St. John's College of Liberal Arts and SciencesQueens Campus
Prepare for an exciting career in graphic design in the creative capital of the United States—New York City!
Graphic designers create the visual world around us, designing everything from the logos of global corporations, posters for the hottest films, high-end fashion magazines, and captivating interactions on the websites and apps we use every day. This competitive field continues to grow rapidly.
The St. John’s University Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree in Graphic Design is a 132-credit program that provides aspiring graphic designers like you with the techniques, tools, and intellectual skills you need to develop your talents. You gain a full understanding of the theory and applications of graphic design principles, along with how to use color, photography, text, and composition to communicate powerfully and effectively in print and electronic media. You also develop your understanding of layout, design, and production principles.
Our program connects you to high-profile internships at organizations ranging from advertising agencies and design firms to non-profits. You also have the advantage of study abroad opportunities in cities rich with artistic tradition and vibrant contemporary design. Many of our graduates stay in New York City, where there is an extensive alumni network at companies such as NBC Universal, Nickelodeon, the NBA and WNBA, Fox News, Pentagram, BBDO Advertising, Grey Advertising, Nike, and Google.
The Department of Art and Design has attained the prestigious National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accreditation, held by selective art schools nationwide.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Graphic Design prepares students for a career in the fields of creative media by:
1. Teaching the core competencies of research, writing, critical and thinking through the continual observation and analysis of the visual and social world.
2. Instructing students in the tools, techniques, vocabulary, traditions and history of their chosen profession so as to make informed career decisions.
3. Providing the technical and intellectual preparation students need to develop their creative work, while they learn the problem-solving processes that are standard in their industry.
Professor and Chair
In addition to applying to St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, each B.F.A. candidate must submit their portfolio of original artwork to the Department of Art and Design via SlideRoom. This online portfolio service allows you to upload, label, arrange, and submit your portfolio electronically to faculty reviewers. We request 12-15 images using JPG format, but also accept other file types as per the instructions on the SlideRoom portal. Specific instructions for your portfolio upload are available on the department page, and in the SlideRoom Portal.
After completing the St. John's Undergraduate Application, you will be able to upload your images via SlideRoom.
Portfolios and applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but you must submit your portfolio via SlideRoom on or before January 15 to be considered for one of the visual art scholarships. For early action, please submit your portfolio via SlideRoom by December 15.
Please contact the Department Chair directly at [email protected] with any questions regarding this process.
For more information about admission to this and other acclaimed undergraduate programs at St. John's University, please visit Undergraduate Admission.
The Department of Art and Design awards two full-time, four-year scholarships to first-year students who demonstrate extraordinary proficiency and creative potential in their portfolio submission and have met the academic requirements of St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Three additional first-year students who demonstrate excellence in the visual arts are offered a $1,000 incentive scholarship. Students are selected through the portfolio review process and must submit their portfolio in our SlideRoom portal by January 15 to be considered. For more information, contact Nerissa Palad-Palermo at 718-990-6250 or [email protected].
To earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, you will complete 132 credits in core courses, major requirements, and elective courses as outlined below. For more information about courses, please see the St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section of our Undergraduate Bulletin.
*Please note that studio art courses meet for six hours per week.
In addition, you must select four art electives (12 credits total).
Design studios, advertising agencies, multimedia communications firms, and other businesses rely on designers’ creative problem-solving and technical skills to reach target audiences. Our program prepares you for the vast array of careers emerging in this growing industry. As part of the B.F.A. program in Graphic Design, you either enroll in a semester-long internship or spend a semester producing a creative thesis for exhibition at Dorksy Gallery Curatorial Programs in Long Island City, New York.
If you choose to do an internship, you will be placed at a publishing house, advertising agency, graphic design studio, or multimedia company during your senior year. The internship will allow you to hone your strong creative and critical thinking skills, gain professional experience, and launch your career. Many graphic design interns are hired directly from their internship sites before they even graduate.
Our faculty’s industry connections allow us to help you find internships and employment opportunities even after graduation. As a program alumnus, we invite you to participate in our networking events to build your own contacts throughout New York City’s vibrant design scene.
The Department of Art and Design has been at the forefront of Global Education since 1989. All B.F.A. student may take electives abroad. We offer courses and programs abroad in Rome, Paris, Spain, and around the world. We encourage you to use visual media to gain a broader understanding of humanity from both a global and personal perspective.
Some of the courses we offer abroad include:
For more information about study abroad, please visit Global Education.
As a Graphic Design major, you gain a solid foundation in the visual arts and emerging media and their applications across various media and disciplines. You learn from experienced and internationally known faculty whose work appears in prestigious media companies, product and publication design, galleries, museums, and publications in New York City, across the country, and around the globe.
Our studios provide an ideal environment for students to learn and create under the guidance of master educators. Facilities include state-of-the-art classrooms with cutting-edge equipment and software.
Each B.F.A. program capstone experience is a thesis or internship during your senior year. Thesis students work closely with their chosen faculty advisor creating a body of work to present to galleries or include in an M.F.A. application portfolio. Internships are individually arranged according to the student's interests, strengths, and career objectives. With easy access to Manhattan, students have access to our strong network of affiliates and alumni who now hold prominent positions in the arts.