Graphic Design Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (BFA)

Not all programs are offered for completion at each campus or through Berkeley College Online®. Please review the academic program pages ( for information on where each program is offered. Additionally, all students may be required to take some courses at another campus or online.




Course Requirements


GRD1100 Graphic Design Principles I

3 Credits

Introduces two-dimensional design and color theory and their relational aspects. This course explores the elements and principles of design, color, and light in the creative process. Students learn about the design process, from concept to completion, and explore the fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator.

GRD1105 Painting I

3 Credits

Approaches two-dimensional theory through the freeform and experiential painterly process. Students recreate and build on elements of design in a painterly manner through their own work. Subject matters range from the traditional painting genre of still life, interiors, and the figure, to the abstract.

GRD1120 3D Design and Modeling

3 Credits

Introduces the principles and applications of design as it relates to the synthesis of three-dimensional form, space, light, shadow, relief, and motion. The relationship of material and form and its application to packaging are explored. Subjects range from man-made geometric forms to architecture and nature.

GRD1170 Drawing I

3 Credits

Develops drawing skills for graphic design and the visual arts. Includes genres of fine art such as observation of the human figure in composition. Drawings will include three-dimensional objects, perspective, still life, and the landscape.

GRD1190 Typography 1

3 Credits

Introduces the history, physical attributes, family classification, terminology, and structural aspects of type. Students explore typography as a medium that conveys aesthetic, emotional, and intellectual meaning. Students create effective marketing materials by incorporating type as an integrated and active element.

Prerequisite: GRD1100

GRD2200 Graphic Design Principles II

3 Credits

Integrates the skills acquired in Graphic Design Principles I. Incorporates typography and graphics to create effective communication design from concept through completion. The course utilizes industry standard software.

Prerequisites: GRD1100

GRD2210 Graphic Design in Visual Culture

3 Credits

Traces the development of visual communication from the first cave paintings to present-day digital marketing. This course examines how cultural and technological developments have affected our viewpoints of the relationship, and use of images and typography.

GRD2226 Professional Development Seminar 

3 Credits

Investigates career-development opportunities and strategies. This course focuses on entry-level job requirements and career research. Students learn resume writing and interviewing skills. Emphasis is placed on creating conceptual approaches for communicating ideas visually and project development and management.

GRD2230 Digital Photography and Creative Media

3 Credits

Introduces the basic concepts, terminology, and applications of digital photography. This course explores the creative transformation of images for effective visual communication. Students develop critical thinking and technical skills needed to use photography in their work as designers.

GRD2233 Web Design I

3 Credits

Explores the role of artists and designers in the web environment. Students are introduced to the concepts, process, and applications of programming code for creating and styling web pages, and preparing images and graphics for the web environment.

GRD2234 Web Design II

3 Credits

Develops the skills acquired in Web Design I. Students continue learning programming code with an emphasis on interaction design, user-interface design, and front-end development.

Prerequisite: GRD2233

GRD2235 Web Design III

3 Credits

Develops the skills acquired in Web Design II. Students explore design for both web and mobile apps incorporating multimedia, video, audio, and responsive design. Prototype development and testing are explored.

Prerequisite: GRD2234

GRD2240 Digital Publishing

3 Credits

Integrating type and images in digital page layouts and multiple-page projects. The emphasis will be on the application of industry standard software for both print and digital output.

Prerequisite: GRD1102 or GRD1190

GRD2290 Typography II

3 Credits

Develops the skills acquired in Typography I. Projects incorporate type as a decorative element to produce creative marketable design results. Principles of selecting typeface, use of grids, and basic layout designs and formats are addressed.

Prerequisite: GRD1190

GRD3320 Graphic Design Principles III and Game Development

3 Credits

Integrates the skills acquired in the foundation courses and conceptual abilities developed in Graphic Design Principles II. Emphasis is on developing design thinking and building visual problem-solving skills. Students are introduced to Motion Graphics and Game Design Graphics.

Prerequisite: GRD2200

GRD3330 Digital Filmmaking

3 Credits

Develops the skills acquired in Digital Photography and Creative Media. This course includes advanced digital imaging techniques and introduces students to a wide range of styles in contemporary photography as well as video.

Prerequisite: GRD2230

GRD3360 Packaging Design I

3 Credits

Incorporates the history, purpose, types, materials, environmental considerations, symbols, labels, and security measures of packaging. Students study packaging as a new-product development process, explore graphic design for marketing options, and produce models with industry standard specifications sheets.

Prerequisite: GRD2200

GRD3395 Branding and Information Design

3 Credits

Explores various processes and the translation of information in a visual format for data visualization in current media. Marketing trends and strategies are explored in the development of creative solutions to design problems. Students create functional design solutions for identity systems across multiple points of contact.

Prerequisite: GRD2200 or GRD2240

GRD4400 Animation Foundations

3 Credits

Explores the foundation of animation, including the basic concepts of animation and what makes things move. This course covers X, Y, and Z planes; keyframes; animation paths; hierarchies; pivots and rotation; and the importance of timing.

Prerequisite: GRD2230

GRD4410 Publication Design

3 Credits

Explores publication design procedures and techniques, from planning to production. Students research and analyze graphic design in multi-page publications and create their own multi-page publication designs. This course covers procedures and techniques for the successful printing of projects.

Prerequisite: GRD2240

GRD4415 UI/UX Design

3 Credits

Explores aspects of user interface design engineering. The preparation of concepts will utilize the principles of design, typography, color, and problem solving skills. Concepts include wireframes, user testing, personas, scenarios and storyboards, applied to front-end and back-end web and app development.

Prerequisite: GRD2235

GRD4420 Game Design

3 Credits

Introduces the theory and practice of game creation and design for interactive home entertainment, arcade games, education, and multiplayer online environments. Students study the history, genres, technology, organization, psychology, and story of games. Students will then gain mastery over the Unity 3D engine.

Prerequisite: GRD2200

GRD4460 Capstone Project

3 Credits

Requires students to utilize cumulative skills acquired in advanced course studies to work on an individual research project for their portfolio with the help of a faculty mentor. This course is taken in a student's senior year.

Prerequisite: GRD3360

GRD4470 Special Topics in Graphic Design

3 Credits

Focuses in depth on a particular period area of interest within graphic design to further develop conceptual and technical skills and create professional work for portfolio development.

Prerequisite: GRD3320

GRD4481 Portfolio

3 Credits

Provides a studio and critique workshop. Students edit, create, add, highlight, and refine projects to meet industry standards and promote individual graphic design skills in their specialized area. This course is taken in a student's senior year.

Prerequisite: GRD3395

GRD4483 Internship

3 Credits

Provides a field-based internship experience where students acquire career/professional skills within the graphic design industry. This course is taken during a student's last semester of study.

Prerequisite: Departmental permission


ENG1105 Writing and Research

3 Credits

An introduction to expository writing through a comprehensive survey of forms of composition. Students are taught to use words with precision and strengthen their understanding and application of grammatical and rhetorical principles. Students are encouraged to appreciate and incorporate the principles of academic and professional writing.

ENG2205 Writing Through Literature

3 Credits

Further develops the writing, reading, and interpretive abilities introduced in ENG1105 through critical engagement with literary texts from a myriad of genres.

Prerequisite: ENG1105

ENG3316 The Confident Writer

3 Credits

Explores a wide variety of non-fiction writing genres, including personal profile, journalism, criticism, and more. Students build their reading, writing, and researching skills while also reinforcing the fundamental concepts and current developments associated with the areas of their respective majors.

Prerequisite: ENG2205

HUM2225 Introduction to Ethics

3 Credits

Introduces the study of ethics and moral philosophy, including its historical development, the major figures within that history, and ethical and moral issues that face us today. This course presents the perspectives of various schools of thought and encourages students’ own critical thinking on ethical and moral issues in dialogue with others. 

MAT2211 College Algebra

3 Credits

Introduces students to solving problems by using geometric and algebraic approaches. Topics include the Cartesian coordinate system, linear equations, absolute value, rational and exponential functions, systems of linear equations, linear inequalities, logarithms, and polynomials.

Prerequisite: CSK85 or placement-based score

SOC1123 First Year Experience

3 Credits

Explores the challenges students most frequently face in pursuing and achieving a college degree. Students will identify their own perceived challenges, share critical insights to meeting them, and implement their own plan of action to address and overcome such challenges.

SOC2231 Human Relations

3 Credits

Students will develop the interpersonal skills known to be key ingredients for successful everyday interactions with a focus on the challenges of workplace relationships involving coworkers, supervisors, and customers/clients. Some major skill areas covered in the course include making a good impression with your employer, managing conflict with difficult coworkers, working on a team with diverse groups of people, providing exceptional service for customers/clients, and managing on-the-job stressors.

English Elective- 3 Credits

Humanities Elective- 3 Credits 

Liberal Arts Electives- 6 Credits 

Mathematics/Science Elective- 3 Credits

Science Elective- 3 Credits

Social Science Elective- 3 Credits


*12 credits of Liberal Arts Electives must be at the 3000/4000 level.

This program also requires students to obtain specific supplies, the cost of which totals approximately $125.00. Detailed, itemized information describing the required supplies and listing typical prices for each such item is available at