> MCD > Majors > Graphic Design

Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts


Program Learning Outcomes

NASAD, National Association of Schools of Art and Design
WASC, Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Sue Vessella, M.F.A.

The work of the Woodbury Graphic Design students has won international, national and local design awards including multiple Gold Level Honors in the Graphis International New Talent Annual, the International Journal of Visual Communication. Students have also won recognition in Web Design, Package Design and Identity Design through the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Best of Show in the organizations Emerge exhibition, as well as students being named to CMYK Magazine's Top 100 New Creatives editions.

In the award-winning program, students learn the art of visual communication through the study of design, aesthetics, and media. They are prepared through a sequenced curriculum that develops the expertise required to enter multiple areas of the professional design world. Students begin in the first year with design foundation courses exploring the formal principles of design and color, as well as graphic software and typography, followed in the second and third years by courses in print and web design, motion and interactive media, package design, branding and identity, photography, design history, design research, and business practices. In the senior year, students can focus their creative energy and gain experience in a design profession that sparks their interest, by customizing their studies in the following areas:

Entertainment Design
Motion Design
Advertising Design
Publication Design
Environmental Graphics

Small class size allows individual attention from the professional faculty and educational experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, provides students with the ability to create effective and engaging visual communication solutions that have won both national and local awards. Students will experience current art and design events in the Los Angeles area by attending lectures, museums, galleries, and exhibitions exploring a variety of topics including social and cultural issues. They will lend their skills to real-world projects by designing projects on behalf of social welfare issues and non-profit organizations. They can choose a summer study abroad experience, which have included destinations like London, Turkey, and Paris. They will network with professional designers through our affiliation with AIGA, the national professional organization for design. They will grow as professionals through required career experiences and internships. Woodbury’s Burbank, California, location, in the heart of the media capital, offers numerous internship opportunities at companies including Disney Imagineering, Universal Studios, The WB Television Network, MTV Networks, Twentieth Century Fox, and Warner Bros.

As one of the many vibrant programs in the School of Media, Culture and Design, the program is designed to integrate communications and psychology into the graphic designer’s general education curriculum, through the study of visual communications, media culture, consumer behavior, and media psychology.


The Department of Graphic Design is committed to providing students with a design education in accordance with the highest professional standards. Our aim is to inspire graphic designers to develop and create effective visual communications by cultivating their individual talent, potential, and personal voice. We prepare innovative graduates that will advance the practice of graphic design and contribute responsibly in the global community.


  • Provide the student with the design skills to interpret, inform, instruct or persuade according to the needs of audiences and contexts for which  communication is intended.
  • Encourage and develop students critical thinking skills as they apply to design  analysis and all intellectual processes, to achieve effectiveness and power in  their work and lend energy and expression to their vision.
  • Develop an understanding of business and marketing practices, creating  ethical and responsible industry professionals that practice with integrity.
  • Promote and develop a commitment to continued design exploration, in order to instill an appreciation for the value of visual communication and its power to sustain and transform society.
  • Support a transdisciplinary curriculum in communications, writing, humanities, behavioral and social science, that enhances the academic breadth of the graphic designer.
  • Provide up to date facilities and equipment appropriate to the profession of graphic design.
  • Provide a collaborative atmosphere, including curriculum and facilities, that  allow student cross-fertilization of discourse, study, ideas, and integrated projects in the School of Media, Culture, & Design.

  • The ability to solve communication problems, including the skills of problem identification, research and information gathering, analysis, generation of alternative solutions, prototyping and user testing, and evaluation of outcomes.

  • The ability to describe and respond to the audiences and contexts which communication solutions must address, including recognition of the physical, cognitive, cultural, and social human factors that shape
    design decisions.

  • The ability to create and develop visual form in response to communication problems, including an understanding of principles of visual organization/composition, information hierarchy, symbolic representation, typography, aesthetics, and the construction of meaningful images.

  • An understanding of tools and technology, including their roles in the creation, reproduction, and distribution of visual messages. Relevant tools and technologies include, but are not limited to, drawing, offset printing, photography, and time-based and interactive media.

  • An understanding of design history, theory, and criticism from a variety of perspectives, including those of art history, linguistics, communication and information theory, technology, and the social and cultural use of design objects.

  • An understanding of basic business practices, including the ability to organize design projects and to work productively as a member of teams.

  • The ability to work collaboratively with multiple disciplines, and to understand the advantages and benefits of cooperative activities.