Skip to main content

Explore the graphic communications bachelor's degree program at UW-Eau Claire

The graphic communications bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire combines graphic design and communication curriculum, creating one powerful degree. This unique, interdisciplinary major will prepare you to become both a talented designer and a creative, contemporary communicator — skills that are highly sought after in countless fields and industries.

Taking courses in graphic design, communication and journalism, and computer science, you'll learn how to produce work that effectively balances information with exceptional expressive design. Coursework throughout the major will teach you the latest technologies in graphic design, how to reach different audiences, and how to best communicate your concepts and ideas to the world. 

The growing major is rooted in experiential learning, with a strong focus on career preparation. Train on the same graphic and creative software found in the industry today. Gain professional experience during an internship. Help a local business during a service-learning project. Participate in collaborative student-faculty research. Or join workshops and seminars from community experts and artists in the field.

Graduates of the graphic communications degree enter the working world with a polished portfolio, real-world experience and a diverse set of skills. You may choose to pursue a career in graphic design, work in marketing, help companies build their visual identities, improve websites, manage brands — or anything else that interests you. With a degree in graphic communications from UW-Eau Claire, the possibilities are endless. 

An overnight GIPHY sensation

Alissa Salzwedel quickly found what she was looking for in graphic communications – a way to utilize her creativity and improve as an illustrator. While in the program, she applied to become an artist for GIPHY, which powers GIFs for social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Her illustrations gained millions of views overnight.

“I saw the first GIF I ever made had hit the trending page; it already had 27 million views,” Alissa says. “It was unbelievable.”

At the time, she was taking an art class that required students to create branding for a made-up business. For her project, Alissa shared the work she was doing with GIPHY. Her professor and classmates’ enthusiastic reactions made her feel even better about what she was doing.

“Lots of people use GIFs but not many people know who made them,” Alissa says. “So, I got a lot of recognition from my class for what I was doing, which was awesome.”

Why graphic communications at UW-Eau Claire?

Valuable student organizations. Numerous student clubs and organizations are available to art and design majors. A popular student org for graphic communications students is the Graphic Communications Design Club. As a member, you'll have the opportunity to broaden your professional knowledge of the design field, create strong networking connections, and participate in both community and national projects with other artists and designers.

Skill-building curriculum. A variety of electives within the graphic communications degree allows you to become an expert in multiple areas of communication and design. Explore courses in multimedia communication, webpage design, web programming and animation. Unique projects and assignments throughout the program will enhance your presentation, analytical, investigative, mathematical and problem-solving skills.

Opportunities to travel. All graphic communications majors are required to participate in a travel experience while studying at UW-Eau Claire. This could include a study abroad program, one of the department’s national field trips or at least two of the department’s regional field trips. Explore contemporary art and design in Minneapolis, Chicago and New York City. Or find inspiration in some of the world's art and architecture meccas, like Florence, Rome or Paris. 

Art close to home. UW-Eau Claire is home to the Foster Gallery, the largest art gallery in the Eau Claire area. Art and design students can take advantage of this learning space through exhibition receptions, open viewings, installation opportunities, guest speaker presentations and the chance to participate in the annual juried student art show.

Connection to local employers. Annual on-campus Career Conferences and a Client Communication and Management Career Fair bring potential employers right to you. These events are excellent opportunities to network and submit your resume for current and future job openings. 

Quick facts

Graphic communications program details
  • Program length: four years
  • Offered: in person
  • Campus: Eau Claire
  • This major does not require a minor.
  • Students majoring in this program may choose either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.
Student organizations
  • Art Student Association (ASA)
  • None of the Above (NOTA)
  • Graphic Communications Design Club
  • The Spectator

What can I do with a graphic communications degree from UWEC?

As a graduate of the graphic communications bachelor's degree program, you'll enter the working world with a diverse, versatile set of skills. You may choose to pursue a career in graphic design, printing, marketing, communications, computer science — as well as jobs that require expertise in a number of these areas. 

Graphic communications jobs

My interdisciplinary degree in graphic communications required me to take courses that not only pertained to my major and interests but also exposed me to many different skill sets, fields of work and ways to integrate my degree that I had never really considered before.

Joseph L. Grosskreutz Graphic Communications
UW-Eau Claire student Kristina Tlusty stands in front of UNICEF sign

Internships lead to dream job

Blugolds are known for pursuing internships, and graphic communications graduate Kristina Tlusty was no exception. She had five internships during her time at UWEC. Through each of those roles, Kristina was able to experience the real-life application of what she loved about her graphic design courses.

“I'm a huge advocate of internships and would encourage any Blugold to pursue them when it’s possible," Kristina said.

Her most recent internship for UNICEF later evolved into a contract position, and Kristina is now a junior visual designer within the organization’s Office of Innovation. Kristina's many internship opportunities and solid foundation of graphic design courses helped her discover what she wanted to do with her career — and helped make that desire a reality.

“If I know one thing about the kind of work I want to do, it’s that I want to use design to do good and, more specifically, support the people who have been doing so in their communities,” Kristina said. “I'm so lucky to have found this role that supports UNICEF's work and history of advocating for the rights of the world's children.”

Graphic communications bachelor’s degree program curriculum

Curriculum within the graphic communications program includes core foundation courses in art as well as courses in art history, graphic design, typography, visual identity design, visual communication design, digital design and graphic communications. Coursework will prepare you to develop creative solutions to artistic and communication challenges and increase your awareness of diverse audiences. Electives throughout the degree allow you to specialize in topics that interest you, such as brand and reputation management, web database design or digital animation. 

What classes do graphic communications majors take?

Your classes may cover topics like: 

Learn more about the comprehensive graphic communications major in the UWEC course catalog.

Related programs at UW-Eau Claire

Thinking about a bachelor’s degree in graphic communications? Here are other programs you may be interested in exploring.

Department information

Photo of student work in the Foster Galley

Art and Design

Haas Fine Arts Center 104
121 Water Street
Eau Claire, WI 54703
Visit the Art and Design department website

Request info

Looking to learn more about being a Blugold? Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you're most interested in.

Tour campus

See our beautiful campus for yourself! Schedule a campus tour and get an inside look at life at UWEC.

Contact admissions

Connect directly with an Admissions counselor and get all your questions answered.

Apply now

Ready to be a Blugold? Complete your application here.