Overview of our BFA in Graphic Design
Our three-year Bachelor's is for highly motivated students who would like to enter an intensive hands-on professional course of study. By completing the Bachelor's degree in three-years students:
The Academy makes this accelerated schedule possible by creating an extended academic year allowing students to complete three full-length semesters in each calendar year. Students may also choose to complete the program in a traditional four-year time frame.
- Save one year of expenses
- Enter the field of their choice a year early
New York Film Academy BFA in Graphic Design program is offered at our Los Angeles Campus.
Qualified students have the option of completing course work at the New York Film Academy in New York City in a one-year non-degree program and then applying their course work to be accepted for advanced standing in the BFA Graphic Design degree program.
The New York Film Academy Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design is an eight-semester conservatory-based, full-time study undergraduate program.
The NYFA Graphic Design BFA curriculum is designed to educate, train and immerse prospective graphic designers in all aspects of the discipline and prepare graduates to move into the professional field of graphic design and related areas. As a convergent discipline, graphic design connects to many areas of visual art, design, communication and culture. Students will become articulate and fluent with visual language and gain the skills to create meaningful visual messages. The curriculum targets three knowledge areas: practice, theory and context. Students will move through a course matrix that builds skills cumulatively from introductory to advanced level in preparation for working in the profession. NYFA fosters a creative and encouraging setting in which to inspire and challenge students as they follow a rigorous curriculum and achieve multiple learning objectives. In this 20th-century global communication culture, graphic design is a growth industry and the graphic designer’s skill-set is constantly in flux. The NYFA BFA in Graphic Design curriculum is designed to withstand short-term cultural trends and provide students with essential core knowledge and state-of-the-art practical skills.
Semester One introduces students to the principle elements of graphic design and core foundational aspects of visual communication. Students are introduced to the visual problem solving process: visual research, concept development and production of finished artwork. Students are encouraged to see the field of graphic design as a convergent discipline that connects to many aspects of the visual world and culture. Students will gain introductory knowledge of key historical and contemporary precedents in the field of graphic design and visual communication. While being introduced to fundamentals of graphic design practice, students will experience use of analog and digital tools and materials. Upon completion of Semester One, students will be fluent in core skills and fluent with basic design theory and fundamentals of visual communication.
Students will develop foundational writing and analytical thinking skills in English Composition and Physical & Mental Wellness.
Semester Two continues work started in Semester One and students will continue to develop their graphic design abilities, both artistically and technically, and visual problem solving skills. Students will become more fluent with fundamental skills and create more visually dynamic projects while developing analytical and critical thinking skills. Students will explore contemporary movements in graphic design and visual arts
and begin to discuss the work of seminal artists and designers, applying this knowledge to their assignments. Students are encouraged to see the field of graphic design as it connects to other art and design areas and many aspects of the visual world and culture. Upon completion of Semester Two, students will be fluent in core skills, have more experience with materials and media, and be more fluent with fundamental design theory.
Students will strengthen their general education with LAS courses in Public Speaking and History of Graphic Design.
In semester three, students will refine the skills developed in the previous two semesters. Students will continue to explore traditional (analog) and digital media while developing a personal direction in their work. Students will refine the creative process from visual research to finished artwork and become fluent in all areas of their practice. Students will continue to explore new materials and image making processes including digital photography and experimental digital printmaking.
By completion of Semester Three, students will have thorough understanding of the principles of graphic design, introductory theory, and a practical skill-set.
Students will strengthen their general education with LAS courses in Critical Thinking, College Mathematics, and Art History.
In Semester Four, students will consolidate their skills to develop intermediate level visual communication building on work from previous semesters. Students will develop stronger theory, analytical and critical skills while becoming more aware of the context in which graphic communications are produced and distributed. Having become familiar with principles of graphic design practice, students begin to tackle more specialized areas within graphic design, including communication design and motion graphics. Having had a firm grounding in the fundamentals of graphic design practice, this semester allows students to develop self-directed projects and a personal visual language. Students will produce more accomplished projects and presentations. Upon completion of Semester Four, students will be fluent in the process of visualizing concepts from thumbnail to finished art, will have developed stronger technical production skills, and will have a more personal approach to use of the computer in their creative process.
Students will strengthen their general education with LAS courses in: Environmental Biology and Contemporary Psychology.
In Semester Five, students will explore specialist areas within the graphic design field (Advertising, Package Design & Publication Design) and create work for print and web. Students will expand their software knowledge range. Having become accomplished with print images, students will begin working with time-based media (After Effects, Premiere & Final Cut). Students will become more comfortable in expressing themselves and defending their work in critiques. Students will expand their historical and cultural knowledge and research methods to strengthen assignments by researching key historical precedents in graphic design practice and begin to form a personal direction. Students will explore the historical and social contexts in which graphic design is produced and distributed. Upon completion of Semester Five, students will be taking a more self-directed personal approach to assignments and more fluent use of computer, page layout and image editing.
Students will strengthen their general education by exploring Art History and an upper-division Social & Behavioral Science course.
In semester six, students will further explore advanced specialist areas within the convergent field of graphic design and apply their advanced skills to client-led studio projects. Students extend their skills and creativity across a range of print and web outcomes including interactive media design and branding. Students become more independent in their work methods and have more opportunity to self-direct projects, take greater creative control, and further develop their personal vision. Students will become more accomplished with production skills and will be introduced to technical pre-press production skills. Students will develop stronger aesthetic, conceptual and technical skill and more personal use of digital technology. Classes will challenge students to develop stronger analytical skills and critical thinking skills. Upon completion of Semester Six, students will demonstrate advanced knowledge of the theories that underpin the cultural, historical and social contexts in which graphic design messages are produced and distributed.
Students will strengthen their general education with LAS courses in: History of Design, Art, Culture & Society, and one Natural Science course.
In their penultimate semester, students integrate their coursework and begin to plan their thesis projects. Students sharpen their critical thinking abilities and explore the way images are read by the audience. In semester seven, students begin to move from being problem solvers to becoming problem seekers. Having practiced a range of specialist areas within the field of graphic design, students begin to focus on personal directions in preparation for thesis work, professional portfolio production, and working in the industry. Students are working at an advanced level creatively, technically and conceptually. While working in a constructive mentoring environment, students are encouraged to become more independent in their work methods and begin to form professional objectives. While continuing to advance their creative and conceptual skills, students will also develop advanced technical production skills and develop collaborative teamwork skills. Upon completion of Semester Seven, students will be prepared for the final thesis project and production of the professional portfolio.
Students will demonstrate their key analytical skills by completing an upper-division Arts & Humanities course.
In Semester Eight, students synthesize their skills from previous semesters to create a professional level personal portfolio in multiple formats in preparation to move into the graphic design profession. This portfolio should demonstrate advanced creative vision, technical skill and personal aesthetic while also reflecting professional presentation skills. Student coursework focuses primarily on a thesis project centered on a clearly stated theme. Students have progressed from being problem solvers to problem seekers and the project plan should contain rigorous and intertwined research and practice objectives. This final project forms the content for the student thesis exhibition, which will be attended by faculty and invited industry professionals. Students become self-reliant but are supported during the semester by class critiques and instructor mentoring. Alongside the thesis project, students continue to gain knowledge of graphic design business practice and develop self-promotion strategies. Upon completion of Semester 8, students will have a professional and personal portfolio on multiple platforms (print & web).
Students will complete their Liberal Arts & Science requirements by taking their final upper-division Arts and Humanities course and final upper-division Natural Science course.