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Graphic Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts

BFA Graphic Design
132 Credits
St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Queens Campus


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 degree in Graphic Design from St. John’s University. Our 132-degree 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’ll 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 in St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has attained the prestigious National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accreditation, held by selective art schools nationwide.

For more information about program requirements and assistance with portfolios, please contact the department chair:

Belenna M. Lauto
Chair, Art and Design
[email protected]


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 portfolio requirements page.

After completing the SJU Undergraduate Application, you will be able to upload your images by linking to our SlideRoom portal:

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 the Undergraduate Admission page



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 BFA 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’ll 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.

Some of the top positions for graduates with a BFA in graphic design include: graphic designer; art director; communication designer; creative director; web designer; interactive designer; user experience designer; marketing communications designer; motion designer; advertising designer; and brand manager.

Corporations that employ our BFA graphic design graduates include: MTV Networks; Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia; BBDO Worldwide; Vice Media; Nickelodeon; Imaginary Forces; Museum of the Moving Image; Mr. Wonderful; Equinox; Pulse Creative; Bartle Bogle Hegarty New York; Spring Street Design; HunterGatherer; Nike; and Johnson and Johnson Global Strategic Design. Those that have hosted our students as interns include: MTV Networks; Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, BBDO Worldwide; Vice Media; Nickelodeon; Imaginary Forces; Museum of the Moving Image; Mr. Wonderful; Pulse Creative; Bartle Bogle Hegarty New York; Flight 001; Mother New York; Off Track Planet; Condé Nast; NY Arts Magazine; Inter Spectacular LLC; The Thomas Collective; aruliden; Mélangerie; Arup; and PUBLIC.

Global Approach to Education

The Department of Art and Design has been at the forefront of Global Studies since 1989. We enable all of our BFA students to take art electives abroad. We offer courses and programs abroad in Rome, Paris, Spain, as well as summer session courses in other destinations around the world. We encourage you to view the world as a tangible place and 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 1255The 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; and ART 2340 Painting in Italy. For more information about study abroad, please visit Global Studies.

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 scholarships page.

As a BFA student at St. John’s, you’ll develop a solid foundation in art theory and its applications to various media. You will 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 will 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 will have the option of either completing a thesis or internship during your senior year as a culmination of your BFA 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 MFA 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.

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