Jun 15, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog | 2021-2022 
Undergraduate Catalog | 2021-2022 Previous Edition

Graphic Design, B.F.A.

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The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Graphic Design provides in-depth study of the field of graphic design. The degree is a professional degree that prepares students to enter a career in design, advertising, marketing, or other fields of visual communication.  The degree requires 78 credit hours of courses in the department, and many courses are sequential.  It is important to begin taking three studio art courses and one art history course during the first semester of study.  Students should not complete the General Education courses before beginning the courses in the major, as that will delay time to graduation.  A four-year schedule of the major is available online or from the department academic advisor.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen, Transfers, and Current UNC Charlotte Students not Majoring in Art

  • Minimum Cumulative GPA:  2.0 (for current UNC Charlotte students)
  • Other:  Submit a digital portfolio of work for review.  Check the department website for deadlines and FAQs on submission requirements.
  • Declaration of Major:  The department accepts new students from these groups into the Graphic Design major for Fall semesters only. These students cannot declare a Graphic Design major in Spring semesters.

Current UNC Charlotte Students with Major in Art

  • Minimum Cumulative GPA:  2.0
  • Declaration of Major:  Consult with the Graphic Design Program Director

Note: Most graphic design courses are open to Graphic Design majors only.

Degree Requirements

College Prospect for Success Course (2 credit hours)

All new freshmen in the College of Arts + Architecture must take the following:

General Education Courses (35 credit hours)

For details on required courses, refer to the General Education Program 

Students intending to earn the B.F.A. in Graphic Design should take two ARTB 120x courses, and one ARTH course (ARTH 1211 , ARTH 1212 , or ARTH 2110 ) in the first semester of their freshman year.  Proceed to take two ARTB 120x courses and one Introductory Major Course in the second semester of the freshman year.  Sequencing these courses in the first year will aid a student in graduating in four years. All of the General Education courses should be organized around the Graphic Design major requirements.  Prerequisite sequencing dictates the time to graduation, and all students should carefully review the course descriptions. 

Foreign Language Requirement (0-3 credit hours)

Students in this major are required to demonstrate proficiency in the language of their choice through the 1201 level.  Proficiency can be demonstrated in one of the following ways:

  • Completing the required coursework at UNC Charlotte
  • Completing three years of the same foreign language in high school through level three
  • Achieving a satisfactory score on the foreign languages placement test (in Spanish, French, or German)
  • Through approved transfer or transient credit earned at a college or university accredited by an accepted accrediting body


Major Courses (78 credit hours)

Art History Courses (12 credit hours)

Introductory Major Courses (12 credit hours)

All 2000-level courses have prerequisites of certain Basic Foundation Studios (see section above). The 2000-level courses are prerequisites for 3000- and 4000-level courses. Make sure to check the prerequisites and course descriptions for each course.

Introductory Studio Elective Courses (9 credit hours)

  • 2000-level elective with any of these prefixes: ARTC, ARTF, ARTZ (3)
  • 2000-level elective with any of these prefixes (different from first choice): ARTC, ARTF, ARTZ (3)
  • 2000-level elective from any studio art concentration; ARTL, ARTR, and ARTT recommended (3)

Intermediate Major Courses (15 credit hours)

All 3000-level courses have prerequisites of certain Introductory Major Courses (see section above). The 3000-level courses are prerequisites for 4000-level courses. Make sure to check the prerequisites and course descriptions for each course.

Advanced Major Courses (9 credit hours)

All 4000-level courses have prerequisites of certain Intermediate Major Courses (see section above). Make sure to check the prerequisites and course descriptions for each course.

Advanced Studio Elective Courses (6 credit hours)

Two studio courses are required at the 3000- or 4000- level. These courses have prerequisites at the 2000- level (or above). In addition to regular studio courses from any concentration area, you may choose an internship, or independent study. Art History and Art Education courses do not count towards these requirements. Graphic Design majors are recommended to take courses with these prefixes: ARTL, ARTP, ARTR or ARTM, and/or to complete a graphic design internship for credit.

Senior Seminar (3 credit hours)

Students must have Senior status and be in the last one or two semesters in the degree program in order to register for the following course. It should be taken with the Graphic Design Projects course.

Unrestricted Elective Courses

As needed to complete the credit hours required for graduation.

Degree Total = 120 Credit Hours

Academic Advising

All Art, Graphic Design, and Art History majors are required to meet with the Academic Advisor in the Department of Art and Art History each semester.  Students will not be able to register for any course at UNC Charlotte without attending the mandatory advising meetings. The Academic Advisor is available year-round.

Career mentoring in studio, graphic design, art history, and art education is offered by individual faculty members who are active professionals in those areas of study. Contact is best done by email or telephone. Most professors are available for appointments from the first day of classes until the last day of classes each Fall and Spring semester.  Requirements for degrees and minors, as well as 4-year B.F.A. calendars, are available in the Department of Art and Art History office and online at art.uncc.edu.

Students seeking to confirm that General Education graduation requirements are met should use the automated DegreeWorks system online in My UNC Charlotte.  Those seeking confirmation of Art requirements must contact the Academic Advisor.

Grade Requirements

To graduate with a B.F.A. in Graphic Design, students must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all courses required for the major. 

Honors Program

For details about the Arts + Architecture Honors Program, visit the AAHP program page .

Transfer Credit

All transfer courses are automatically reviewed by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.  Students seeking to appeal the official transfer designations for ARTx courses must provide the Department Academic Advisor with copies of the official course descriptions and a syllabus for each course requested for consideration.  Portfolios of creative work from each of the individual studio courses may also be required.

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