Graphic Arts

Undergraduate Major


Graphic designers make communication visible. They give visual form to information by combining words and images into important and persuasive messages. The Graphic Arts program offers a thought-provoking educational experience that provides students the skills needed to pursue a career in the visual arts. Learning is achieved through making. Critiques and discussions are centered around supporting the studio environment and projects. Beyond the classroom, many students supplement coursework with additional projects from both community and university organizations. 


The College of the Arts offers a B.F.A. in Graphic Arts only on the St. Petersburg campus. Learn more information about the program


Supported by small class sizes, one-on-one mentorship and award-winning design faculty, the Graphic Arts program prepares students for future success through interdisciplinary course study, small class size, and the exploration of new technologies and information environments.

students drawing at easels in a classroom

The program offers two concentrations: graphic design and illustration. The concept-driven graphic design concentration teaches students the fundamentals of design, design history and cutting-edge software and technology. Students explore ways to combine traditional and experimental design solutions and methodology through cultural literacy, studio process and visual language. 
The illustration concentration is encouraged for students that want to pursue a career in graphic design or a related field and are passionate about creating art via traditional fine arts such as drawing and painting. Students in this concentration use illustrative solutions and practices in their graphic design courses. Advanced illustration courses challenge students to explore narrative, editorial, advertising, storyboards, and concept art/design.
Students enrolled in the graphic arts program are encouraged to be active in the Tampa Bay community and collaborate with local organizations, as well as participate in local festivals like Localtopia and St. Printersburg. Graduates of the program have gone on to attend some of the top graduate design schools in the nation, such as Virginia Commonwealth University, Carnegie Mellon University, the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and the Maryland Institute College of Art. All students graduate with the skills, passion and imagination to become accomplished designers who are ready to challenge perceptions, redefine problems and embrace a diverse cultural audience.


Always refer to the Undergraduate Catalog for degree requirements. Students will normally begin progress toward the major by taking at least one course from the major core, as these often serve as prerequisites for the electives. Students are urged to consult with the Graphic Arts advisor to create the most beneficial set of courses.


For questions about this program, contact an Academic Advisor