B.A. Degree in Graphic Communications {19-20}

B.A. Degree in Graphic Communications

Graphic Communications majors focus on the creation and production of visual images. Coursework explores areas of print production and design as well as web and multimedia development. Intensive hands-on instruction with access to the latest industry equipment and software prepares graduates with professional industry knowledge and experience to excel in a variety of related career fields. To receive the B.A. Degree in Graphic Communications, the student must meet the minimum university requirements and specific requirements for the program. Completion of 120 credits is required for this degree which includes the Liberal Arts and Sciences Core (42 credits).

Admission Requirements

Pre-Graphic Communications Classification
Students who declare a Graphic Communications (GCOM) major are classified as Pre-Graphic Communications and cannot move to the Upper-Level Core courses until they complete all of the Foundation Core courses (all 100- and 200-level courses in the major) with a grade of “C” or higher and a major GPA of at least 3.0.

Once a Pre-GCOM student has met all the requirements, the student must apply for admission to the GCOM program. Admission to the program enables the student to register for courses in the GCOM Upper-Level Core. Once this application is approved by the GCOM program advisors, the student will receive the GCOM program code (0049) on their DAR and will be able to register for courses in the Upper-Level Core.

The student-initiate application for admission must provide evidence that:
1) The student has earned a “C” or above in all Pre-GCOM coursework (all Foundation Core courses), including transfer courses.
2) The student’s major GPA is at least 3.0 at the time of admission to the GCOM program.
3) The student has completed or enrolled in the 60th semester credit.

Graphic Communications Graduation Requirements
To graduate with a degree in Graphic Communications, students must complete all courses in the major with a “C” or above (which includes Foundation Core, Upper-Level Core, and Electives) and have a major GPA of at least 3.0.

Student Learning Outcomes

The program of study is designed to prepare a professional graphic communicator who possesses skills and knowledge acquired through education and hands-on experience necessary to secure entry-level employment in one of the following areas: graphic and digital design, multimedia authoring and development, web authoring and development, and computer animation.
  • The student will be able to apply oral, written, graphic and effective listening skills.
  • The student will be able to implement various forms of manual and computer technology inclusive in the development and production of the visual image. This includes the many industry standard hardware and software applications used by the graphic communications industry.
  • The student will be able to apply the methods of the graphic communications industry as described by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Printing Industries of America (PIA), and Graphic Communications Association (GCA).
  • The student will be able to understand the sequence of estimating work. This includes the design and implementation of a company, the establishing of BHR's, equipment selection, workspace design, and job estimation.
  • The student will be able to initiate a design project, formulate and communicate the purpose and scope of their project, work independently to complete all aspects of the project within the assigned timeframe, and present and interpret their work to industry practitioners.

Program Delivery Mode
Land plus: face-to-face where some online courses may be available or required

Core Requirements ( 20 credits )

Foundation Core Requirements (20 credits)
All 100- and 200-level courses in the major. Students are classified as Pre-Graphic Communications and cannot move to the Upper-Level Core until they complete all of the Foundation Core courses with a grade of “C” or higher and a major GPA of 3.0.

ART 125 Foundation Design (4)
ANIM 116 Foundations in Animation (3) or ANIM 216 3D Modeling (3)
GCOM 255 Beginning Computer Graphics (3)
GCOM 266 Introduction to Multimedia (3)
GDES 203 Introduction to Graphic Design (4)
COMM 230 Photography (3)

Designated Writing Intensive Course for Major
ENGL 387 Technical Report Writing (4) –or– ENGL 388 Creative Writing (3) –or– PMGT 385 Process Leadership (3)

Program Requirements

GCOM Computer and Software Requirements:

The GCOM program has a laptop requirement. Current equipment specifications as well as any purchase options will be discussed during the first semester of enrollment. Educational pricing for hardware purchases can be made through the MSUM bookstore, or at Software resources are referenced below.

MacBook Pro
Our recommendation is a 13” MacBook Pro customized during the purchase process to include 16gb of RAM. Be sure your model has a 256gb Solid State drive.

If you are looking for a larger screen size and more processing power, the MacBook Pro 16” is recommended. It comes with 16gb and the higher processing speed without additional customization on purchase.  

You will need a USB-C to USB adapter as well. USB-C hubs featuring ethernet, HDMI out, and passthrough charging are also available online (less expensive than Apple).


  • Mac Operating System Catalina 10.15
  • Microsoft Office - available for student rates and to download at
  • More information on creative software such as the Adobe CC, and Final Cut Pro for Film will be provided from your program instructors closer to the start of the semester

Additionally, if you are interested in pursuing an iPad for more digital design and illustration and the use of Adobe CC mobile applications, we suggest a range of offerings. The lowest cost being the iPad and pencil, to the higher cost iPad Pro and Apple Pencil (ideal for advanced Augmented Reality tasks).  

Upper-Level Core Requirements (22 credits)
Courses marked with * require consent of advisor and Senior status in the major.

GCOM 355 Intermediate Computer Graphics (3)
GCOM 366 Intermediate Web Design (3)
GCOM 368 Advanced Web Design (3)
GCOM 455 Advanced Computer Graphics (3)
GCOM 457 Digital Prepress (3)
GCOM 458 Digital Design & Production Studio (3) or GCOM 468 Interactive Multimedia Studio (3)
*GCOM 492A Graphic Communication Final Project A (2)
*GCOM 492B Graphic Communication Final Project B (2)

Related Requirements ( 7 credits )

LASC Related Requirements

PHIL 312 Business Ethics –or– PHIL 318 Professional Ethics (3)
FILM 285 History of Motion Pictures –or– FILM 275 Film Appreciation (4)

Restricted Electives ( 12 credits )

Twelve credits of elective courses from the following list. At least three credits MUST be a GCOM 290 or GCOM 390 course (special topics course).

GCOM 290/GCOM 390 Topics in GCOM (3)
GCOM 458 Digital Design & Production Studio (3) or GCOM 468 Interactive Multimedia Studio (3)
(whichever course not taken in the Upper-Level Core)
GDES 303 Typography (4)
GDES 304 Visual Concepts & Research (4)
GDES 305 Visual Systems & Brand Identity (4)
GDES 306 Motion Design (4)
ANIM 316 3D Animation (4)
ANIM 366 2D Animation & Motion Graphics (4)
ANIM 416 Animation Studio (4)
FILM 175 Video Production (4)
FILM 372 Editing Techniques (4)
ART 101 Basic Drawing I (4)
EIT 161 Intro to Copyright & Trademark Law (3)
EIT 181 Audio Technology Theory (3)
EIT 261 Legal & Ethical Issues in Entertainment (3)