Graphic Design and Interactive Media

Graphic design is the art and practice of displaying ideas and experiences through imagery and text. The form the design takes may be physical or virtual and may range from something as small as an icon to as large as a museum installation.

Traditionally designers have worked in the publishing realm of books, magazines, and posters but with the many new opportunities digital has provided, graphic design plays a role in many different media including apps and webpages as well as games and other virtual experiences.

The Graphic Design program at SSU has placed many of its graduates in high-end design positions in the region and beyond. Students are grounded in foundational art, design, color, and type principles as well as introduced to and trained in some of the key software packages standard in the design industry. However, beyond these basics, the graphic design degree at SSU focuses on design as process and critical thinking to give form to content and enhance communication.

Students who successfully complete SSU's Graphic Design program will:
  • Develop proficiency in the tools, media, software, and technology related to visual design.
  • Create work that demonstrates a strong concept, focused research, and an understanding of design principles.
  • Employ a vocabulary for design critique and presentation.
  • Prepared for the challenges of professional practice with an understanding of the role design can play within the community and in solving problems, large and small.

Graphic Design degree requirements

All bachelor degree seeking students take the General Education Program. Graphic Design students also complete the Art Core, the Graphic Arts Core, 12 hours of electives, as well as their Design Specialization track.

Download an outline for how a four year sequence might look for each major.

Requirement Hours
General Education Program 32*
Art Core Requirements 30
Graphic Arts Core 24
Design Specialization Track (Design, 3D, or Interactive) 21
Art Studio Electives 6
General Electives 6
Total Hours Required 119**

* The Art Core contains three art history courses that satisfy requirements in the GEP.
** A minimum of 120 total hours are required to graduate.

Graphic Arts Core

Required by all Graphic Design tracks.

Graphic Arts - Requirements (15 Hours - All Courses)
ARTS 2613 Typography 3
ARTS 3611 Digital Imaging 1 3
ARTS 3612 Digital Illustration 1 3
ARTS 3631 Visualist Studio 1 3
ARTS 3632 Visualist Studio 2 3
Graphic Arts - Electives (9 Hours - Choose 3 Courses)
ARTS 3621 Digital Paint 1 3
ARTS 4621 Digital Paint 2 3
ARTS 3622 Digital Video 1 3
ARTS 4622 Digital Video 2 3
ARTS 4611 Digital Imaging 2 3
ARTS 4612 Digital Illustration 2 3
ARTS 4613 Digital Publishing 2 3

Elective Requirements

Students in the Graphic Design program will take 6 credit hours of ART courses and 6 credits of courses outside the department.

Design Specialization Track

Graphic Design students choose one of the following tracks for 21 credit hours in their area of specialization:

Design Track

The design track concentrates on two-dimensional design and image manipulation as it applies to the graphic design industry.

Design Track - Requirements (12 Hours - All Courses)
ARTS 3613 Digital Publishing 1 3
ARTS 3641 Interactive Foundations 3
ARTS 4631 Graphic Design Studio 3 3
ARTS 4632 Graphic Design Studio 4 3
Design Track - Electives (9 Hours - Choose 3 Courses)
ARTS 2211 Drawing 1 3
ARTS 2212 Drawing 2 3
ARTS 2221 Life Drawing 1 3
ARTS 2222 Life Drawing 2 3
ARTS 2511 Photography 1 3
ARTS 2512 Photography 2 3
ARTS 2711 Illustration 1 3
ARTS 2712 Illustration 1 3
ARTG 3601 3D Foundations Studio 3

3D Design Track

The 3D design track concentrates on 3D animation art as it is used for film and video.

3D Design - Requirements (9 Hours - All Courses)
ARTG 3601 Digital 3D Foundations 3
ARTG 3611 Inorganic Studio 1 3
ARTG 3612 Organic Studio 1 3
3D Design - Electives (12 Hours - Choose 4 Courses)
ARTG 3613 Digital Dynamics and 3D Properties 1 3
ARTG 4611 Inorganic Studio 2 3
ARTG 4612 Organic Studio 2 3
ARTG 4613 Digital Dynamics and 3D Properties 2 3
ARTG 4621 Animation Studio 1 3
ARTG 4622 Animation Studio 2 3
ARTG 4631 Scripting for 3D Animation 3

Interactive Media Track

The interactive media track concentrates on interactive development for screen based media such as web and mobile.

Interactive Media Studio (12 Hours - All Courses)
ARTS 3641 Interactive Foundations 3
ARTS 4641 Interactive Media 1 3
ARTS 4642 Interactive Media 2 3
BUIS 1500 Client-Side Web Publishing 3
Interactive Media Electives (9 Hours - Choose 3 Courses)
ARTS 4631 Graphic Design Studio 3 3
ARTS 4632 Graphic Design Studio 4 3
BUIS 2350 Javascript Programming 3
BUIS 2500 Web Software Tools 3
BUIS 4500 E-Commerce 3
BUIS 3100 Database Systems 3
BUIS 3500 Server-Side Web Publishing 3

What's next?

Graphic designers can be found working in nearly every industry from healthcare to entertainment to government. Graphic design is a great way to make art and design a part of your life and career. Talk with one of our advisors to see what is possible.

Get Started

This degree is coordinated by Professor Matt Cram. For information, contact

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