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Graphic Design, BFA

Graphic Design Bachelor of Fine Arts

Your decision to earn a graphic design bachelor’s degree is a strategic one. At the University of Central Missouri, we realize that the role a graphic designer plays in communicating a message, whether via digital or print media, is vital. From the holiday cards you receive to your favorite retailer’s website to your phone apps and video games, you’re seeing things a graphic designer has touched.

For a successful career in graphic design, you must have creativity, as well as technical skill and a wealth of knowledge. Learn how to get not just a degree in graphic design but also a top-notch education when you choose UCM.

Why UCM for your Graphic Design bachelor’s degree

UCM’s Department of Art and Design has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) since 1986. This means you’ll not only develop technical skills and enhance your creative talents but will also stand out for having earned a well-respected Graphic Design degree.

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NASAD-accredited for quality education

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State-of-the-art technology and labs

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Professional associations for networking

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Program-specific scholarships available

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Full-time faculty made up of design pros

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Study abroad for cultural experience

What you will study

When you consider how to get a degree in graphic design, know that this field encompasses much more than the software you use. Whether or not you have previous experience, expect to receive training in how to move your ideas to the visual medium and overcome any obstacles along the way. Our goal is for you to graduate with the ability to confidently solve creative problems as you work to educate audiences or sell products using graphic design.

How to get a degree in graphic design

At the University of Central Missouri, all of our graphic design courses are offered on our Warrensburg campus. Some are also available online for additional flexibility in earning your bachelor’s degree. No matter where you join us from, all of our graphic design courses are taught by full-time faculty members, who have thier master’s degrees and are still active in professional design. 

To prepare you for a variety of careers, you’ll study: 

  • Typography
  • Logo and package design
  • Publication design
  • Advertising design
  • Interactive and motion design

In addition, studio courses enable you to apply graphic design principles and skills, building in complexity as you hone your creative talents. Electives allow you to explore various applications of art and media. It will all lead up to a capstone class in which you’ll build your professional portfolio based on completed projects and campaigns.


Excellence in Graphic Design

  • Since 1986, UCM's Department of Art and Design has achieved National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accreditation. 
  • A Best Value for Commercial and Advertising Art (College Factual, 2022)
  • #2: Highest Paid Bachelor's Degree Graphic Communications Graduates in the Plains States Region (College Factual, 2022)
  • Among the Highest Paid Bachelor’s Degree Graphic Communications Graduates nationally (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 8.5%: Most Popular Colleges for Commercial & Advertising Art (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 10%: Popular Bachelor's Degree Colleges for Commercial & Advertising Art (College Factual, 2022)
  • Among the Most Popular Colleges for Design & Applied Arts (College Factual, 2022)


Unique learning opportunities in graphic design

UCM’s undergraduate Graphic Design degree program is primarily a project-based program. You’ll use the latest software, hardware and equipment in our state-of-the-art digital labs and engage in various hands-on, real-world experiences. These include:

  • Internships: Most UCM students pursuing a Graphic Design degree complete at least one internship. This may be in major cities such as Chicago or New York City, or you may stay local and take advantage of the many opportunities in Kansas City.
  • Professional associations: Enhance your education and college experience when you join UCM’s student chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). Attend professional networking events that enable you to make connections to help start your career. You may also participate in the Kansas City Ad Club.
  • Study abroad opportunities: At UCM, you have several opportunities to experience a different culture while expanding your creative and technical skills. Popular destinations for students in UCM’s Graphic Design degree program include Rome, Paris, London and the Netherlands. Programs in many other arts and culture centers are available.


What can you do with a Graphic Design bachelor’s degree from UCM?

UCM’s BFA in Graphic Design degree offers versatility and presents a host of career paths for its graduates. Among your potential employers are:

  • Advertising agencies
  • Magazine or newspaper publishers
  • Software development and technology companies
  • Television and film production companies
  • Web or video game design companies
  • Other businesses, as well as nonprofit organizations

Better yet, a graphic design degree is directly employable, meaning it’s possible to land the job you want right out of college. In fact, UCM’s Graphic Design degree program maintains over a 90% job placement rate for its graduates.

Careers with a UCM Graphic Design degree

If you’re not sure what to do with a graphic design bachelor’s degree, get inspired as you delve into real-world projects and speak with industry professionals at networking events. You can also use the interactive tool below to discover details on potential career paths with your Graphic Design degree from UCM.




Financial assistance options for your Graphic Design degree

At the University of Central Missouri, we want to ensure your access to quality education at affordable rates. Our tuition fees are recognized for being lower than those of many other four-year colleges. We also provide you access to valuable resources that may help finance your education. These include loans, grants and work-study opportunities. 

How to get a degree in Graphic Design using scholarships

As a Graphic Design major, you may qualify for funding opportunities such as:

  • Anthony and Sarah Taylor Scholarship, available to students pursuing a variety of majors, including Graphic Design
  • John W Lynch Memorial Scholarship for a graphic design major

You can view these scholarships and others by using the UCM Scholarship Finder.

Scholarships are also awarded to winners of our Student Citation Show. This is UCM’s annual art show for students majoring or minoring in an Art degree program, which includes our Graphic Design degree program.


Studio Art Laptop Requirement



Students on the UCM campus


Make yourself more marketable.

Deepen your understanding of various aspects of art when you choose one of these minors for your Graphic Design bachelor’s degree from UCM:

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Explore programs related to graphic design.

Students pursuing a Graphic Design degree from UCM often choose to double-major in one of the following:


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