• B
  • Bachelor's

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Graphic Design

The Bowling Green State University Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) graphic design major educates those who help us make sense of the information that surrounds us daily – they are equal parts visualizer, collaborator and leader.

We emphasize design for social impact and entrepreneurial spirit. The flexible program will give you skills and experiences that are desired by advertising and in-house agencies, design firms and emerging technologies industries.

With a global network of successful alumni in a variety of fields, you will join a dynamic and generous community.

Communicate the world’s visual messages

Graphic designers bring ideas into form and make sense of the information all around us to communicate messages of meaning and value to help people navigate their lives. 

Through the program’s practical and theoretical approach, students are taught and trained to be mindful professionals and socio-politically aware stewards for the profession and for the world. When you graduate, you will be a visualizer, a collaborator and a leader who is prepared to work in careers that help us make sense of the world.

With a 14:1 faculty-to-student ratio, graphic arts students receive close faculty attention in our Ohio-based progressive digital lab facilities, making spaces and galleries.

Stand Out in courses like

  • Drawing Studio: Perception & Color
  • Graphic Design History
  • Principles of Typography
  • Design for Social Impact
  • Survey of World Art
  • Time Based Graphic Design
  • Interactive Graphic Design

BGSU Graphic design alumni work in places like: Nike Global / Thirst / Obama for America Campaign / Abercrombie & Fitch / Communica / Toledo Museum of Art / Rogue Fitness / Delicious Design League / Owens Corning / JPMorgan Chase & Co. / FormATECH Exhibits / J.Crew / Hobby Lobby Corporate / Gerber

Curriculum

Design thinking has been at the core of the BGSU graphic design major for decades. This process is also at the heart of every project you will tackle. You will perfect these skills in an environment with the exclusivity of a private art academy, yet enjoy the affordability of a public university.

The Bowling Green BFA in graphic design curricula merge design ideologies and research practice with aesthetic and communication methods. Studies are based in typography, information graphics, interactive design, systems-based design, emerging media, community engagement and creative placemaking. The problems students tackle during studio classes are as varied as our society and require multiple disciplines to solve – creating thinkers with curious minds.

Go Far in your career

  • User Experience Designers
  • Environmental Designers
  • Web Designers
  • Creative Directors
  • Graphic Designer
  • Brand Managers
  • Art Directors

Careers

The critical and design-thinking skills the BFA in graphic design will also empower you to succeed in a world where every organization wants to be design-led.  

Skills gained in the BGSU graphic design major are in demand by organizations in every part of society. People will need always resourceful visual communicators, and our students develop successful careers as graphic designers, art directors and communications specialists in a wide variety of related fields. 

Deep involvement with the Toledo, Ohio, chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the professional association for design, and our hundreds of notable graphic design alumni provide a valuable network for our recent graduates' entry into the profession.

Salary expectations in New York City for 2019 were, on average, $43,317 for a junior graphic designer, $71,127 for a senior designer and $121,430 for the competitive position of design director, according to a study by PayScale.

Animation Career Review ranked BGSU’s graphic design program No. 10 in the Midwest and No. 17 in the nation in 2015 for top graphic design schools and colleges. 

Wolfe Center for the Collaborative Arts

As well as inspiration from your fellow students in the graphic arts course, you will be exposed to the thinking and work of others, thanks to the world-class facilities of the Wolfe Center for the Collaborative Arts. Created by the internationally renowned architectural firm  Snøhetta, creators of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, The Wolfe Center houses labs with state-of-the-art workstations, printers and access to the adjacent digital arts classrooms for easy collaboration.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to cast their eyes wide to find inspiration through travel and study abroad, Including our strong partnership with Studio Arts College International (SACI) in the cobbled old city streets of Florence, Italy. 

All courses taken at SACI in Florence will be given direct BGSU credit on your transcripts. Students who have attended the program all agree: it is a life-changing experience in one of the most beautiful and inspiring cities in the world!

Visiting Designers

The Division of Graphic Design prides itself in connecting students with prominent international, national and regional leaders and innovators in the field of visual communication. 

Our speakers range from illustrators, artists, designers, motion designers, creative directors, strategists, authors, educators, entrepreneurs, critics and change agents. Beyond a public talk, many of our keynote speakers visit the studios for one-on-one discussions, critiques and/or workshops specifically to engage with our students. 

Admissions Information

A portfolio review is not done at the time of admission, but instead, is done at the end of the first year for placement in the BFA degree program. We have more information on the BGSU BFA graphic design major admissions process.

BGSU Arts and Sciences white

The Graphic Design program is part of the School of Art in the BGSU College of Arts and Sciences.   



* Job placement and salary information was compiled by the Office of Academic Assessment through the Graduation Survey from AY2015-2018. The data are gathered around the time of Commencement and a follow-up survey six months post Commencement. For the salary question, data for programs with fewer than fifteen responses are not included. Salaries for those programs are from the National Association of Colleges and Employers Summer 2019 Survey. For questions regarding the data, contact assessment@bgsu.edu.