New graphic design BFA degree available

First full graphic design degree at Point Park

Written By Jared Murphy, For The Globe

After nine months in the works, the School of Communication at Point Park University has added a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic and Interactive Design.

On Monday, Nov. 5, members of the university met and a proposal was presented to incorporate a BFA in graphic design as a new major. It was decided that Graphic and Interactive Design would be its own degree and Associate Professor of Multimedia Robert Meyers will be the head of the new degree

The new degree will be available to students starting in the Fall 2019

Meyers said this is the first full graphic design degree offered at Point Park.

Starting next year, students will be able to major in graphic design, instead of having a multimedia degree with a concentration in graphic design. This was the closest thing the university offered to a full graphic design degree.

“This is a more concentrated degree. Students will get more graphic design classes and it will help students be more prepared for future jobs,” Meyers said.

The proposal added six new courses, all based on graphic design. The degree will require 127 credits to graduate and will have its own prefix, GID.

“A graphic design degree is a professional degree. The new degree is going to enhance portfolios and make students more employable,” Meyers said. 

According to the Curriculum Proposal, transcripts and course enrollment has shown that students are choosing graphic design courses and this suggested a degree in graphic design should be offered.

“At admissions events, high school students were asking for a graphic design major,” Associate Professor of Broadcast Journalism Thom Baggerman said.

“Graphic design is perfect for what we do in the School Of Communication. Ultimately its just another way of communicating a message,” Baggerman said.

The Proposal also states that in the Pittsburgh area there’s an opportunity for a graphic design program to grow and be successful. There are graphic design programs at Carnegie Mellon University, Robert Morris University, La Roche College and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

“The great thing about what we have is we are in the center of Pittsburgh. There’s graphic design firms all around us and we can bring them in part time,” Meyers said.

Courses that will be added are GID 250 Graphic Design History, GID 340 Interactive Graphic Design 1, GID 415 Typography 2, GID 440 Interactive Graphic Design 2, GID 490 Graphic and Interactive Design Capstone.

Another new course that will be offered next fall is GID 160 – Graphic Design Thinking.

According to the proposal, this course offers Graphic and Interactive Design students an introduction to problem solving methods used by graphic and interactive designers.

The proposal also states that some existing courses might have their prefixes changed to reflect the new major.