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Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
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B.Des. in Graphic Design

Push the boundaries of design +
Create visual stories.

Graphic Design at Penn State educates the design leaders of tomorrow. These leaders will shape the world in which we live by providing thoughtful, collaborative, and innovative solutions to complex design problems. We use design to tell stories, to empower people, and to make an impact in the world. The rigorous Bachelor of Design in Graphic Design degree program cultivates the rapidly evolving skills needed to meet the growing demand for design services—branding, storytelling, visualizing information, user-centered design, and experience design—by exploring students’ personal attributes and cultivating an awareness of societal issues.

Are you ready to make a global impact and expand the visual landscape of graphic design? Design your path with us at Penn State.

The Bachelor of Design in Graphic Design program arms students with the technical skills and the creative and innovative and intellectual capacity that are essential to creating value, eliciting emotions, and fostering understanding through design. Graphic design is visual communication connecting people with ideas and products. It’s about crafting user experiences in the built and digital worlds and carefully communicating messaging to diverse audiences.

Our diverse faculty brings a variety of skills and backgrounds in both academia and professional practice. They are experts in art direction, branding, storytelling, typography, visualizing information, and UX/UI design. Their professional connections and research partners allow students to work on a variety of projects for diverse audiences.

Our Internship Program allows students to gain experience from leading companies and in-housed design offices after their third year of study. These parings often lead to full-time job leads upon graduation.

Is the B.Des. in Graphic Design right for you?

The Bachelor of Design in Graphic Design at Penn State prepares students for careers in the nation’s leading creative firms.

We are uniquely positioned to offer all the benefits of a top 25 research institution – including access to state-of-the-art technology and resources, student organizations and clubs, a wide-range of electives, spectator and intramural sports, the performing arts, etc. – while maintaining a smaller, more closely-knit design community.

Studio is where creativity is encouraged, ideas are cultivated, and passions are nurtured. Following freshman year, our students have their own desks and gain 24/7 studio access. Our students work closely with their peers and faculty to create a diverse portfolio of concept development and design that exhibit their technical skill, and that articulate unique ideas.

Our graduates hold positions at design studios, advertising agencies, and corporate in-house design offices where they are producing a full range of graphic design: branding, print, motion graphics, visualizing, and UX/UI design.

The chance to experience the client-designer relationship as a student prepared me to take on freelance projects and got me excited about a career in design!"

Level Up

Explore the opportunities to make the most out of your education at Penn State.

Popular Minors
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Minor

The aesthetic and cultural value of design is tied to a business acumen for entrepreneurship.

Information Sciences and Technology Minor

Builds an understanding of core information technologies that can enhance the B.Design.

Art History Minor

Provides an introduction to the history of art as well as the option for more specialized study.

Photography Minor

Students learn the skills and knowledge to create professional- quality photographic images.

Get Involved

The student group for graphic design at Penn State.


Local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

Student Organizations

Penn State has over 1,000 student organizations. There’s a club for you, no matter your passion.

Internship Placement with Leading Firms and Brands

A world-renowned, award-winning designer of luxury accessories and ready-to-wear.

Award-winning American weekly newsmagazine published in New York City.

Billboard is the world’s most influential music media brand.

An American designer, manufacturer, and marketer of women’s lingerie, womenswear, and beauty products.

New York-based fashion house specializing in fashion goods for men and women.

A one-stop-shop for small space decorating and inspiration designed for the fashion-minded.

An American multinational conglomerate publishing company.

Wondering if the B.Design in Graphic Design is right for you? Consider this

Nearly 100% of our students are employed in the field within three months of graduation.

  • All of our students are placed in an internship following their third year.

  • Students have access to an alumni network spanning 50 years.

  • Penn State graphic design students win more than 20+ international design awards annually.

video Amber Lai, Carly Blonski and Abby Blend Emily Adar Jeff Buterbaugh Jacqueline Siry Eleanor Wing Kathleen Mensing, Daniel Ziegler, Jill Cordisco and Alexis Stern Emily Adar Kathleen Mensing, Callahan Miller and Colleen Wade Kayla Corazzi and Shuyue Wang Kathleen Mensing, Daniel Ziegler, Jill Cordisco and Alexis Stern

Alumni Spotlight

Metropolitan Opera design director Karin Satrom.

Alumni Spotlight

Karin Satrom

B.Des. in Graphic Design 2001

Karin Satrom leverages her degree in graphic design and photography as the design director at the Metropolitan Opera, where she oversees and creates the concepts and designs for all print and digital materials for each season. To improve efficiency, she reorganized the design team to create an “in-house agency,” the Met Opera Studio.

Billboard poster for Metropolitan Opera's 'Voices Rise' by designer and Penn State alumna Karin Satrom.
Metropolitan Opera's 'Black Voices at the Met' environmental signage by designer and Penn State alumna Karin Satrom.
Metropolitan Opera 2018-19 Season Book cover by designer and Penn State alumna Karin Satrom.

Earn a degree. Excel as a citizen at the same time.


of our students are placed in an internship between their third and fourth years.

Faculty Spotlight

Red, white, and blue flag-motif and KKK white hoods graphic for anti-hate poster.
Red, white, and blue flag-motif and KKK white hoods graphic for anti-hate poster.

Ryan Russell

Associate Professor of Graphic Design

The Bienal del Cartel Bolivia BICeBé – a biennial elite international design event in Bolivia – attracts the best designs from Latin America and around the world while promoting a humanistic approach to design. Two posters designed by Ryan Russell, associate professor of graphic design, were accepted into the 2019 BICeBé. Russell’s poster for “Deconstructing Symbols of Hate in America” was selected in the cultural category. His other selected poster, this time in the advertising category, was for an immersive augmented reality exhibition called “TOUCH.”

Ryan Russell

News from A&A

Interim architecture department head to retire after 35 years at Penn State

Dan Willis, interim department head and professor of architecture in the College of Arts and Architecture’s Stuckeman School, is retiring June 30 after 35 years at Penn State.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A strong drive to always learn more has been one of the defining elements of Dan Willis’ career at Penn State. Willis, interim department head and

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