Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Graphic design is a form of visual communication with a broad range of applications, from advertising to activism and everything in between. It is a creative practice that draws from a range of fields including visual arts, technology, psychology, sociology, and business. It is a process of developing original ideas and crafting dynamic solutions that are engaging, meaningful, and memorable. Graphic designers are strategic thinkers, problem solvers, and makers of visual stories that inform, advocate, and persuade.

graphic design images of app design and magazine article

Our BFA in Graphic Design is a professional degree, is NASAD accredited, and provides in-depth study with 2/3 of the required coursework within the major. The comprehensive curriculum includes digital and print design, typography and layout, UX/UI and web design, design methods and research, branding and advertising, animation and motion design. Located in the Macy and Rowe buildings, our facilities provide 24/7 access to the latest tools and technologies, which include four Macintosh Computer labs with Adobe software, printers, scanners, as well as the RoFL digital fabrication lab.

photography students taking pictures at unc charlotte

The program is interdisciplinary. Graphic design majors first form a foundation in visual art to build their abilities across a broad range of 2D, 3D, and digital media. Students also explore the history of art and design to broaden their understanding of visual culture and the impact their work has on the world around them. Elective courses offer opportunities to pursue related studio disciplines, from illustration to time-based media such as photography, video editing, or animation.

unc charlotte graphic design students working in the classroom

Our approach to design education is holistic, and our goal is to graduate thoughtful, well-rounded, and ambitious creative professionals. In addition to teaching aesthetics, design strategies, and computer skills, we equip individuals with the ability to collaborate with others, articulate their ideas, and connect with communities outside of their own. As students prepare to enter the field, capstone courses center on the development of a semester-long thesis project and a public presentation, as well as the creation of a personal portfolio and self-promotion materials.

photo 1 of charlotte billboard designed by unc charlotte graphic design major; photo 2 of graphic design student organization

Outside the classroom, there are ample opportunities to network and build valuable experience, which includes professional internships located on and off-campus. Our diverse community of designers also apply their skills and lead student organizations such as NinerDesigner, Nova – a literary arts magazine, and Midas Magazine – a journal of fashion and culture. Located in the rapidly growing city of Charlotte, our program is uniquely positioned to provide access to a large number of design studios, ad agencies, small businesses, large corporations, non-profits, and arts institutions upon graduation.

Our students have recently completed internships with the following employers:

Studios & Agencies

  • Wray Ward
  • Luguire
  • Big Idea Group
  • Little Red Bird
  • Saturday Brand

National Brands

  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Husqvarna
  • Krispy Kreme

Non-Profit Orgs

  • Mint Museum
  • Bechtler Museum
  • Goodwill Industries
  • Center for Racial Equity in Edu.
  • QnotesCarolinas


  • Athletics
  • UComm
  • CoA+A
  • International Programs
  • Career Center

Hear from recent BFA in Graphic Design graduate Myles Hunt about his experience in the program and his job with NASCAR.

We encourage students with a range of creative backgrounds to apply, including those interested in visual art, digital media, and/or technology. Due to the large number of submissions received each year, admission to the program is highly competitive. Acceptance is limited to a select number of applicants who demonstrate the greatest potential for successful completion of the program.

explore student graphic design work link to photos