The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design is an applied arts program with a focus on the development of visual solutions to communication problems, and offers students guided hands-on experience in the creation of visual messages in print and electronic media. Degree candidates in the program are prepared for professional careers in the field and are challenged to research and evaluate the role contemporary design practices hold in our society.

The B.F.A. in Graphic Design begins with a strong foundation in design principles, introduces students to digital technologies and progresses into more specialized courses. Particular emphasis is placed on the development of typographic skills, and students are familiarized with a range of topics including branding/identity design, packaging design, systems design and environmental design through studio and special topics courses. Interaction design, mobile apps, and web design are taught alongside publication design, as well as historic print processes that inform contemporary design practice. The program is enriched through mentorship by professionals in the related fields of photography, digital arts, and printmaking. Courses in these areas help our students develop image-making and print production skills, exposes them to base level coding and web development skills, and introduces them to experimental areas of design, which merge elements of branding, web design and development.

The B.F.A. in Graphic Design is a professional degree and students must fulfill required coursework to be admitted to the program.

Students who wish to sign up as a Graphic Design major or would like more program information should contact the Graphic Design advisor, Vida Sacic, at

Program Benefits

Our program is steeped in the design community of the city of Chicago, which is both welcoming and intimate, as well as diverse and international. Our location provides Graphic Design majors easy access to design studios and advertising and marketing firms in the metropolitan area and the opportunity to establish relationships with local design associations in the area such as the American Institute of Graphic Arts and Society of Typographic Arts.

Other program benefits include:

  • Convenient location in the city
  • Commuter and residential options
  • Small class sizes -  low student-to-faculty ratio
  • Program affordability
  • Diverse backgrounds and research interests of faculty
  • Internship requirement integrated into the degree, which gives students firsthand experience in the field
  • Northeastern is one of a handful universities in Chicago that offers a B.F.A. in Graphic Design

Career Options

The Bachleor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design at Northeastern prepares students for multiple areas in the industry, entrepreneurship opportunities and for further study in graduate school.

In particular, our program prepares students for entry into fields such as:   

  • Branding
  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Publishing
  • Packaging Design
  • Print Production
  • Web Development
  • Information Architecture
  • Multimedia and Motion Graphics
  • User Experience Design (UX)
  • User Interaction Design (UI)
  • In-house Design
  • Freelance Design

For more detailed career information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Academic Catalog Information

Take a closer look at the Graphic Design, B.F.A. and the courses offered toward the degree.

Graphic Design, B.F.A.

Department and Contact Information

If you are interested in the program or have questions, please contact Art + Design at (773) 442-4910.

Art + Design Department Homepage

About Northeastern

Northeastern Illinois University is home to students from all corners of the world and is one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the nation. Our small class sizes, flexible schedules and dedicated faculty can help you succeed in your studies.

We offer an education with value.

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