The Graphic Design Program

The graphic design program, one of the most popular majors within the visual arts at Saint Vincent College, is an ideal way to get comfortable in and prepare for an increasingly popular career. Classes range from art history to typography and digital media, allowing students to gain skills with computer and web design and have the opportunity to work with professionals in the field including an award winning documentary film maker.

Graphic design students can also pursue their artistic interests outside the classroom. The proximity to Pittsburgh allows students access to nationally-recognized artistic organizations. Meanwhile, the Saint Vincent Gallery, home of the art collections of the Archabbey and College, hosts temporary exhibitions of regionally and nationally recognized artists and the senior exhibitions of graduating art and graphic design students. In addition, students have submitted their work for local and regional exhibitions even while they attend Saint Vincent. This combination of coursework, media education and hands-on studio experience is excellent preparation for graphic design jobs. 

What Can I Do With a Major in Graphic Design?

Students graduating with a degree in graphic design from Saint Vincent College will have a variety of career options. Graphic design is quickly becoming an essential field in today’s economy, with many organizations recognizing it as an essential tool for business. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates graphic design jobs to rise seven percent by 2022, with especially high growth in the computer systems design industry (35 percent).

But as a graduate in graphic design, your career choices are not limited. Many of today’s Web designers and developers, art directors, game designers, multimedia animators, marketing specialists and mobile app engineers began their careers with graphic designer jobs. The right combination of a graphic design major or minor with another discipline could be the key to a long career in a wide range of industries.


Graphic design majors learn to understand discipline-based concepts such as composition, expression and iconography, are able to offer constructive criticism to their peers, acquire basic facility in a broad range of media and research methods and become familiar with career paths. Experiential learning is available on campus at the Saint Vincent College Gallery, the Foster and Muriel McCarl Collection of 19th-century American coverlets, and an extensive collection of art on view throughout the College. Museums and galleries in Greensburg and Pittsburgh are easily accessible. Our students are not just viewers; they are makers and scholars, prepared for a range of careers in the graphic design field.

Graphic Design Major Requirements

Required courses (39 credits):
AR 101   Art History I:  Ancient through Renaissance - 3 credits
AR 102   Art History II:  Baroque to the Present - 3 credits
AR 130   Drawing I - 3 credits
AR 131   Design:  Two-Dimensional - 3 credits
AR 212   Beginning Black and White Photography - 3 credits
AR 225   Painting I - 3 credits
AR 233   Drawing and Illustration for Design - 3 credits
AR 330   Digital Photography and Post-Production - 3 credits
AR 334   Typography - 3 credits
AR 338   Printmaking I - 3 credits
AR 405   Senior Exhibition and Professional Seminar - 3 credits
CA 235   *Introduction to Web Design - 3 credits
CA 285   *Electronic Media - 3 credits

One course selected from (3 credits):
AR 145   Introduction to Film Studies - 3 credits
AR 205   World Art History - 3 credits
AR 310   American Art and Architecture - 3 credits

* Course description can be found listed in the Department of Communication.

Graphic Design Minor Requirements (18 credits) 

Required courses (6 credits):
AR 130   Drawing I - 3 credits
AR 131   Design:  Two-Dimensional - 3 credits

Four courses selected from (12 credits):
AR 212   Beginning Black and White Photography - 3 credits
AR 230   Drawing II - 3 credits
AR 233   Drawing and Illustration for Design - 3 credits
AR 330   Digital Photography and Post-Production - 3 credits
AR 338   Printmaking I - 3 credits
CA 235   *Introduction to Web Design - 3 credits
CA 285   *Electronic Media - 3 credits

* Course description can be found listed in the Department of Communication.


A portfolio review is required for admission to the Graphic Design major. 

Please contact Ben Schachter, Chairperson, M.F.A./M.S., art history and studio art, for portfolio requirements.

Student Work and Researchgraphic-design-student-work
Student Work and Research in Graphic Design

Outside of the classroom, graphic design students at Saint Vincent College have a variety of opportunities to refine and display their skills. Graphic design internships are available on- and off campus, while the student club MAD COMM helps other on-campus clubs and organization to refine their visual presence.

The capstone project for Graphic Design majors is a senior exhibition in The Saint Vincent Gallery, where they will curate and hang an exhibition of their work alongside other graduating art majors. The senior exhibitions take place during your last spring semester at Saint Vincent College, and are a great way to show off your work.

Internships and Careers in Graphic Design

Internships are crucial when preparing for a career in graphic design. Students are highly encouraged to take internship positions and to gain experience before graduating. 

Students work closely with the Saint Vincent College Career Center as well as college alumni to find the perfect internships for their needs.

Recent graphic design graduates at Saint Vincent College have gone on to start successful careers in the field. Former students now work at prestigious organizations like the Pittsburgh Penguins, American Eagle and Penguin Random, along with various regional and national marketing agencies.

Some of our students choose to continue their studies on the graduate level. In all, 96 percent of our 2014 graduates who responded to a survey were employed or continuing studies in their field.

  • Student Learning Outcomes

    Students will:

    • analyze the artistic styles of the Western tradition and at least one style from the non-western traditions.
    • apply vocabulary related to making art and the application of design.
    • use a variety of materials and techniques, including digital tools.
    • apply professional standards of exhibition, presentation, and portfolio development.
    • develop personal style or artistic process and when appropriate adapt to the needs of the workplace or client.