About the CCPS Bachelor of Science in Graphic and Digital Design

The Department of Fine and Performing Arts supports a variety of approaches to the creation and examination of both the visual and performing arts. Through creative endeavor we challenge our students to celebrate, explore and express the human condition, pushing through conventional boundaries while forming meaningful connections with both local and global communities. We affirm the arts as an integral part of our culture and a critical component of a liberal arts education in the 21st century.

The departments offers a variety of majors in the discipline of arts administration, music, theatre, and visual arts. Students are encouraged to explore connections that embrace the diversity of the liberal arts.

Programs in art and art history offer: 

  • Introductory courses designed to develop appreciation and increased understanding of the fine arts and their contribution to the cultural life of society.
  • Advanced courses leading to and academic major or minor in art history, design arts or fine arts.
  • Special programs formulated to prepare the student for graduate study or a professional career.
  • Support courses leading to a professional degree in architecture and state certification in art education.

Prior to selecting the Graphic and Digital Design major, students should consult with their advisor and the chair of Art and Art History. All students who decide to major in Art History, Graphic and Digital Design, or Fine Arts should officially elect a faculty member from the department as their formal advisor and consult with that faculty member prior to course registration each semester.

This major is appropriate for students who:

  • Wish to pursue a career in graphic design, web development, commercial photography, art direction and multimedia artists; or
  • Plan to seek admittance into a graduate program in fine arts, in which additional Advanced Studio coursework and a second major in Art History or Fine Arts is highly recommended.

The Graphic Design and Design Arts major is only available through the Springfield campus. 

Please note that ARTZ 111 is offered in the fall semester only. ARTZ 496 Apex Studio is to be taken in the spring semester of the year the student graduates. To enroll in ARTZ 496, students are required to fill out a Permission to Register for Special Coursework form.

View General Education Requirements     View Requirements for Graduation


Bachelor of Science in Graphic and Digital Design

The Bachelor of Science in Graphic and Digital Design requires a minimum of 24 credit hours.

ARTH 153: Visual Literacy - Art History and Culture
3 credit hours

Using a range of visual objects, from contemporary advertisements to works of art, from ancient artifacts to architecture and graphic novels, this course introduces students to the skills of critical seeing, analysis and interpretation to help them make meaning from, and discern cultural values encoded within, visual imagery.

ARTZ 123: Drawing
3 credit hours

Students will work in a variety of drawing media and techniques solving representational problems. This course includes an introduction to figure drawing.

ARTZ 210: Graphic Design I
3 credit hours

This course familiarizes students with the foundations skills of graphic design from sketch through comprehensive design. It introduces vocabulary, research, typography, design process, and exploration of design elements and principles through visual design problem solving. Students will develop presentation skill and familiarity of professional tools and techniques. This course will introduce the student to industry standard software applications and critical analysis of design work through written and verbal presentations. Studio fee required.

ARTZ 260: Photography I
3 credit hours

This course covers basic principles of photography, both digital and analog. Students will learn manual camera operation as well as darkroom printing techniques and basic Photoshop skills within a historical and cultural context of the medium. Students will be introduced to critical analysis of art works through written and verbal presentations. Both a DSLR and SLF 35mm camera with shutter and aperture control are required for this course. Cameras are available to rent throughout the semester.  Course fees required.

ARTZ 310: Graphic Design II
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: ARTZ 210.
This course is a continuation of the exploration of graphic design elements and principles study through more complex and comprehensive solutions. The student will deal with experimentation through research, conceptual thinking and process dealing with brand identity, logo, publication and UX/UI design problems. Students will learn new tools and techniques for the development of design solutions from prototype through comprehensive solution. The students will further develop writing and presentation skills through critical analysis of historical design works and user/audience research. Studio fee required.

ARTZ 311: Publication Design
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: ARTZ 210 and ARTZ 310.

This course explores the design and production of printed material, the use of grid design, the study of typography and software production techniques for books, magazines, newspapers and electronic publications. Students will build strong technical skills as it relates to prepress production and photo editing, typography and layout, while conceptualizing, designing and producing projects. Students will continue to develop writing, research and presentation skills related to the professional practice in development of their work. Studio fee required.

ARTZ 365: Photography: Studio Explorations
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: ARTZ 260.

This course will expand on fundamental skills by introducing studio lighting with the use of DSLR, medium-format and large-format cameras. Retouching, scanning and color management will also be taught in this course. Students will  further develop their writing and presentation skills through critical analysis of works of art. All cameras required for this course are available to check out during the semester. Course fee required. This course has been approved as an Honors qualified course.

ARTZ 496: Apex Studio
3 credit hours

This course requires design art and fine art majors to create and exhibit work that utilizes the knowledge gained while in the department of art and art history and within their comprehensive liberal arts experience. Significant responsibility lies with the student to work independently to develop a project or body of work that demonstrates the student’s development of a sense of creative and intellectual authority. This Apex work will be included in a comprehensive portfolio that must also be completed in this course.