Graphic & Communication Design
Bachelor of Science
The Graphic & Communication Design Program prepares students for exciting careers in visual communication: graphic design, advertising, illustration, photography, typography, packaging, publication and multimedia. Grounded in the foundation principals and elements of design, the curriculum prepares students to meet the technological challenges of this fast-paced career through experiences in design software such as: the Adobe Creative Suite 3 (including InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator), Flash, Dreamweaver, Final Cut and Quicktime Pro. The first two academic years, known as the Foundation Program, culminate with the Mid-Collegiate Review process (see below). The student then moves into the Professional Program, which emphasizes presentation opportunities, internships, team problem solving and professional portfolio development.
Prior to enrolling in upper level design courses, transfer students and students who have reached the mid-point (second semester of the sophomore year) in the Graphic & Communication Design Program, must pass a Mid-Collegiate Review. In an interview with the student, the faculty will assess the student's work from all foundation courses along with the student's motivation and attitude, presentation skills, career goals and academic record. The criteria for the review is fully outlined prior to the meeting, and the student will receive a written evaluation following the interview. As a result of the review process, the faculty will recommend that the student either: (1) continue in the Graphic & Communication Design Program, (2) continue in the program with recommendations (e.g. attend summer classes or complete individualized assignments), (3) continue in the program with requirements (e.g. take specified courses or attend summer classes), or (4) change majors before the next academic term. It will be the professional consensus of the faculty, and not simply individual grades, that will determine whether or not a student will be allowed to continue in the program.
To complete the Graphic & Communication Design Program successfully, the following coursework is required:
- 60 credits of Graphic & Communication Design Major Requirements, which includes a three-credit internship
- 18 credits of Graphic & Communication Design Major ElectivesNote: major elective courses are also available through an agreement with The Pittsburgh Filmmakers.
- 12 credits of Art History Requirements
- 34 credits of CORE Curriculum courses
- successful completion of Mid-Collegiate Review
A minimum of 124 credits is required for graduation, the last 30 of which must be earned at La Roche.
Students must earn a grade of "C" or above in all Graphic & Communication Design major requirements to fulfill prerequisites and degree requirements. Grades below a "C", including "C-", will affect participation in portfolio reviews and advancement in the curriculum.
Graphic & Communication Design courses are offered sequentially during the academic year and the summer as enrollment permits. Courses are also offered in the evening. Note: students will be unable to complete the program without taking courses during the day.
All students are required to complete a 3-credit internship during their junior or senior year.
Transfer students apply through the Office of Adult Education and Graduate Studies. Students applying with 12 or more credits of design-related coursework may be asked to present their work to a designated member of the Graphic & Communication Design faculty for evaluation and placement in the curriculum. Placement is determined by the content of transferred credits in comparison with courses in the La Roche Graphic & Communication Design Foundation Program. Incoming transfer students need to be aware that additional semesters may be needed in order to meet the requirements of the curriculum. Additionally, all transfer students must sit for and pass the Mid-Collegiate Review before enrolling in upper-level design courses.