Graphic Design & Visual Communication Major

Do you see the world as a place that sparks all kinds of creative thought and inspiration?

The work of today’s designers spans an exciting array of media, from conventional printing to emerging digital platforms. That dynamic landscape, combined with the timeless art of graphic design—mixing words and images to communicate visually—assures a rewarding career of disseminating ideas, knowledge, and possibilities to a global audience.

Become a creative problem solver through Champlain’s forward-thinking Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design & Visual Communication. Champlain’s Graphic Design & Visual Communication program is accredited by NASAD, the national accrediting agency for institutions teaching art, design, and related disciplines.

Why Study Graphic Design & Visual Communication at Champlain College?

Our Upside-Down Curriculum gets you into design classes in your first semester, so you have four full years to explore areas of interest, build your portfolio, and refine your professional presence. The interdisciplinary nature of your Core studies, your optional minor, and your major’s curriculum will have you engaging with your work in new ways and considering the impact of graphic design from different perspectives. You’ll receive intensive personal support from our devoted faculty, who provide excellent instruction, professional knowledge, and attentive advising.

Before you graduate, a panel of guest designers from top design firms and in-house corporate design centers will critique your portfolio to help you accurately present your design principles and best works. This rigorous portfolio review ensures you graduate prepared to impress clients and employers. 


The 2020 Fiske Guide to Colleges selected Champlain as one of the “best and most interesting schools” in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.


Champlain was named a “Most Innovative School” by U.S. News & World Report for the fifth consecutive year in its “America’s Best Colleges” 2020 ranking of universities in the North.


Of 2018 graduates from the Visual Communication Design major are either employed or continuing their education within six months of graduating.


Champlain students cross the Carrickmore rope bridge in Ireland

Study Abroad

Immerse yourself in Irish culture through our campus in Dublin, a global hub of technology. Experience life in the vibrant, cosmopolitan heart of Canada with Champlain Abroad Montreal. With additional exchange partnerships and approved third-party programs, the world is within reach.

Male Visual Communication Design student with baseball cap at internship at Driven Studios in Burlington, Vermont

Take On Multiple Graphic Design Internships

Because you’ll follow an in-depth curriculum in the Graphic Design & Visual Communication major starting in your first semester, you’ll soon be qualified for the kinds of graphic design internships that many students take on in their final years of college. In our Emergent Media Center and other Centers of Experience, you can work alongside students from other disciplines to complete design projects for real clients.

Male Graphic Design student at Champlain College in the Champlain Art Gallery which is site to numerous AIGA events

Join our Active AIGA Professional Community

AIGA, the professional association for design, sets the national agenda for the role of design in economic, social, political, cultural, and creative contexts. Its mission is to advance designing as a professional craft, strategic tool, and vital cultural force. Champlain’s AIGA Student Group was established in 2010 and brings student designers together to interact, assist, and compete with one another while creating a stronger design community.


Motion Graphics

Motion graphics is one of the fastest growing areas within the graphic design field. There are always new media and technology to learn, making motion graphics an exciting and valuable skill set to add to your repertoire, and one that is highly desired by employers. Learn more about the Motion Graphics concentration.


The Publishing specialization offers real-world experience in working with clients on publishing projects that may include traditional books, ebooks, and websites, and explores editing, design, illustration, marketing, social media, and event planning. Learn more about the Publishing concentration.


Your Career as a Designer

With an impressive portfolio, professional connections, and four years of hands-on design work behind you, you’ll be an outstanding candidate in your field by the time you graduate. At Champlain, you learn how to advocate for yourself in your career and negotiate compensation. 

By the time you graduate, you will:

  • have matured as a graphic designer.
  • have mastered the basics of form, color, composition, typography, photography, layout, and motion graphics.
  • be able to evaluate the aesthetic content of artistic works within a specific historical, cultural, and/or commercial context.
  • be able to and apply aesthetic principles within non-original and original works, respectively.
  • have an understanding of ethics in practice.

Find your niche or do it all.

  • Identity (brand) design
  • Book and publication design
  • Environmental graphics
  • Exhibition design
  • Motion graphics design
  • Packaging design
  • Website design

More Design Majors
Game Art Major