Jun 23, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 

Graphic Design and Media (BS)

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Graphic Design and Media Major - Bachelor of Science (BS)

Please see the UNLV College of Fine Arts web page at http://www.unlv.edu/finearts for information about department programs, faculty and facilities. Degree worksheets and 4/5 year plan for the major are available at https://www.unlv.edu/degree/bs-graphic-design-media.

Please see advising information at the UNLV College of Fine Arts Advising Center at www.unlv.edu/finearts/advising.


Institution - Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities www.nwccu.org

Learning Objectives

 Upon completion of the BS in Graphic Design & Media, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate fluency in technology and state of the art software applications used in design professions.
  2. Employ a workflow strategy appropriate to the technical and creative needs of a given context.
  3. Analyze and critically respond to examples of design verbally and in written form.
  4. Apply research to identify and focus design problems, in the context of a client and audience relationship.
  5. Apply multiple ideations and analytical strategies throughout the design process.
  6. Formulate original and appropriate design responses to observed conditions or cultural contexts.
  7. Assemble a competitive portfolio of quality works of design and media appropriate to the student’s focus and career goals. The portfolio works will demonstrate a range of creative strategies and original solutions effective within the identified design, communication, and social contexts.

Program Application Requirements

Each spring, a panel of Graphic Design faculty will review the work of qualifying students for acceptance into the Graphic Design & Media program. Students who are selected to the program may continue taking the remaining Graphic Design & Media core courses. Students who are not recommended for the program may either change majors or reapply the following year. Students may apply for the program up to two times.


Required Courses
In order to qualify for the Graphic Design Program Portfolio Review, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.3 in all Art- and Design-related coursework. The students must have completed and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in the following prerequisites courses in order to apply to the program with at least a 2.3 GPA in each:

ART 101 Drawing I  

ART 107 Design Fundamentals I  

ART 108 Design Fundamentals II-3D  

ART 156 Design Fundamentals III  

GRC 210 Typography I   

GRC 250 Design & Media Studio I  

Students are encouraged to meet with a College of Fine Arts advisor—with their transcript or degree worksheet—the semesters prior to application in order to discuss course progression. Students can retake prerequisite courses in which they do not receive a 2.3 GPA in order to meet the course requirements must retake courses and meet the GPA standards before applying to the Graphic Design Program. Students also should be enrolled in, or already completed, GRC 320 Design Methods & Research  at the time of application. 

Transfer students must meet with a College of Fine Arts advisor—with their transcript—the semester prior to application in order to determine course equivalencies. Transfer students must also meet with the Graphic Design Program Coordinator, with their current portfolio of work, to assess the design projects developed thus far. Students who do not meet the course equivalencies and do not possess a portfolio of comparable work will be advised to take prescribed courses in order to meet the program requirements.

Portfolio and Application

After confirming that the course requirements have been met, students may apply for the Graphic Design & Media program by submitting a portfolio that includes the following:

  • A portfolio of projects completed within Graphic Design & Media core courses
  • Supportive work from other art or design-related courses or projects created outside of the university.

Specifications for the portfolio application and the deadline of application will first be announced during the Fall semester each year. Formal calls for applications are announced early in the Spring semester. Applications are due in the middle of the Spring semester.

University Graduation Requirements

Please see Graduation Policies for complete information

NOTE: The Graphic Design & Media curriculum is designed for students to graduate in a spring semester. Please see your academic advisor for more information regarding your progression and intended graduation date.


General Education Requirements - Subtotal: 38-46 Credits

First-Year Seminar - Credits: 3

English Composition - Credits: 6

Second-Year Seminar - Credits: 3

Mathematics - Credits: 3

Distribution Requirement - Credits: 19

Please see Distribution Requirement  for more information.

Multicultural and International- Credits: 0-6 credits

 Multicultural, one 3 credit course required
 International, one 3 credit course required (see note 2)

These courses may overlap with general education and major requirements. A single course may not meet the multicultural and international requirements simultaneously. For the list of approved multicultural and international courses, go to: facultysenate.unlv.edu/students

Major Requirements - BS in Graphic Design and Media - Subtotal: 69

Communications - Credits: 3

Design Program Requirements - Credits: 24

The core Graphic Design & Media courses are meant to be completed in sequence. Students will take GRC 210 and GRC 250 simultaneously, ideally in the fall semester. These two courses are required prior to applying to the program and progressing to the upper division Graphic Design & Media courses. Application to the program takes place during the spring semester.

Art or Design Electives - Credits: 3

At least 3 credits from an upper-division ART or GRC course.

Capstone Requirement - Credits: 3

The Capstone course is the final core requirement for the Graphic Design& Media program. It is only offered in the spring semester. Students in the Capstone course are expected to graduate at the end of the semester.

Electives - Credits: 5-13

Credits to be selected in consultation with advisor.

Total Credits: 120

Of the 120 credits required, 39 of these must be in upper-division course work (300-400).


  1. Social Science: One course each from three different fields for a total of nine credits. Courses used to satisfy the Constitutions requirement may not be used to meet Social Sciences distribution requirements. AAS and ANTH constitute one field.
  2. Students must take   to satisfy the international requirement.
  3.   (1 credit) may be taken only after completing at least one 400-level art history course with a B or better.

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