UG Students walking on campus

Graphic Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts

Art and Design


Evane Corder BFA ’14 presents her thesis at the Dorsky Gallery Curatorial Programs exhibition, “In Defense Of.”

Graphic designers help to shape corporate brands through media, color, illustration, photography, animation, and various other techniques. This competitive field continues to grow rapidly as companies rely more and more on the creative intuition and skills of designers to reach their target audience effectively. You can prepare for a career in this exciting profession by earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree in Graphic Design from St. John’s University. Our 132-credit program provides aspiring graphic designers like you with the techniques, tools, and intellectual skills you need to develop your talents. You will 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 will also develop your understanding of layout, design, and production principles.

Our program connects students to internships with high-profile, Fortune 1000 corporations ranging from advertising companies to computer design firms. 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.

Department Contact

Belenna Lauto
Professor and Chair
[email protected]

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As part of the admission process, you must submit a portfolio of original artwork to the Department of Art and Design via SlideRoom, an online portfolio service that will allow you to upload, label, arrange, and submit your portfolio electronically. We request 12-15 images as JPEG files. More information on the types of files accepted for upload and specific instructions for portfolio submissions is available on our department page.

After completing the Undergraduate Admission application, you will be able to upload your images through SlideRoom.

We accept portfolios and applications on a rolling basis, but you must submit the portfolio via SlideRoom on or before January 15 if you wish to be considered for one of the visual art scholarships. If you wish to apply for early action, please submit your portfolio via SlideRoom by December 15.

If after reading the portfolio requirements page you have any questions regarding this process, please feel free to contact the Department Chair directly at [email protected].

If you would like more information about admission to this and other acclaimed undergraduate programs at St. John’s University, please visit Undergraduate Admission



Program Requirements for the B.F.A. in Graphic Design

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.

Required Studio Courses*

ART 1110Foundation Design
ART 1130Color Theory
ART 3350Mixed Media Concerns
ART 1105Introduction to Graphic Design
ART 1115Graphic Design II
ART 2115Graphic Production
ART 2125Typography
ART 2130Motion Graphics
ART 3110Professional Portfolio
ART 3125Advanced Typography
ART 3120Web Design
ART 3130Advanced Web Design
ART 3135Junior Design
ART 4120Senior Design
Choose three from among the following courses:
ART 1120Social Media for Artists and Designers
ART 1200Drawing I
ART 1280Digital Illustration
ART 1510Printmaking I: Relief & Intaglio
ART 1630Digital Photography
ART 1640Intro to Video Art
ART 2120Three-Dimensional Design
ART 3015Special Topics in Design
ART 3115Book Arts

*Please note that studio art courses meet for six hours per week.

Required Art History Courses

ART 1710History of Art I
ART 1720History of Art II
ART 2750Historical Modernism 1848-1945
ART 2145History of Visual Communications

Choose One of the Following: 

ART 4125Creative Thesis (9 credits)
ART 4909Internship (9 credits)

In addition, you must select four art electives (12 credits total). 

Required Core Curriculum Courses

DNY 1000C
ENG 1000C
ENG 1100C
HIS 1000C
MFL Electives (2)
MTH 1000C
PHI 1000C
PHI 2200C
PHI 3000C
SCI 1000C
One social science elective from: ANT, ECO, GEO, GOV, LIN, PSY, or SOC
SPE 1000C
THE 1000C
THE 2000-level
THE 3000-level


Career Outcomes

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 will prepare you for the vast array of careers emerging in this growing industry. As part of the B.F.A. program in Graphic Design, you will 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 program alum, we invite you to participate in our networking events to build your own contacts throughout New York City’s vibrant design scene.

Top Positions for Graduates with a B.F.A. in Graphic Design

Art DirectorAdvertising Designer
Brand ManagerCommunication Designer
Creative DirectorGraphic Designer
Interactive DesignerMarketing Communications Designer
Motion DesignerUser Experience Designer
Web Designer 

Companies That Employ Our B.F.A. Graphic Design Alumni

Bartle Bogle Hegarty NYBBDO WorldwideEquinox
HunterGathererImaginary ForcesJohnson and Johnson Global Strategic Design
Martha Stewart Living OmnimediaMr. WonderfulMuseum of the Moving Image
MTV NetworksNickelodeonNike
Pulse CreativeSpring Street DesignVice Media

Companies That Have Hosted St. John's B.F.A. Graphic Design Students for Internships

ArulidenArupBartle Bogle Hegarty NY
BBDO WorldwideCondé NastFlight 001
Imaginary ForcesInter Spectacular LLCMartha Stewart Living Omnimedia
MélangerieMother New YorkMr. Wonderful
Museum of the Moving ImageMTV NetworksNickelodeon
NY Arts MagazineOff Track PlanetPUBLIC
Pulse CreativeThe Thomas CollectiveVice Media

Global Approach to Education

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:

  • ART 1250 The Italian Sketchbook
  • ART 1255 The French Sketchbook
  • ART 1670 Photography in Paris
  • ART 1760 Art in Vietnam
  • ART 1775 Art and Architecture in France
  • ART 1780 The Art of the Renaissance in Italy
  • ART 1790 Survey of Art and Architecture in Italy
  • ART 2250 Drawing and Design in Rome
  • ART 2929 Culture of Southern Italy, a Visual Journey
  • ART 2340 Painting in Italy.

For more information about study abroad, please visit Global Education.

Additional Information

The Department of Art and Design offers full and partial scholarships to first-year students with a record of exemplary skills in high school. Read more on our department page.

As a B.F.A. student at St. John’s, you develop a solid foundation in art theory and its applications to various media. You learn from an enormously gifted, internationally-known faculty of artists whose work appears in galleries, exhibitions, and publications in New York City, across the country, and around the world. Our studios provide an ideal atmosphere for you to learn as you create under the guidance of master teachers. Our facilities include the state-of-the-art classrooms, which feature cutting-edge equipment and software.

You have the option of completing a thesis or internship during your senior year as a culmination of your B.F.A. degree. If you elect the thesis option, you will work closely with your chosen faculty advisor on a body of work to present to galleries or use as your portfolio for M.F.A. program applications. If you choose to do an internship, you will be placed according to your interests, strengths, and career objectives. Since we are located just 20 minutes from New York City, and have established a strong network of affiliates and alumni in the art world, your selection of internship opportunities is prestigious and extensive. All of our students and alumni benefit from our more than 50 years of experience and educational excellence in the visual arts.