Graphic Design

Bachelor of Science Degree: 182.0 quarter credits

About the Program

The Bachelor of Science curriculum in graphic design provides a balance of traditional and technical artistic studies enhanced by general education coursework in humanities and social sciences. Students develop a sophisticated approach to creative problem solving and develop skills in typography, image generation, corporate identity, information graphics, web design, three-dimensional design and motion graphics. Students experience a broad range of two- and three-dimensional projects and remain current on electronic applications and emerging technologies.

Students can also pursue advanced elective coursework in web & motion graphic design, environmental graphic design (wayfinding systems, exhibition design, identity graphics), experimental publication design and other interdisciplinary special topics projects.

Additional Information

For more information about the major, visit the Graphic Design program online.

Degree Requirements 

General Education Requirements
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: The Craft of Persuasion3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Thematic Analysis Across Genres3.0
MATH 119Mathematical Foundations for Design4.0
PHYS 121Physical Science for Design I4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience2.0
Arts and humanities electives9.0
Natural science elective4.0
Social science electives9.0
Free electives23.0
Co-operative education (two terms)0.0
Visual Studies Requirements
ARTH 101History of Art I: Ancient to Medieval3.0
ARTH 102History of Art II: High Renaissance to Modern3.0
ARTH 103History of Art- Early to Late Modern3.0
PHTO 110Photography3.0
VSST 101Design I4.0
VSST 102Design II4.0
VSST 103Design III4.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
VSST 111Figure Drawing I3.0
VSST 301Painting I4.0
VSST 321Screenprint I4.0
Visual Studies (VSST) elective4.0
Graphic Design Requirements
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
PHTO 210Intermediate Photography3.0
VSCM 100Computer Imaging I3.0
VSCM 200Computer Imaging II3.0
VSCM 230Visual Communication I4.0
VSCM 231Visual Communication II4.0
VSCM 232Visual Communication III4.0
VSCM 240Typography I3.0
VSCM 241Production3.0
VSCM 242Typography II3.0
VSCM 330Visual Communication IV4.0
VSCM 331Visual Communication V4.0
VSCM 340Typography III3.0
VSCM 350 [WI] Graphic Design: 20th Century and Beyond3.0
VSCM 430Visual Communication VI4.0
VSCM 450Professional Portfolio3.0
or VSCM 455 Electronic Portfolio
VSCM 460Professional Practice3.0
or VSCM 477 Graphic Design Seminar
VSCM 496Senior Thesis Graphic Design3.0
VSCM 440Book Design4.0
WMGD 210Motion Graphics I4.0
WMGD 220Web Graphics I4.0
Graphic Design Elective4.0
Select from the following recommended courses:
Introduction to Advertising
Print Advertising I
Television and Web Advertising
Print Advertising II
Architectural Signage
Introduction to Environmental Graphic Design
Wayfinding
Design Techniques and Materials
Exhibit Design
Environmental Branding
Web Graphics II
Motion Graphics II
Special Topics
Total Credits182.0

 

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Center. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

Sample Plan of Study  

BS in Graphic Design: General Plan of Study

Term 1Credits
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
PHYS 121Physical Science for Design I4.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 101Design I4.0
VSST 110Introductory Drawing3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 2
ARTH 101History of Art I: Ancient to Medieval3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: The Craft of Persuasion3.0
UNIV A101The Drexel Experience1.0
VSST 102Design II4.0
Natural science elective4.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 3
ARTH 102History of Art II: High Renaissance to Modern3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Thematic Analysis Across Genres3.0
MATH 119Mathematical Foundations for Design4.0
VSCM 100Computer Imaging I3.0
VSST 103Design III4.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 4
ARTH 103History of Art- Early to Late Modern3.0
PHTO 110Photography3.0
VSCM 200Computer Imaging II3.0
VSCM 230Visual Communication I4.0
VSCM 240Typography I3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 5
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
PHTO 210Intermediate Photography3.0
VSCM 231Visual Communication II4.0
VSCM 242Typography II3.0
VSST 111Figure Drawing I3.0
 Term Credits13.0
Term 6
VSCM 232Visual Communication III4.0
VSCM 241Production3.0
WMGD 220Web Graphics I4.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 7
ARTH 300 [WI] History of Modern Design3.0
VSST 321Screenprint I4.0
WMGD 210Motion Graphics I4.0
Arts and Humanities elective3.0
Graphic Design elective *4.0
 Term Credits18.0
Term 8
VSCM 330Visual Communication IV4.0
VSCM 340Typography III3.0
Visual Studies (VSST) elective**4.0
Arts and Humanities elective 3.0
Social science elective3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 9
VSST 301Painting I4.0
VSCM 331Visual Communication V4.0
VSCM 350 [WI] Graphic Design: 20th Century and Beyond3.0
Social science elective 3.0
Arts and Humanities elective3.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 10
VSCM 430Visual Communication VI4.0
VSCM 440Book Design4.0
Social science elective3.0
Free elective3.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 11
VSCM 450
or 455
Professional Portfolio
Electronic Portfolio
3.0
Free electives9.0
 Term Credits12.0
Term 12
VSCM 460
or 477
Professional Practice
Graphic Design Seminar
3.0
VSCM 496Senior Thesis Graphic Design3.0
Free electives8.0
 Term Credits14.0
Total Credit: 182.0

*

 See degree requirements for list of Graphic Design electives.

**

 Visual Studies (VSST) elective: choose from any upper-level VSST course.



Co-op/Career Opportunities

Potential employers include advertising agencies, publishers, printers, independent and in-house design studios, museums and galleries, magazines and newspapers, and television.Training in visual communication prepares an individual for careers in many fields because the problem-solving methods and organizational skills it builds are widely applicable.

Co-Op Experiences


Some past co-op employers of graphic design students include:

  • The Franklin Institute
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • Quirk Books
  • Esquire
  • Electronic Ink
  • Razorfish
  • Happy Cog
  • Philadelphia Union
  • McGraw-Hill Publishing
  • Comcast
  • The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University


Visit the Drexel Steinbright Career Development Center page for more detailed information on co-op and post-graduate opportunities.
 

Facilities

The Graphic Design classrooms are located on the fourth floor of the URBN Center in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. There are five dedicated classroom workspaces equipped with up-to-date electronic and traditional tools. Classrooms have work surfaces for traditional practices that will accommodate 15 students, and wall surfaces for critiques or posting examples of printed work. In addition, students have access to a dedicated, non-scheduled Graphic Design “Open Lab” equipped with all necessary technology and work surfaces.

Courses

VSCM 100 Computer Imaging I 3.0 Credits

This course explores current potentials, limitations, and issues related to use of computer software for design applications. Projects include graphics creation and manipulation; image acquisition, creation and manipulation; text creation and manipulation; typography; input and output options and control; hardware/software/system fundamentals; and troubleshooting.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit

VSCM 140 Calligraphy 3.0 Credits

Covers the skills and understanding of letterforms as geometry and type, development of hand/eye skill in letter-forming, investigation of solids and voids, and use of traditional and modern tools and materials. Studio.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: VSST 110 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 200 Computer Imaging II 3.0 Credits

Provides continued study of electronic imaging with emphasis on Graphic Design process for print and screen design.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: VSCM 100 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 230 Visual Communication I 4.0 Credits

Provides an overview of graphic design as an applied art. Covers the given, the formal, and the psychological aspects of graphic design.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Cannot enroll if classification is Freshman
Prerequisites: VSST 102 [Min Grade: D] or VSST 105 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 231 Visual Communication II 4.0 Credits

Continues VSCM 230. Covers corporate identity and explores logo development using the pictoral mark, typographic solution, and abstract interpretation as symbols of identity.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Cannot enroll if classification is Freshman
Prerequisites: VSCM 230 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 232 Visual Communication III 4.0 Credits

Examines problems in graphic design on the relationship between designer and client, including solving specific situations of image-making with emphasis on the total identity of an organization, firm, or publication. Involves extensive exploration of color and imagery. Studio.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: VSCM 231 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 240 Typography I 3.0 Credits

Uses the history of type as the backdrop for the introduction to the art and craft of conventional through state-of-the-art typesetting as well as the creative and extraordinary use of type. Focuses on the letter, word, and sentence. Studio/lecture.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: VSST 101 [Min Grade: D] or VSST 104 [Min Grade: D] or VSST 108 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 241 Production 3.0 Credits

Covers traditional and electronic means of print production. Explores alternate means of production and various printing and output methods. Studio.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: VSCM 240 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 242 Typography II 3.0 Credits

Continues VSCM 240. Broadens the scope to deal with the paragraph and the typeset page, with increased attention to the importance of subtleties and refinements. Explores the differing requirements of type in relationship to pictorial images.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: VSCM 240 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 247 On Screen Typography 3.0 Credits

This course develops a visual sensitivity to typographical compositions on screen while expanding knowledge of current technologies.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is DIGM or major is GRDS.

VSCM 330 Visual Communication IV 4.0 Credits

Examines problems in information graphics, including signage, environmental graphic design, and exhibit design. Studio.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: VSCM 232 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 331 Visual Communication V 4.0 Credits

Focuses on techniques and methods of advanced problem solving. Through a series of three projects, the student learns to analyze conceptual and contextual relationships pertinent to any visual communication assignment. Studio.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: VSCM 330 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 340 Typography III 3.0 Credits

Typography III concentrates on the exploration and management of large blocks of text in specific design problems. Special emphasis will be placed on the style and readability of typographic treatments.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: VSCM 242 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 350 [WI] Graphic Design: 20th Century and Beyond 3.0 Credits

Concentrates on impact and significance of the graphic design profession in society through the history and movements of the profession and the work of 20th-century masters of visual communication. Students will analyze conceptual and contextual relationships and develop greater awareness of stylistic content and its relevance to the culture. This is a writing intensive course.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if classification is Junior or Senior.

VSCM 360 Design on Site 3.0 Credits

Weekly visits to studios of various design disciplines such as small graphic design offices, environmental graphic design firms, advertising agencies, book and magazine publishers, and website developers. A written report is due at the end of the term.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is GRDS.
Prerequisites: VSCM 232 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 399 Independent Study in Graphic Design 0.5-12.0 Credits

Provides individualized study in graphic design in a specialized area of study. May be repeated for credit. Department permission required.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is GRDS and classification is Junior or Senior.

VSCM 430 Visual Communication VI 4.0 Credits

Continues VSCM 331. Explores three-dimensional graphic design processes and techniques for communication, including problems of scale, material, form, and function. Emphasizes package design. Includes point-of-purchase design. Studio.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: VSCM 331 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 440 Book Design 4.0 Credits

Investigates design of books, from their pre-Gutenberg origins to contemporary technology of design, binding, paper, and finishing. Includes multiple page formats, production grids, and sequential images. Lecture/studio.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: VSCM 331 [Min Grade: D] or ADGD 310 [Min Grade: D] or EVGD 220 [Min Grade: D] or WMGD 220 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 450 Professional Portfolio 3.0 Credits

Focuses on the preparation of a professional Graphic Design portfolio. A critical process that includes the screening of completed projects, reworking or expanding projects, and reconstructing/creating final portfolio components. A formal interview presentation of the portfolio is also explored and refined.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is GRDS.
Prerequisites: VSCM 430 [Min Grade: D] or ADGD 320 [Min Grade: D] or EVGD 320 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 455 Electronic Portfolio 3.0 Credits

Focuses on the design and production of a web based Graphic Design portfolio using web graphics and imagery through visuals, motion and sound within the software programs of Dreamweaver & Flash.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is GRDS.
Prerequisites: VSCM 232 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 460 Professional Practice 3.0 Credits

Covers running a design office, including basic contracts, fee structures, and the design process. Explores types of design offices; working with suppliers, printers, photographers, and illustrators; scheduling; resumes and portfolios; taxes; and marketing of graphic design services. Lecture/field work.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: VSCM 430 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 465 Special Topics in Graphic Design 3.0-12.0 Credits

Provides study in graphic design on a special topic or on an experimental basis. May be repeated for credit if topics vary.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit

VSCM 477 Graphic Design Seminar 3.0 Credits

Provides a forum for discussion of current ideas in design, with a focus on print and broadcast advertising graphics. Includes presentations by invited professionals. Requires board presentation.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Can be repeated multiple times for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is GRDS and classification is Junior or Senior.

VSCM 478 Graphic Design Seminar: Advanced Techniques 3.0 Credits

An exploration for the subtleties that distinguish excellence in graphic design print, web and motion venues. Selections include: Advanced Typography and Electronic Portfolio.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Can be repeated 3 times for 9 credits
Prerequisites: VSCM 340 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 479 Graphic Design Seminar: Advanced Media 3.0 Credits

An exploration of advanced media development in Graphic Design as relevancy and currency demands. Selections include: Illustration I and II and Bookmaking.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Can be repeated 3 times for 9 credits
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is GRDS.

VSCM 480 [WI] Graphic Design Seminar: Design Perceptions 3.0 Credits

An exploration of how graphic designers use visual communications tools and how audiences perceive them. Selections include: History of Visual Propaganda and Deconstruction Advertising. May be repeated for credit if topic varies.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Can be repeated 3 times for 9 credits

VSCM 482 Graphic Design for Cultural Organizations 3.0 Credits

Students experience firsthand how design can enhance the mission of cultural organizations, what it takes to develop innovative outreach programs, and how to apply for grants to achieve their creative endeavors. Projects assigned will be live, and will be conducted in and outside of the classroom.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Restrictions: Can enroll if major is GRDS.
Prerequisites: VSCM 430 [Min Grade: D] or ADGD 320 [Min Grade: D] or EVGD 320 [Min Grade: D] or WMGD 421 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 485 Annual Report Design 3.0 Credits

Development and analysis of the corporate annual report as a graphic design concept and as a developed marketing tool.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: VSCM 340 [Min Grade: D]

VSCM 496 Senior Thesis Graphic Design 3.0 Credits

Requires each student to define a problem and set a goal and strategies, develop a concept, and carry out a solution. Divides time among research, design, thematic development, and final presentation. Requires instructor approval of study.

College/Department: Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design
Repeat Status: Not repeatable for credit
Prerequisites: VSCM 430 [Min Grade: D]

Media Arts Faculty

Jack Cliggett, MFA (Syracuse University). Associate Professor. Graphic design; logo design, corporate identity, Chinese propaganda, and thesis.
E. June Ellaway-Lunn, MFA (Tyler School of Art, Temple University) Department Head of Media Arts. Associate Professor. Graphic design; logo design, corporate identity, publication design, book design, professional practice, professional portfolio, and thesis.
Jody Graff, BS (Drexel University) Program Director, Graphic Design. Instructor. Graphic design; publication design, annual report design, three-dimensional graphics and packaging, environmental graphic design (exhibition and wayfinding), and thesis.
Andrea Modica, MFA (Yale University). Associate Professor. Photography; portraiture, photojournalism, palladium printing, and thesis.
William Rees, BS (Drexel University) Assistant Program Director, Graphic Design. Instructor. Graphic design; logo design, corporate identity, publication design, electronic imaging, print production, web design, professional portfolio, and thesis.
Stuart Rome, MFA (Arizona State University). Professor. Photography; color photography, junior project, and thesis.
Paul Runyon, BFA (The University of New Mexico) Program Director, Photography. Associate Professor. Studio photography, view-camera photography, studio lighting, business aspects of photography.
Sandra Stewart, BFA (Temple University) Academic Associate Dean, Antionette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. Associate Professor. Graphic design; logo design, corporate identity, publication design, three-dimensional graphics and packaging, and thesis.
Amanda Tinker, MFA (Temple University). Instructor. Photography, history of photography, historical and alternative processes, and intermediate photography.
Mark Willie, MFA (Boston Museum School of Fine Arts). Instructor. Graphic design; typography, logo design, corporate identity, publication design, publication design, book design, professional portfolio, and thesis.
L. Kylie Wright, BA (University of Virginia). Instructor. Photography; digital photography, and master printing.
Shushi Yoshinaga, BFA (Philadelphia College of the Arts). Associate Professor. Graphic design; letterform, typography, and thesis.

Interdepartmental Faculty

Jervis Thompson, BS (Drexel University). Associate Teaching Professor. Digital media, interactive multimedia.
Blaise J. Tobia, MFA (University of California, San Diego) Director of the Digital Media Program. Professor. Photography, digital imaging.
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