Graphic Design Program

instructor with graphic design students at computers


Graphic Design study at WCU focuses on critical thinking, social research, and professional production combined with a strategic relationship to cultural and historical investigation. The degree program, B.F.A. in Graphic Design is considered a pre-professional, 4-year concentration plus an internship, which leads to diverse careers in the design field or graduate study in related disciplines. This NASAD certified program is uniquely defined by the diversity of studio and academic electives for our students. Interwoven with challenging content in literature, philosophy, technology, and business are courses that support contemporary music recording, video production, and high level visual computer technologies.

The Graphic Design B.F.A. program requires each student to formally apply with a specific portfolio of work after they have matriculated within the School of Art and Design. All of the arts within the University and the surrounding community are supported by a vibrant artist/designer lecture series including residencies and summer programs. Significant placements and internship requirements strengthen the ability of graduates to excel in competitive professional opportunities.

Graphic Design courses are taught in our up-to-date MediaLab, which is equipped with Macintosh computers and the latest printers and design software.

color wheel, pantone chart


Portfolio Requirements for B.F.A.Graphic Design Program

Students who pursue Graphic Design must apply for entrance into the program by submitting a portfolio of digital images and a letter of application that describes their goals and interests in the field. Students may do this either as entering first year students or as first-semester sophomores.

Digital Portfolio

Students will submit a portfolio of 8-10 digital images of original artworks that successfully incorporate principles and elements of 2D and 3D art and design. The examples should provide evidence of competency with tool usage, measuring, material handling, and presentation. Within the portfolio, students should include 3-5 analytical drawings demonstrating basic knowledge of perspective and proportion. This group of drawings should include some drawings made from direct observation. In addition, the portfolio should include some work that evidences personal ideas and concept development.

Digital portfolios should be submitted on a portable USB drive. Images should be in jpeg format with a size of 4 x 6" at 150 ppi. No image should be larger than 1.8 mg. Include a list of works that indicates title (or assignment name) medium and size.

Letter of Application

The digital portfolio should be accompanied by a letter of application, addressed to the Director of the School of Art and Design, indicating interests in art, reasons for pursuing the BFA degree, and general or specific career goals.

Portfolio Review

The portfolio reviews will be held each semester prior to advising week. Students may apply for entrance as entering first year students, in the first semester of their sophomore year or after 18 credit hours of ART or IDES courses. The committee will inform applicants of their results within three weeks via email.

Applications should be sent to Erin Tapley at For more information, call 828-227-3598.

Eight Semester Plan for BFA in Graphic Design


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