Graphic Design Emphasis | Art Major | Concordia University Irvine

Art Major

Graphic Design Emphasis

School of Arts and Sciences


The undergraduate Graphic Design emphasis within the Art major allows you to become proficient in digital publishing, digital image manipulation and digital illustration. As you prepare for a career in the dynamic and ever-changing field of Graphic Design, you will gain skills in software programs designers need to know, understand the foundations of good design, and build your personal portfolio, gaining real-world experience.

Building on a foundation of core courses that hone your artistic skills, Graphic Design majors are trained to use signs and symbols to convey an idea or concept through innovative thinking. Students gain a core knowledge in traditional linear print media, web design, motion graphics and time-based media.

With a degree in Art: Graphic Design, some of the jobs and skill sets you will be prepared for include:

  • Creative Director
  • Graphic Designer
  • Industrial/Product Designer
  • Multimedia Artist/Animator
  • Web Designer
  • Print Designer
  • Package Designer
  • Advertising
  • Branding Designer/Developer


  • Art Core
  • 27 Units
  • ART 200: Elements of Art
  • 3

In this course students will be given a practical introduction to the basics of art through creative studio activities involving the elements of art in a variety of media with two-dimensional projects. A lab fee is required. This class is offered each semester.

  • ART 201: Drawing I
  • 3

This studio art course will introduce the basic approaches to observational drawing in a variety of media, methods, and subject matter through lectures, demonstrations, slide presentations, studio drawing, out-of-class drawing, sketching, and critiques. A lab fee is required. This class is offered each semester.

  • ART 202: 3D Design and Visualization *
  • 3

This studio art course is an introduction to the study of three-dimensional (3D) design. Students will be exposed to the principles of 3D design and its similarities and departure from 2D design. By translating ideas and 2D images to 3D constructions, students will begin to master 3D design processes, solve design problems three-dimensionally and enhance their 3D visualization quotient. Students will also develop a basis competency and appreciation for craftsmanship and digital 3D design tools (Stetchup). Lab fee is required.

  • ART 251: Design *
  • 3

This course is a continuation of Elements of Art, with emphasis on the properties and handling of color as a design tool. Students will gain an understanding of color relationships, as well as learn to identify, and analyze the principles and elements of design. Students will utilize these theories and principles in the creation of their own unique designs.

  • ART 301: Drawing II *
  • 3

Students will be helped to establish a style and technique emphasizing discipline, craftsmanship, and imagination in this course as they use a variety of drawing materials and investigate perspective, composition, line, tone control, and a personal point of view. A lab fee is required. Prerequisite: ART 201 or consent of instructor.

  • ART 321: Painting I
  • 3

This studio art course will introduce students to the basic approaches of oil and acrylic painting, painting techniques, form, content, visual appreciation, and personal expression through lectures, demonstrations, slide presentations, studio painting, out-of-class painting, sketching, and critiques. A lab fee is required. Prerequisite: ART 201. This class is offered every fall semester.

  • ART 498: Senior Art Seminar *
  • 3

The purpose of this course is to assist students to gain a more complete understanding of the complex nature of art making and its role in a social, historical, cultural, and personal context. Intended to serve as a capstone experience for students in the Studio Arts major, this course is designed to complement and work in conjunction with preparations for the Senior Exhibition. A lab fee is required. Prerequisite: Senior standing and consent of the instructor.

  • Choose two of the following courses:
  • ART 331: Sculpture I
  • 3

This course will introduce students to the concepts, materials, and methods of sculpture as creative ideas are developed in wood, clay, plaster, found objects, and cardboard. Principles and use of equipment, material sources, and safety factors will be addressed. A lab fee is required. This class is offered alternate years in the spring semester.

  • ART 341: Ceramics I
  • 3

This course will introduce clay from the process of construction through the completion of a finished piece using the following methods: pinch, coil, slab, wheel, and decorative. A lab fee is required. This class is offered every fall semester.

  • ART 351: Printmaking I
  • 3

This course will provide an introduction to printmaking media with an emphasis on experimentation through techniques such as the monoprint, relief, and silkscreen. Prerequisites: ART 200 and ART 201 or consent of the instructor. This class is offered alternate years in the fall semester.

  • Graphic Design Emphasis
  • 27 Units
  • ART 315: The History of Contemporary Art
  • 3

This course will examine the art of the last half of the 20th and 21st centuries as it explores the ideas that became seminal points of interest for contemporary artists during this period. Students will study how art reflects history; how style communicates the concerns of the artist and their culture; and how symbols, techniques, materials, and subjects are used to convey the issues important to contemporary artists. This class is offered every fall semester.

  • ARTG 261: Graphic Design I
  • 3

This studio art course will give students an introduction to the study of graphic design, as they are exposed to the history of visual communication, typography, advertising, and learn how to identify the elements and principles of design by creating image and text related projects. Students will also develop skills using the digital techniques of scanning, typographic adjustments, vector drawing, exporting, and printing. Prerequisites: ART 201 and ART 251 or consent of instructor. Offered alternate years.

  • ARTG 270: Digital Publishing
  • 3

In this course students will develop page layout skills utilizing composition and typographic principles while learning to use Adobe InDesign and the creation of images in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop, including text to produce flyers, posters, newsletters, magazines, brochures, calendars, etc.

  • ARTG 271: Digital Image Manipulation
  • 3

Students will become proficient using Adobe Photoshop in this course, including its applications in graphic design, advertising, web design, animation, and multimedia. Examination of the ways in which complex ideas and messages can be interpreted and represented in visual form will also be included. A lab fee is required.

  • ARTG 272: Digital Illustration
  • 3

In this course students will acquire type manipulation and digital illustration skills through exercises, demonstrations, and practical assignments using Adobe Illustrator, including the development of an individualized artistic process to produce digital illustrations that convey specific messages. A lab fee is required.

  • ARTG 300: History of Graphic Design
  • 3

This survey course will examine the history of graphic design as students gain a broader understanding of how design affects and is affected by the culture; identify individual illustrators, designers, and artists; and recognize specific styles and movements. This course is offered every spring semester.

  • ARTG 360: Typography
  • 3

This course will give a historical overview of type and typographic technologies that will introduce students to the formal qualities of different typefaces and teach them to use type as an expressive communication tool. This is an essential course for anyone wishing to communicate with the printed word. A lab fee is required. Prerequisite: ARTG 261 or consent of the instructor. This class is offered every fall semester.

  • ARTG 361: Graphic Design II
  • 3

Students will produce intermediate design projects that emphasize aesthetics, the theory of design, and the relationship between text and image in this course including the development of digital imaging and layout skills using Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. A portion of this course will be devoted to a service learning assignment creating design projects for a nonprofit organization within the community. A lab fee is required. Prerequisites: ARTG 261. Offered alternate years.

  • ARTG 461: Graphic Design III
  • 3

This course will allow students to complete advanced graphic design projects to fill gaps in their portfolios, emphasizing their preparation to become professional graphic designers through the production of strong portfolios that can be used to gain internships or employment. Prerequisite: ARTG 361. This course is offered every spring semester.

Current students, please note: The requirements listed here may not reflect the most current courses for this major and may not be the requirements for the catalog year you are following to complete your major. Please refer to the Academic Catalog for official requirements you must meet to qualify for a degree.

Get in Touch

For more information about the Art major at Concordia University Irvine, we invite you to contact us directly.

Rachel Hayes
Department Chair, Associate Professor of Art
(949) 214-3290

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