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

Design logos, promotional materials and a promising future with a graphic design bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. This growing program is for students pursuing graduate studies or careers in graphic design — and is known for producing exceptional graduates.

Coursework throughout the major will teach you the ins and outs of graphic design and all that is possible with the degree. Explore the principles of typography and the history of lettering. Investigate the roles symbols and logos play in establishing visual identities. Learn the major color systems recognized by artists, printers and web designers. And better understand the importance of diversity, equity and inclusivity in graphic communication.

Professional development and career preparation are critical emphases of the program. To ensure graduates leave with a greater level of artistic development and focus, all graphic design students participate in an immersive, studio-focused curriculum. This includes a professional practices and portfolio seminar, where you'll develop a portfolio — including promotional materials — and learn best practices when interviewing for graphic design jobs.

Prior to graduation, you'll choose groups of your work to be featured in the Senior Exhibition, an impressive final semester showcase for all art students. This leads to a complete collection of your highest quality work and the confidence needed to hit the ground running during your first graphic design position and beyond. 

An overnight GIPHY sensation

Alissa Salzwedel quickly found what she was looking for in graphic design – 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.”

Graphic design degree scholarships

The UW-Eau Claire Foundation provides many scholarships for incoming and current Blugolds, including those pursuing a degree in graphic design. For example, the Lydia Passow Fine Arts Scholarship awards $3,000 to a talented art student. Another scholarship, the Frank McGinnis Scholarship, awards a variable number of scholarships — up to $2,000 — to students majoring in the fine arts and taking classes at UW-Eau Claire – Barron County. 

We are proud to provide the funds you need to pursue your dreams. Learn more about which resources are available to you by checking out our scholarships page.

Financial aid at UW-Eau Claire

Working to make your college education affordable is very important to us. We are here to walk you through the financial aid process and make applying for aid and paying your bill as easy as possible.

To get this process started, please contact our staff at Blugold Central — our one-stop shop for tuition and financial aid. They will help you learn how to pay for your education and minimize debt, freeing you up to focus on academics and your graphic design degree.  

Learn more about the financial aid process at UWEC.

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Quick facts

Graphic design program details
  • Program length: four years
  • Offered: in person
  • Campus: Eau Claire
  • This major does not require a minor.
  • Students majoring in this program will earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. 
Student organizations
  • Art Student Association (ASA)
  • None of the Above (NOTA)
  • Graphic Communications Design Club 

Graphic design bachelor’s degree program highlights

Exceptional career preparation. Throughout the graphic design program, you'll learn how to use the same graphic and creative software found in the industry today. An opportunity to pursue an internship — either on campus, off campus or both — will give you additional real-world experience and enhance your resume. 

Skill-building curriculum. A portion of the graphic design degree is made up of course electives, giving you the opportunity to pursue multiple interests and expand your skill set. Explore courses in painting, printmaking, 3D computer modeling, illustration, video and artist books. This all-encompassing approach allows you to enter the working world with a variety of skills and talents that can help take your graphic design career to the next level.

Opportunities to travel. All graphic design 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. 

Valuable student organizations. Numerous student clubs and organizations are available to art and design majors. A popular student org for graphic design 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.

What jobs can you get with a graphic design degree from UWEC?

Graduates of UW-Eau Claire's graphic design program are quick to find success, excelling in graphic design jobs all over the country. You'll find recent grads working for universities, marketing agencies, advertising agencies, media outlets and countless other organizations.

Where are graphic design alumni now? 

Graphic design jobs

If you love to communicate through art and design — this program is amazing. I was lucky enough to have some amazing professors who took the time to be great teachers and mentors. From learning what makes good design to staying on top of design programs and learning to code for web, it all prepared me for my career.

Janel Scott Graphic Design

Graphic design bachelor’s degree program curriculum

Curriculum within the graphic design bachelor's degree includes core foundation courses in art as well as courses in art history, graphic design, typography, visual communication design and digital design. Courses focus on providing students with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to create unique solutions that effectively and aesthetically solve public communication problems. A variety of electives throughout the major allow you to study additional areas of art that align well with a career in graphic design. 

Classes for graphic design majors may include:

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

Related programs at UW-Eau Claire

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

Department information

Learn more about the art and design department

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