» Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in graphic design emphasizes conceptual design methods, appropriate aesthetics, history, written and verbal articulation, and training in technology that prepare the student to enter the graphic design profession. Students have opportunities to explore all aspects of graphic design, such as packaging, illustration, information design, advertising design, web design, multimedia design, motion design, and book design

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will develop writing and verbal competencies commonly used in the description and analysis of visual art and graphic design. These include critical response to theoretical texts and conceptual development. This includes research, writing, and critique of the intent of their own work.

  2. Students will be able to create original design work that exhibits a distinct personal voice. The full-time faculty through academic advising and professional mentoring provides close supervision as do our long-standing and dedicated part-time faculty who are working professionals. Students will receive individual attention that will help him/her develop an original and articulate body of work as a graphic designer.

  3. Students will create and develop graphic design that meets the specifications and requirements of communication problem. The sequence of required courses helps students develop the necessary techniques and execution of form and content relevant to the field in both digital and print media.

  4. Students will have a professional design experience in which they demonstrate competency with industry standards.

Current students, please contact the Department of Art for information at art@chapman.edu

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Margo Pawell Design Symposium

Margo BannerChapman University’s Margo Pawell Design Symposium, originally established in 2013, is dedicated to bringing together diverse experts to discuss topics in graphic design giving our students and the regional design community a chance to gather and partake in the discourse. In 2016 the symposium was renamed to honor the legacy of Ms. Margo Pawell, beloved former student and alum who inspired creativity, intellect, and passion here at Chapman and Orange County as a whole. Read more ...


CommpostOC Portfolio Review
The graphic design program has hosted the annual OC Portfolio Review since 2003 and has allowed our students to be involved in the local design community, helped begin building a community of their own and with leadership skills. Students gain access to invaluable resources and opportunities to help make the transition from student to professional designers.

Visual Thinker Lecture Series
The Department of Art hosts lectures each semester designed to explore visual culture from a wide range of art and design professionals across disciplines offering opportunities to learn, be inspired, and network.

Since 2005 the Graphic Design program has been communicating and posting what is happening with professors, students, interns and alumni.




Students are assessed on their performance and progress in their sophomore year by all design faculty, and in their junior and senior years, by design faculty and outside professional designers invited to the annual OC Portfolio Design Club, helping the students mature and grow.

Ed Hardy branded sneakersInternships
Students are encouraged to intern as soon as they are able and required to complete 120 hrs of field internships in their senior year. Students partner with the Career and Professional Development and a Graphic Design faculty member as they work. Internship locations include design firms, advertising agencies, and industries with in-house design departments.

Check out a few places our students have interned at over the years.


Students work on a variety of projects in their all courses that allow them to gain “real world” experience. These assignments provide the experience to work on projects based on industry standards, with peers in Ad/PR, Law, Science, Marketing, Political Science, Computer Science, to name a few. There are also projects that involve actual outside the University clients.

International Opportunities

London, Olympics, and Beyond

Graphic Design 308, Sustainable Design. During the period of 2009 – present, graphic design has provided their majors and minors the opportunity to work in London with primary agencies responsible for the Olympic Games, the Living Cities project, Lunar Mission One, Neom, and the Bedford Brick Works. We’re honored to be the only university in the world to offer our students these opportunities. Check out the blog for the 2019 course.

Global Studies
Chapman University students are encouraged to participate in study abroad programs. Studying abroad will provide a unique opportunity which opens up fresh perspectives on international political, economic and social issues, interpersonal relationships and ultimate career choices.