May 24, 2022  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graphic Design Major, B.F.A.

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College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Art & Design

Graphic Design Major, B.F.A., Program Information

Department of Art and Design
PO Box 70708
Johnson City, TN 37614

The professional undergraduate degree in the visual arts is the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. This degree allows the student to specialize in a particular area of art or to explore multiple studio areas in order to prepare for a professional career. Grades in Art and Art History applied to the major must be “C” or above.

After 21 credit hours in studio art and before 45 hours in art have been completed, the student must successfully complete ARTA 2916 BFA Portfolio Review. The student must pass this review in order to be accepted in the BFA capstone course, ARTA 4916 Portfolio and Exhibit and to graduate with a BFA degree in art. Students have only two chances to complete the BFA Portfolio Review course.

Students in the BFA program in Graphic Design should be aware that the final advanced studio courses should have as the primary goal the production of Art and Design work of exhibition quality. Examples of this work will be exhibited by the Department of Art and Design as proof of student excellence in a required senior capstone exhibition or presentation. The BFA degree does not have a foreign language requirement, nor does it require a minor due to increased courses required at the advanced level.


Students with 0-59 earned credit hours:

Contact the Center for Advisement and Student Excellence (CASE) to schedule an appointment with your advisor.  Visit the CASE website ( or call (423) 439-5602.

Students with 60 or more earned credit hours:

Contact your designated faculty advisor:

David Dixon
212 Ball Hall

Wayne Dyer
410 Ball Hall

Kelly Porter
409 Ball Hall

Transfer Students

Transfer students majoring in Graphic Design should contact the department for advising as soon as possible. This will ensure that the student’s previous work will be coordinated efficiently with ETSU requirements.

For general information about the department or courses, contact Mira Gerard, Chair [; (423) 439-4247].

General Program Information

To earn a degree from ETSU, there are specific course requirements established by ETSU, by the East Tennessee State University Board of Trustees, by each college, and by each department. All students must meet the degree requirements at each of these levels outlined in the following list:

University-level Degree and Graduation Requirements

Total Credit Hours for Degree: 120

General Education Requirements: 41 - 42 Credit Hours

Listed below are the categories and courses specified under East Tennessee State University Board of Trustees General Education Requirements. Note that certain courses are required for this degree, specific to this major. Thus, these courses will satisfy both a General Education requirement AND a requirement of this major. (Other majors may require different General Education courses.) Where specific courses are required for this major, only those courses are listed under the category. If there are no specific major requirements for a category, all course options appear.


9 credits, consisting of 6 credits of written composition and 3 credits of oral communication.

Written Composition

Complete both of the following: 

Oral Communication

Complete one of the following:

Humanities and Fine Arts

9 credits, consisting of 3 credits of literature, 3 credits of fine arts, and 3 credits of humanities electives.


6 credits, consisting of both of the following:

Natural Sciences

8 credits, consisting of two of the following (some require labs which are listed directly after the lecture):

(Note: Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in the College of Arts and Sciences must select 8 credit hours in a SINGLE laboratory science. Please see listing in College of Arts and Sciences B.S. Degree Requirements for options.)


3 - 4 credits, consisting of one of the following:

  • (3 credits)
  • (3 credits)
  • (4 credits)
  • Note:

    Students will enroll in the appropriate general education math course during their first calendar year of enrollment at ETSU. Students required to complete learning support in mathematics must enroll in a learning support-designated section (L01-L99) of MATH 1530  during their first 15 hours at ETSU (not including summer) unless they are also required to complete learning support in reading or writing. Students needing learning support in reading or writing in addition to learning support in math should enroll in MATH 1530-Lxx immediately upon completing their other learning support requirements. Additional information may be found on the University Advisement Center website

Graphic Design Requirements

Major Field Core: Foundations: 12 Credit Hours

Art History: 12 Credit Hours

Electives: 24 Credit Hours

Six (6) elective credits at the 2xxx level; 18 elective credits at the 3xxx and 4xxx level. Art Studio course electives should be selected in consultation with the advisor.

Other Credits: 1 Credit Hour

Minor: no minor required

Graduation Requirements

Graduation in this major/concentration requires a minimum of 120 credits, including General Education requirements, CSCI 1100 , college degree requirements, major requirements, and minor requirements.

Passing the CSCI 1100 proficiency test produces no credit, but satisfies the graduation requirement (see If the total credits from these areas are less than 120 credits, students may use free electives to complete the requirement.

Additional Information

Click here to view the Graphic Design Major, B.F.A. Suggested Course Sequence .

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