Degrees and Requirements

Graphic Design

WHAT DOES A GRAPHIC DESIGNER DO?

Graphic designers create communications that educate, advocate and entertain. From the small hang tag on a piece of clothing to the oversized billboards in Times Square, from the books we read as children to the textbooks we learned from in school, from the magazines we read to the websites we visit and the films and videos we watch – Graphic Design is literally everywhere.
For nearly 40 years, La Roche College graphic design students have gone on to become professional graphic designers, art directors, illustrators, interactive designers and publication designers. They work at firms such as Apple, American Eagle, Brunner Advertising, Lockerz and MAYA Design, creating logos and branding, designing packaging and brochures, developing ad campaigns and producing TV, web and print ads.
Our current faculty, many of whom are practicing graphic designers or exhibiting artists, are able to bring their real-world knowledge back into the classroom to facilitate the best learning opportunities for our students. Our 13:1 faculty-to-student ratio allows students to connect with their professors on a level that allows them to grow and find their individual creative voice.

CURRICULUM

Our curriculum is a well-structured and rigorous program that serves as a basis for the investigative study necessary for upper-level design courses. Roughly three fourths of the coursework is in major requirements, major electives, foundation courses or art history. Students spend a considerable amount of time in studio interacting with other students and their professors, immersing themselves in their major.

To complete the Graphic Design Program successfully, the following coursework is required:

  • 63 credits of Graphic Design Major Requirements
  • 15 credits of Graphic Design Major Electives
  • 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.

Academic Standards
Students must earn a grade of C or above in all Graphic Design courses to fulfill prerequisites and degree requirements. Grades below a C, including C-, will affect participation in portfolio reviews and advancement in the curriculum.

Freshman Review

At the end of the spring semester, faculty meet with each freshman student to review his or her work. This review is informal and is an opportunity for students to discuss their first year at La Roche with the faculty.

Sophomore Review
At the end of their sophomore year, students are required to present a portfolio of their work to the Graphic Design faculty for their Sophomore Review. Students must have completed all required freshman and sophomore Graphic Design coursework, earning a C or better in each course, to be allowed to participate in the Review.

Course Rotation
Graphic 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.

Internship Requirement
All students are required to complete a three-credit internship during their junior or senior year.

Transfer Policy
Students who have completed courses at other academic institutions and wish to transfer to La Roche should contact Lisa Kamphaus, Graphic Design Department chair, to set up a meeting to review and evaluate their coursework. After both the Registrar and the Graphic Design Department chair evaluate the student’s transcript, placement within the curriculum is determined. Please note that transfer students must pass the Graphic Sophomore Review before enrolling in upper-level design courses.

Summary of Requirements

Graphic Design Major Requirements: 63 credits

  • GCDN1023
    DRAWING I(IDSN1023) |

    GCDN1023
    DRAWING I(IDSN1023) |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    A study-workshop in the language of drawing, including practice in expression and communication in various media utilizing principles of line, tone, gesture, exaggeration and lighting. Cross-listed with IDSN1023 |

    PREREQUISITES:

  • GCDN1060
    FOUNDATION DESIGN I(IDSN1060) |

    GCDN1060
    FOUNDATION DESIGN I(IDSN1060) |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    An introductory course in design process, the principles of design and their application to studio projects. This course establishes a framework form which to explore the connection between the foundations of design and complex discipline-specific design problems. Cross-listed with IDSN1060 |

    PREREQUISITES:

  • GCDN1062
    FOUNDATION DESIGN II(IDSN1062) |

    GCDN1062
    FOUNDATION DESIGN II(IDSN1062) |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course builds upon Foundation Design I, as an introductory course in design process, the principles of design and their application to studio projects, with a focus on color theory through both two- and three-dimensional design. This course continues to establish a framework from which to explore the connection between the foundations of design and complex discipline-specific design problems. Cross-listed with IDSN1062 |

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN1060

  • GCDN1070
    COMPUTER GRAPHICS I |

    GCDN1070
    COMPUTER GRAPHICS I |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course will explore the theories and techniques presented in Foundation Design I, build upon that knowledge, and apply it to traditional graphic design projects. The course will be an introduction to raster image creation, manipulation and production using professional, industry-standard software. Students will use the computer as a tool to render and create original imagery. The projects will introduce students to the process and professional practice of graphic design.|

    PREREQUISITES:

  • GCDN1071
    COMPUTER GRAPHICS II |

    GCDN1071
    COMPUTER GRAPHICS II |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course will explore the theories and techniques presented in Foundation Design II, build upon that knowledge, and apply it to traditional graphic design projects. The course will be an introduction to vector image creation, manipulation and production using professional, industry-standard software. Students will use the computer as a tool to render and create original imagery. The projects will introduce students to the process and professional practice of graphic design.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN1070

  • GCDN2008
    DIGITAL PUBLISHING |

    GCDN2008
    DIGITAL PUBLISHING |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    The study of image and type layout, utilizing professional industry software. This course will focus on the integration of type and image through various page layout solutions and will build upon previous studies in image generation.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN1060 & GCDN1062 & GCDN1070 & GCDN1071

  • GCDN2010
    GRAPHIC DESIGN METHODOLOGIES |

    GCDN2010
    GRAPHIC DESIGN METHODOLOGIES |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course will explore, define and analyze the thinking strategies utilized in the profession of graphic design. Creative exercises, brainstorming and ideation models, information gathering, research projects and collaborative work will help students to understand and practice the processes and problem-solving strategies by which intelligent design solutions are reached.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN1060 & GCDN1062 & GCDN1070 & GCDN1071

  • GCDN2012
    TYPOGRAPHY I |

    GCDN2012
    TYPOGRAPHY I |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course introduces students to the basics of typography as the backbone of Graphic Design. By studying the anatomy of a letterform, typographic history, classifications, typeface recognition, hierarchy and terminology, students learn to organize typographic compositions and systems in order to communicate intellectual and expressive meaning. Students explore the typographic form through both hand-rendered and digital mediums using industry standard software.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN1060 & GCDN1062 & GCDN1070 & GCDN1071

  • GCDN2016
    DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY |

    GCDN2016
    DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course will explore digital capture and handling of photographs enabling the student to master the technical aspects of digital image capture. Students will learn techniques for editing and enhancing photographs, become familiar with photography’s various roles: art form, journalism, advertising and will produce a portfolio of quality color and black and white prints from digital files. This course is for design majors only.|

    PREREQUISITES:

  • GCDN2021
    GRAPHIC DESIGN I |

    GCDN2021
    GRAPHIC DESIGN I |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course investigates design principles and concepts, incorporating them into the foundations of graphic design. The student is introduced to the language and processes used to achieve effective graphic design. Through investigation of core graphic design principles, concept development, language and processes; students explore both formal and expressive techniques for successful and effective integration of image and type. |

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN1062 & GCDN1070 & GCDN2008 & GDCN2010 & GCDN2012

  • GCDN2029
    INTERACTIVE I |

    GCDN2029
    INTERACTIVE I |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    Students will be introduced to design fundamentals and practices as they relate to digital mediums. This course will focus on HTML/CSS standards-based design. Students will learn to separate content (using Hypertext markup language) from appearance (using Cascading Style Sheets) in order to design effective communication that enhances the user experience. Importance will be placed on evolving technologies and languages, site compatibility on a variety of devices and browsers and effective design fundamentals for digital mediums.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN1070

  • GCDN3022
    TYPOGRAPHY II |

    GCDN3022
    TYPOGRAPHY II |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    Further development of the ideas, techniques and principles studied in GCDN2012. Emphasis is placed on polishing and advancing basic typography skills through the study of typography in publication design, i.e., multiple page design as it relates to layouts for books, booklets, brochures and magazines. Format and design for continuity is stressed.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN2021

  • GCDN3026
    DIGITAL PREPRESS & PRINTING |

    GCDN3026
    DIGITAL PREPRESS & PRINTING |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course investigates the electronic preparation of images and files for print publications.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN3031 & GCDN3041

  • GCDN3031
    GRAPHIC DESIGN II |

    GCDN3031
    GRAPHIC DESIGN II |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course will focus on information organization and complex hierarchies, in order to reach conceptually and aesthetically sophisticated design solutions. Particular emphasis will be placed on research, investigation, rigorous brainstorming and organizing a large quantity of information in order to reach content-heavy, visually-engaging solutions. Prereq: Successful completion of Mid-Collegiate Review.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN2021

  • GCDN3041
    GRAPHIC DESIGN III |

    GCDN3041
    GRAPHIC DESIGN III |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    With an emphasis on communication and advanced design problems, this course will focus on the development of clear, appropriate, dynamic and efficient branding through a systems approach to design. It will begin with the detailed study of the brand and brand identity, and culminate in the development of an integrated branding program. A high degree of conceptual, aesthetic and technical ability will be required for successful completion of this course.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN3031

  • GCDN3045
    INTERACTIVE II |

    GCDN3045
    INTERACTIVE II |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    An in-depth study of multimedia design, theory and application for upper-level Graphic Design students. This course covers advanced web design using CMS(Content Management System), animation, interactivity, online advertising as well as an introduction of mobile application design. Class assignments may be related to Graphic Design II which will be taken concurrently during the first semester of the Junior year. The class will explore design theories pertaining to interactivity, animation, online advertising and layout that will be interrelated to producing final solutions.Prereq: Successful completion of Mid-Collegiate Review.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN2021

  • GCDN3046
    MULTIMEDIA |

    GCDN3046
    MULTIMEDIA |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course is an advanced study of multimedia and video design, theory and application for upper level Design students. Taught primarily on a MAC platform, this course utilizes software for digital video production. Class assignments will be closely related to GCDN3041 Graphic Design III, which will be taken concurrently during the second semester of the Junior year. The courses will be interrelated in terms of theory as well as outcome assessment.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN3045

  • GCDN4041
    SENIOR DESIGN CAPSTONE |

    GCDN4041
    SENIOR DESIGN CAPSTONE |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This capstone-level course centers on the development of a semester long independent project. In consultation with faculty and peers, students will focus on creating multi-component, content-driven projects that demonstrate their ability to completely identify, research, self-author and implement in-depth solutions. The course will culminate with a final professional presentation.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN4055

  • GCDN4051

    GCDN4051

    Credits (Min/Max): /

    PREREQUISITES:

    JR/SR Status in Graphic Design

  • GCDN4055
    SENIOR DESIGN SEMINAR |

    GCDN4055
    SENIOR DESIGN SEMINAR |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    An open-ended senior seminar dealing with various aesthetic questions and team efforts in which students act as art director, designer, illustrator, writer, or photographer. Emphasis is placed on educational experiences that enable the student to move from hypothetical design problems to the challenge of working with clients on real jobs. Communication Design majors play a significant role on creative teams.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN3031 & GCDN3041 & GCDN3045 & GCDN3046

  • GCDN4058
    PORTFOLIO PREPARATION |

    GCDN4058
    PORTFOLIO PREPARATION |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course involves the exploration of self-promotion strategies necessary for success in the graphic design profession. In consultation with faculty and peers, students will revise and improve upon prior and current projects in order to develop a strong senior portfolio. Through instruction and research, students will learn techniques for effective verbal and visual presentation of their work. This course will prepare graduates for the job market and continued education. The course will culminate with the annual Senior Portfolio Show.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    SR Status

Major Electives: 15 credits

  • GCDN2038
    ILLUSTRATION |

    GCDN2038
    ILLUSTRATION |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course places an emphasis on thorough experimentation of image-making techniques including hand, digital and a combination of those. It will provide students with an in-depth knowledge of current and past illustrators and give them skills to create concept-based imagery. Emphasis is placed on communicating specific messages to targeted audiences in order to understand the relationship between Illustration and Graphic Design.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN1023 & GCDN1070 & GCDN1071

  • GCDN2040
    WORD & IMAGE |

    GCDN2040
    WORD & IMAGE |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    An in-depth study of the symbiotic relationship between words and images and the importance of integrating text with visual information to achieve professional results. Emphasis will be placed on the juxtaposition of image and text in order to produce coherent design. Problems will focus on concept generation and problem solving.|

    PREREQUISITES:

  • GCDN2047
    PHOTOGRAPHIC LIGHTING TECHNIQUES |

    GCDN2047
    PHOTOGRAPHIC LIGHTING TECHNIQUES |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course will explore various aspects of portrait and product photography, making extensive use of lighting technique and equipment in an examination of both natural and artificial lighting environments. The course is intended to provide additional tools, techniques and insights into image production and development for the Graphic Design and Communication Design major.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN2016

  • GCDN3043
    PACKAGING DESIGN |

    GCDN3043
    PACKAGING DESIGN |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    The course is an introduction to the elements and principles of design for packaging, retail display and branded environments, with an emphasis on visual communication for three-dimensional design.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN2021

  • GCDN3053
    ENVIRONMENTAL GRAPHIC DESIGN (IDSN3053) |

    GCDN3053
    ENVIRONMENTAL GRAPHIC DESIGN (IDSN3053) |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    Introduction to the study and practice of Environmental Graphic Design (EGD) with an emphasis on understanding visual communication and information systems for navigating and experiencing the built environment. The course will cover theory and practical application of topics related to EGD including: principles of wayfinding, study of three-dimensional design and exploration of typography, symbols, identity and information design in the public space. Cross-listed with IDSN3053|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN2008 & GCDN2010 & GCDN2012 & GCDN2021

  • GCDN4050
    GRAPHIC DESIGN-SPECIAL TOPICS: |

    GCDN4050
    GRAPHIC DESIGN-SPECIAL TOPICS: |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    FA18 Jewelry Design: Materials, Form & Process - This class will be an exploration of the design and production of small scale three dimensional objects designed for the body. Realized through both traditional and contemporary jewelry techniques students will design, research techniques, and build objects in a variety of materials. Students will be introduced to both hand and computer techniques (laser & 3D printing) to see their designs through to fruition. Knowledge of vector graphic software (Illustrator, or other) is helpful. SP19 User Interface Design: This course investigates the theory and application of user interface design through digital environments such as computers, mobile devices, touch screens, and other electronic devices. Students will learn and apply concepts in research, planning, user testing, and rapid prototyping to develop efficient and effective usability outcomes. Studio work will require students to balance concepts in information architecture, iterative design, and visual aesthetics in order to develop successful user experiences. SP19 Mixed Media Image Making: This course engages graphic design students in the many ways images can be made for use in their visual communications projects. Drawing on both hand-work and digital technology, students will consider how content can be expressed with collage, assemblage, photography, altered art, found objects, ink and rubber stamping, photocopy alteration, distressing techniques, monoprinting, screen printing, stencils, and more. Exploring multiple solutions to image challenges, students may work with content from other design courses in order to enhance and advance the end result of their projects and portfolio outcomes. Students will also have the opportunity to create a final piece that is commercially printed, requiring additional knowledge in working with printers and pre-press production.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    GCDN2008, GCDN2010, GCDN2012, GCDN2021

  • GCDN4052

    GCDN4052

    Credits (Min/Max): /

    PREREQUISITES:

    JR/SR Status in Graphic Design

  • MRKT3012
    BUYER BEHAVIOR |

    MRKT3012
    BUYER BEHAVIOR |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course focuses on the role of buyers in the marketing process. Buyer behavior in the consumer marketplace as well as the organizational buying process is examined. The study of buying behaviors enhances understanding of what marketing strategies are likely to be effective, how humans operate in the marketplace, and what kind of affective, cognitive, and social mechanisms enter into the purchasing decision. A sampling of specific topics addressed includes the role of attitudes, learning and memory, and lifestyles and culture in the buying decision.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    ADMG2021 or MRKT2021

  • MRKT4014
    MARKETING STRATEGY |

    MRKT4014
    MARKETING STRATEGY |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    A capstone course in marketing that emphasizes planning at the management level. Examines key concepts and issues that impact planning decisions, such as analysis of the marketing environment; formulation of marketing strategies; and development, implementation, and control of the marketing program. Using case studies, students are expected to develop comprehensive marketing plans and recommended solutions to specific situations encountered by marketing professionals operating in a wide variety of organizations.|

    PREREQUISITES:

    MRKT3012

Requirement Art History: 12 credits

  • ARTH1017
    HISTORY OF ART I: PREHISTORIC TO GOTHIC |

    ARTH1017
    HISTORY OF ART I: PREHISTORIC TO GOTHIC |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    A survey of world art from prehistoric to late Gothic eras as well as an examination of the interaction of the social, political and economic forces that effected the production and appearance of such arts as painting, sculpture, architecture and the minor arts. Lectures, slides, discussion and field trips are utilized.|

    PREREQUISITES:

  • ARTH1018
    HISTORY OF ART II: RENAISSANCE TO MODERN |

    ARTH1018
    HISTORY OF ART II: RENAISSANCE TO MODERN |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    This course will provide a survey of world art from early Renaissance to the present day. Emphasis is on cause and effect in the various historical and technological developments of art. Lecture, discussion, slides, film strips and field trips are part of the course.|

    PREREQUISITES:

  • ARTH2002
    HISTORY OF GRAPHIC DESIGN |

    ARTH2002
    HISTORY OF GRAPHIC DESIGN |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    A survey of the history of graphic design from the invention of writing to the twentieth century. Emphasis will be given to the evolution of graphic communication and will include the origins of printing and typography. The impact of the industry on visual communication and the development of modern graphic design will also be presented.|

    PREREQUISITES:

  • ARTH3016
    HISTORY OF FILM(GCDN3016) |

    ARTH3016
    HISTORY OF FILM(GCDN3016) |

    Credits (Min/Max): 3/3

    The course attempts to make the student more aware of the medium as well as its place in the development of our culture. While the approach is historical, emphasis is placed upon development of the student's visual literacy. Additionally, important topics such as censorship and film propaganda are discussed. Cross-listed with GCDN3016|

    PREREQUISITES: