Make your mark in graphic communication, a major that allows you to get paid for your creativity.

University of Maryland University College's Bachelor of Arts in graphic communication is a portfolio-intensive program that can help you master the skills and technology to compete in today's rapidly changing visual arts and communication environment.

These program requirements are for students who enroll in the 2017–2018 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit the catalog archive in the Current Students section.

About the Graphic Communication Bachelor's Degree

In the graphic communication bachelor's degree program, you'll receive training in graphic art and design, computer graphics, communication, business-oriented writing, and publication. You'll become well-versed in the language of design and adept at the Adobe Suite of software, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere, After Effects, and Flash.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Produce effective visual communications by applying principles of composition, layout, color theory, and context
  • Plan, design, and create interactive solutions, such as user interfaces, motion graphics, mobile applications, and web designs
  • Use professional, analytical, collaborative, and technical design skills to support team goals, roles, and responsibilities
  • Define and direct creative strategy in a business environment by combining scope, messaging, and evaluation of success in an overarching design campaign

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Create a portfolio to demonstrate work to potential employers
  • Develop a business plan for a communication arts business

Graphic Communication Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Courses in the Major

  • GRCO 100
  • ARTT 110
  • ARTT 120
  • ARTT 210
  • GRCO 230
  • GRCO 350
  • GRCO 354
  • GRCO 355
  • GRCO 450
  • GRCO 479
  • GRCO 495

Electives

The bachelor's degree in graphic communication requires 46 credits of minor and/or elective coursework.

General Education Requirements

Research Course 

  • LIBS 150
    (to be taken in first 6 credits)

Writing and Communication Courses

  • WRTG 101
  • WRTG 293 or other writing course  
  • COMM 202 or other communication, writing, or speech course
  • WRTG 391 or other advanced upper-level writing course

Arts and Humanities Courses 

  • HIST 125 or other arts and humanities course 
  • HUMN 100 or other arts and humanities course

Behavioral and Social Sciences Courses

  • ECON 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course
  • BEHS 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course

Biological and Physical Sciences Courses

  • BIOL 103 or other science lecture and laboratory course(s)
  • NSCI 100 or other science lecture course

Math Course 

  • MATH 106 or other 3-credit approved math or statistics course

Computing Courses

  • IFSM 201 or CMST 301
  • CMIS 111 or another computing course appropriate to the academic major

Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. Please also see more information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements.

Overall Bachelor's Degree Requirements

In addition to the general education requirements and the major, minor, and elective requirements, the overall requirements listed below apply to all bachelor's degrees.

  • You must complete a minimum of 120 credits
  • You must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall and a minimum grade of C for any class applied to the academic major or minor
  • Within the 120 credits required, the following coursework must be taken through UMUC:
    • 30 credits (normally the final 30)
    • Half of the required number of credits within both the major and the minor
    • 15 credits at the upper level (earned in classes numbered 300 to 499), preferably within the major or minor
  • At least 45 credits must be upper level and include
    • At least half of the credits required for the major
    • 3 credits in advanced writing
  • The remaining upper-level credits can be earned in any part of the curriculum
  • At least half the required number of credits for any academic major or minor must be earned through graded coursework. Credit earned by examination, portfolio assessment, or noncollegiate training does not count as graded coursework

Double majors: You can earn a dual major upon completion of all requirements for both majors, including the required minimum number of credits for each major and all related requirements for both majors. The same class cannot be used to fulfill requirements for more than one major. Certain restrictions (including use of credit and acceptable combinations of majors) apply for double majors. You cannot major in two programs with excessive overlap of required coursework. Contact an admissions counselor before selecting a double major.

Second bachelor's degree: To earn a second bachelor's degree, you must complete at least 30 credits through UMUC after completing the first degree. The combined credit in both degrees must add up to at least 150 credits. You must complete all requirements for the major. All prerequisites apply. If any of these requirements were satisfied in the previous degree, the remainder necessary to complete the minimum 30 credits of new classes should be satisfied with classes related to your major. You may not earn a second bachelor's degree in general studies and may not obtain a second associate's degree within the second bachelor's degree. Contact an admissions counselor before pursuing a second bachelor's degree.

Electives: Electives can be taken in any academic discipline. No more than 21 credits can consist of vocational or technical credit. Pass/fail credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits, can be applied toward electives only.

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help prepare you for a graphic design or communication management career in business, government, or industry. It is intended to provide you with a complete professional portfolio to work in the graphic communication field in areas such as graphic design, communication design, freelance graphic design, and art direction.