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Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA): Communication Design Degree Overview

In a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design program, students can refine their talents in graphic art, digital photography, multimedia design and other communication design courses. Get a glimpse of the program requirements, the course curriculum, and what to expect after graduation.

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Essential Information

A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program in communication design can prepare students in conceptualizing and in executing the visual side of printed materials and electronic media outlets. Programs might offer hands-on learning in a studio setting. In these programs, students create art that is often used to build a portfolio, which is a graduation requirement at some schools and can later be used when seeking employment to showcase the student's abilities.

Courses in introductory art, drawing, and design may be required. In addition, some schools require the participation in an internship program. A communication design bachelor's degree program generally takes four years to complete. To be admitted in the program, a high school diploma or equivalent is required.


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Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design

Acceptance to the BFA degree track might be separate from acceptance into a given university, and is frequently contingent upon a favorable review of the work done by a candidate in the early classes.

Students who have artistic abilities and an interest in developing new ways to improve communication can enter into a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in communication design. These degree programs emphasize creativity and help students develop the ability to effectively convey information or an idea, in hopes of generating a response. Most schools require general studies coursework as a requirement for earning a BFA degree, including English, math, history and natural science classes. Courses within the communication design major can include:

  • Animation and modeling
  • Computer-aided drafting
  • Design software development
  • Digital image processing
  • Digital media production
  • Website design

Popular Career Options

Graduates are typically qualified to work for graphic design and multimedia arts firms, and in marketing and advertising. They can seek opportunities with newspapers, magazines, journals, television studios and digital gaming companies. Because nearly every industry utilizes web design in some form, graduates can also pursue employment in design departments across a wide variety of career fields. Some possible career titles include:

  • Graphic designer
  • Creative director
  • Art production manager
  • Digital design artist
  • Website developer

Employment Outlook & Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment growth for the 2014-2024 decade is projected to be 1% for graphic designers, 2% for art directors, and 27% for web developers. As of May 2015, the median annual salary earned by graphic designers was $46,900, by art directors was $89,760 and by web developers was $64,970 (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education

An advanced degree could lead to the development of an improved portfolio and more career opportunities. Those who are interested can pursue a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in communication design, visual arts or graphic design.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design enhances creativity and communication skills through their courses such as animation and modeling, computer-aided drafting, design software development, digital image processing, digital media production, and website design. Being equipped with effective communication skills through these courses, graduates could opt to get a master's degree, or they could choose from a variety of career choices such as being a graphic designer or a creative director.

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