • Art 101: 2D Design............ 3cr.
  • Art 102: Drawing............ 3cr.
  • Core 100 or Theology 111............ 3cr.
  • Second Language I............ 3cr.
  • Computer Science 170: Computer Science I ............ 3cr.
  • CORE 101: GOA Co-Curriculum Program I............ 0cr.

Spring

  • Art 105: 3D Design............ 3cr.
  • Art 142: Graphic Design I............ 3cr.
  • English 101 or English 115............ 3cr.
  • Core 100 or Theology 111............ 3cr.
  • CORE 102: GOA Co-Curriculum Program II............ 0cr.
  • Second Language II............ 3cr.
  • Computer Science 180: Computer Science II............ 3cr.

Fall

  • Art 104: Printmaking I............ 3cr.
  • Art 242: Layout & Print Production............ 3cr.
  • Art 270: History of Art I............ 3cr.
  • English 205............ 3cr.
  • Philosophy 100............ 3cr.
  • Art 215: Web Design............ 3cr.

Spring

  • Art 342: Package Design............ 3cr.
  • Art 214: Technology for Artists............ 3cr.
  • Art 271: History of Art II............ 3cr.
  • Arts 493: Internship............ 3cr.
  • Philosophy 200: Philosophical Perspectives............ 3cr.
  • Theology 200+ Theological Perspectives............ 3cr.

Fall

  • Art 441: Junior Seminar............ 3cr.
  • Art 108: Photo I............ 3cr.
  • History of Art Elective............ 3cr.
  • Oral Communications Flag............ 3cr.
  • Natural Science Elective............ 3cr.

Spring

  • Art 442: Advanced Typography............ 3cr.
  • Art 493: Internship............ 3cr.
  • Mathematical Perspectives Elective............ 3cr.
  • DCR Flag Elective............ 3cr.
  • Social Science Elective............ 3cr.
  • Humanities Elective............ 3cr.

Fall

  • Art 315: Advanced Web Design............ 3cr.
  • Arts Elective (204 or 208)............ 3cr.
  • Art 493: Internship............ 1cr.
  • E/RS Flag............ 3cr.
  • Quantitative Reasoning Flag............ 3cr.
  • Writing Intensive Flag............ 3cr.

Spring

  • Art 490: Senior Concentration............ 3cr.
  • Historical Perspectives Elective............ 3cr.
  • Scientific Perspectives Elective............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.
  • Core 499............ 3cr.

Sample Courses

Xavier is known for providing an education that's both challenging and personal. Here are some courses that are part of the graphic design major at Xavier:

Technology For Artists (ARTS 214) - Students are introduced to the fundamental technological skills and programs. This class is for both designers and artists in general to prepare them with basic technological skills. Some of these skills include digital creation and manipulation using the latest computer applications. Students learn vector-based design as well as pixel-based technologies. Other technical skills focus on making presentations, creating digital artwork, using digital tablets, archiving projects, scanning and creating multiple-page pdfs.

Web  Design (ARTS 215) - An introduction to researching, planning, and producing websites for a range of clients. Students use different tools to conceive, develop, layout, design, and implement their website and related media. Students are expected to have a beginning proficiency in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. Emphasis will be on the design and aesthetic aspects of web design, not just the technical aspects. Students will creatively produce a website including considerations of typography, color, branding, and layout. Students also install and modify a blog utilizing skills in HTML and CSS. Topics studied will also include: Page Ranking, Web Advertising, Video, and Domain names and Hosting. This course should interest various disciplines: computer graphics, photography, video, film, the visual arts, and education.

Track Courses - Students take 6 credit hours of electives that are specific to the design field they are interested in. Many of these classes are interdisciplinary in nature: DIFT 104 Video Production, COMM 247 Understanding New Media, MKTG 300 Principles of Marketing, ENGR 173 Explorations in Engineering, COMM 433 Social Media Strategies to name just a few.

Clubs

The following clubs are popular choices for students in the graphic design major.

Xavier Art Society

Art students visit exhibits and organize group art programs like bookbinding, figure drawing and framing. Trips include visits to the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Contemporary Arts Center and the Taft Museum of Art.

American Marketing Association at Xavier

Xavier's collegiate chapter of the American Marketing Association is a group of dedicated aspiring professionals who work in and study the marketing field. The club provides students with networking resources, nation-wide experiential opportunities and on-campus exposure to local professionals to expose members to the marketing industry. 

All Xavier Clubs

Career Outcomes

98% of Xavier students in Xavier's undergraduate programs, including the graphic design major, are working, volunteering, or in graduate school within six months of graduating.

Top Jobs: Web Designer, Motion Graphics, Information Graphics, Environmental Design, Illustration Design, Marketing Coordinator, Social Media Specialist

Top Companies: Possible, LPK, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Lemongrenade, Pivot Design, Upshot, and many others.

All For One

Xavier is ranked #1 for its excellent academic reputation among top competitors in the region. Students get the most out of their education, from rigorous classroom studies to experiential learning in the real world.

Cincinnati: A City of Opportunity for Graphic Design Majors

A photo of downtown Cincinnati, Ohio at night. Lights from the buildings reflect on the Ohio river.

Cincinnati is ranked the #1 Best City for College Graduates (smartasset.com) and is 1 of 13 U.S. cities with a professional ballet, opera, fine art, symphony and theater. Students take advantage of for-credit internships and employment opportunities at museums, galleries, magazines, design showrooms, media groups and other businesses.


Going to College in Cincinnati

Studio and Gallery Space for Graphic Design Majors

Gallery space where graphic design majors showcase their projects

Students in the graphic design major have access to individualized studio spaces. Students showcase final pieces and discover other local artists in the Xavier University Art Gallery.


Xavier University Art Gallery Details

Study Abroad Programs for Graphic Design Majors

Students in the graphic design major on a study abroad trip in Rome

You can learn a lot on campus, but not everything. There’s a world out there, and we’ll help you to explore it. The Rome Summer Study Abroad program gives students in the graphic design major the opportunity to study in Rome and the Vatican City, with additional travel opportunities to Florence, Assisi and Siena.


Rome Trip for Graphic Design Majors

Graphic Design Major at Xavier University

Graphic Design is an academic major with a long and proud tradition at Xavier University. The Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design provides students the techniques, processes, aesthetics, and creative approaches of Graphic Design, all from a fine arts perspective. Students are prepared with dynamic portfolios that show a range of innovative thinking, technical prowess, and aesthetics sensibility. Real-world experiences in the form of mentoring, portfolio reviews, and internships enable the students to be competitive designers.

Xavier University’s College of Arts and Sciences challenges students to develop an integrated understanding of humanity, the world, and God by pursuing the questions raised in Xavier's core and departmental curricula. The College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest and largest college at Xavier University. The college provides an excellent liberal arts education in the Jesuit tradition that prepares students for careers, professional or graduate school, and life in a global society.

Xavier University is a private university located in Cincinnati, Ohio, providing a liberal arts education in the Jesuit Catholic tradition. Founded in 1831, the University is the sixth-oldest Catholic university in the nation. It has been ranked among the top 10 master's-level universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for the past two decades. The Princeton Review names it one of the "Best 385 Colleges in America."