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. With a graphic design degree, along with an updated portfolio aimed toward your ideal clients, you can apply your creative streak toward a career in business, government, or industry as a graphic designer, manager, or communications specialist.

These program requirements are for students who enroll in the 2019–2020 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 using Adobe Creative Cloud software, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere, After Effects, and Animate.

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

This program requires 33 credits of coursework 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

This program requires 46 credits of minor and/or elective coursework.

General Education Requirements

This program requires 41 credits of general education coursework.

Research and Computing Literacy

  • PACE 111C or other PACE 111 course
    (to be taken in first 6 credits)
  • LIBS 150, CAPL 398A, or other general education elective
  • CMST 301 or another computing course appropriate to the major

Communication

  • WRTG 111 or other writing course
  • WRTG 112
  • SPCH 100 or other communication, writing, or speech course
  • WRTG 391 or other advanced upper-level writing course

Mathematics

  • MATH 105 or other approved math or statistics course

Arts and Humanities

  • ARTH 375 or other arts and humanities course
  • HUMN 100 or other arts and humanities course

Behavioral and Social Sciences

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

Biological and Physical Sciences

  • One of the following pairs of lecture and laboratory courses in the same session:
    • BIOL 101 and BIOL 102
    • NSCI 100 and NSCI 101
    • Other paired science lecture and laboratory courses taken in the same session
  • GEOL 100 or other science lecture course

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. 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 advisor 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 advisor 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.