Create your path to success with our bachelor’s degree in graphic design

UMSL’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design provides hands-on education and real-world experiences to help you build the portfolio you need for the job you want.

Through our comprehensive, four-year graphic design program, you’ll develop confidence and competence in traditional and modern techniques - and learn from dedicated professors who are also accomplished artists and designers.

Our studio art and graphic design courses cover a broad range of methods and mediums with an emphasis on design, typography and illustration. We also offer instruction in animation, user experience and brand systems design. Whether you’re designing a new logo, product package, brochure or website, you’ll get all the tools you need to flex your creative muscle.

And if you’re looking to advance your education, our BFA degree program will prepare you for successful entry into graduate school.

What do graphic designers do?

Graphic designers create visual concepts to communicate ideas and information that inspire and motivate audiences across a multitude of settings and platforms. With our BFA in Studio Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design, you’ll learn to do this by combining images, typography and other elements of design using both hands-on techniques and the latest industry standard software.


Program type:

Major, BFA



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students and professor in a graphic design class

Why major in graphic design at UMSL?

Our rigorous BFA degree with an emphasis in graphic design prepares students for immediate employment as professionals in the creative industry.

  • Real-world education in a real-world environment. With UMSL’s graphic design courses, you get real and relevant hands-on experience in a studio-like atmosphere. Create and collaborate alongside professors and classmates just like you would in a real agency setting.
  • Expand your creative horizons. Take your bachelor’s degree in graphic design to the next level with our immersive Amsterdam course. Other opportunities include trips to New York City agencies, internships and partnerships fostering professional development and civic engagement.
  • More BFA for your buck. Our BFA degree program offers a rare combination of quality and affordability, meaning you’ll get an art school education without art school prices. Save on tuition and costs with art and design scholarships.

What can you do with a graphic design degree?

With a BFA degree from UMSL, you can do more and be more. Our graphic design majors are highly sought after by reputable design and advertising agencies in the St. Louis area and beyond. In fact, nearly 100% of our BFA alumni are working in the field six months after graduation.

From entry-level design to art direction, a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from UMSL opens the door to a world of opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects steady job growth for graphic designers , special effects artists and animators , and art directors over the next decade, with tens of thousands of job openings annually in each area.



Median annual salary


Employment growth by 2032


Career Opportunities

  • Graphic Designer
  • Digital Artist
  • Animator
  • Package Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Creative Director
  • Web Designer 
  • Marketing Professional
  • UX Designer
  • Art Educator


Plan of study

All majors must meet the general education requirements of the university in addition to completing degree-specific curriculum requirements.

Review Full Degree Requirements Review Sample Four-Year Plan

Non-Missouri Residents: Prospective students are responsible for reviewing the NC-SARA state authorizations page to see if this program is offered in their state throughout their program and to review the licensure or certification requirements for the state in which they reside.

Student organizations

Make new friends and learn new skills by joining one of our Recognized Student Organizations. Here are several opportunities you may be interested in as a graphic design major:

Honors College

The UMSL Honors College is a certificate program that can be paired with any major without adding extra classes or extending time to graduate. Classes in the Honors College are seminar-style, meaning that they are based in reading, writing, discussion, and critical thinking. This unique class format fosters an intellectual climate centered around democracy, diversity, civility and academic excellence.

Undergraduate research

We encourage and support students as they engage in exciting activities in and outside of the classroom that enrich their academic and professional understanding of their chosen area of study. All majors are encouraged to participate in Undergraduate Research and Scholarship to produce discipline-specific intellectual or creative innovations to their field.