School of Industrial + Graphic Design

Graphic Design

The Graphic Design (GDES) Program in the School of Industrial + Graphic Design prepares students to practice visual communication in a competitive global environment. Auburn’s nationally regarded Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design is the only NASAD accredited Graphic Design Program in Alabama. The program emphasizes fine arts, visual/digital interface, packaging, exhibitions, magazine design, logos, and identity development.

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (BFA) in Graphic Design (GDES) will enroll in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction as Pre-Graphic Design (PGDE) major for the first year level curriculum. Admission into the BFA in Graphic Design is selective, limited and is based on a multiple step process. The program maintains the right to limit freshmen and transfer enrollment.

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Accepted as Pre-Graphic Design major 

Once accepted to Auburn University, students will be designated as Pre-Graphic Design (PGDE) for the first year of the curriculum. Entering freshmen who are admitted as PGDE to the major must begin their program of study in the Fall or Spring term of the academic year after they are admitted, or they will be held to the same admission requirements as transfer students.

 

PGDE to GDES second year level Courses

After completing the first year level Pre-Graphic Design curriculum, an admission process based on GPA ranking admits qualified students into the Graphic Design second year level program for the GDES 2210 and GDES 2220 courses. Once accepted into the second year level the students will be classified as GDES and be considered probationary.

 

The admissions process into the second level GDES program is as follows: Pre-Graphic Design students must complete at least 28 semester hours of credit including: GDES 1110 Foundation Drawing; GDES 1210 Foundation Design I; GDES 1220 Foundation Design II; two courses from the sequence ARTS 1710, 1720, 1730 Art History I, II, III; and at least 6 hours of coursework counting toward the University Core Curriculum.

 

The GPA for entrance to the second level of Graphic Design will be calculated on the above listed courses only. (The two highest Core grades will be used.) [Grades received at other institutions in courses that have been accepted by Auburn, as Core or fundamental art course requirements, will be included in the GPA.]

 

Following completion of the above listed courses, PGDE students will submit an Application to B.F.A. in Graphic Design Degree Program to the CADC office of Student Services. Students will be ranked by GPA, and the top students will be selected. These students will be notified and then registered in the next level courses: GDES 2210 Production Processes and GDES 2220 Typographics I by CADC Student Services. Students who are not accepted can reapply in following semesters. 

 

B.F.A in Graphic Design Entrance Review 

All probationary second-year level GDES students who have achieved a minimum 2.50 GPA in GDES 2210 and GDES 2220 are eligible to apply through a portfolio review process for GDES 2230. The Graphic Design Review Committee conducts entrance reviews at the end of each fall, spring, and summer semester. To advance to GDES 2230, it is required that students submit an unofficial transcript showing the required GPA, a portfolio of work from GDES 2210 and GDES 2220, and a one page typewritten statement of intent. 

 

The portfolio will consist of six projects from the two courses (no more than four projects from one course). The statement of intent should include reasons for choosing the Graphic Design major and address career goals.

 

The Graphic Design Review Committee will evaluate the student’s portfolio and written statement in terms of the individual student’s skills, artistic perception, conceptualization, and professionalism. Upon successful admission by portfolio review, the student will be required to purchase a laptop computer that meets minimum laptop requirements.

 

Continuation in the Program 

All required coursework must be completed with a grade of C or better. In the event a grade of D or F is received in any required course in the major, a review is required for continuance in the program. Based on the outcome of this review, a student may be required to repeat the course or not allowed to continue in the program. Students receiving a second D or F will be reviewed for continuance in the program. Similarly, a student receiving two or more grades of C in required classes may be reviewed for continuance in the program.

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The Graphic Design (GDES) Program maintains the right to limit transfer enrollment based on available resources. On-and off-campus transfer students must file a PGDE Transfer Application form (spring 2014) / PGDE Transfer Application form (fall 2014) and meet criteria listed in the application with the CADC Office of Student Services no later than the posted deadline.
 
A student must have a minimum cumulative unadjusted GPA of 2.8 (on a 4.0 scale) on all collegiate work attempted and will be accepted on a space-available basis as determined by the school head.
 
On and off campus transfer applicants must meet criteria listed in the “Academic Policies” section of the Auburn University Bulletin. The application packet includes an application form, statement of intent, and official transcripts from all schools attended. A portfolio is required for consideration of transfer credit for any studio classes taken. Applicants must be admitted to Auburn University at the time of application.


Screening of applications for fall admission begins in March with applicants notified by April 15. Screening of applications for Spring admission begins in October with applicants notified by November 15. Students admitted MUST begin the program the following term. Course work in the major must be taken in sequence; transfer students should anticipate that additional semesters of study may be required to complete the program.

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Professional programs are inherently more expensive to run than non-professional programs. They require more space, more personnel, a lower student-to-teacher ratio, access to a higher level of technology than most disciplines, and incur significant costs associated with achieving and maintaining accreditation from the appropriate specialized, national agencies.


As a result, the College of Architecture, Design and Construction charges a professional fee to partially defray the difference between state funding and tuition, and the actual costs of our professional programs. Within each program, a professional fee charge of $2,160 is tied to enrollment in specific trigger courses. During semesters when students are enrolled in these classes they will be charged a professional fee. These courses are identified in the CADC undergraduate handbook. 


Through the professional fees, the CADC continues to provide our students with rigorous and relevant academic experiences, which contribute to our programs being recognized as among the best in the nation.

 

GDES Professional Program Application

 

Graphic Design Laptop Requirements

MacBook Pro with 8Gig RAM (or equivalent) + mouse 

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The Auburn University School of Industrial + Graphic Design is committed to providing its faculty, staff and students with outstanding special programs that enable them to succeed with both their educational and career goals.
SIGD is well known for its industry collaborations. GDES regularly collaborates with industry and attempts to make these experiences replicate the true relationship between a graphic design team and a business/industry. 


SIGD offers annual study abroad opportunities open to Industrial and Graphic Design students in the Spring and Summer semesters. Students share studios and workshops at colleges and universities in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, or in Taiwan and Hong Kong.


SIGD holds annual events to engage the entire student community. Every Fall semester, industry experts from around the country are invited to speak and participate in class activities during Design Interaction. Designing Green is SIGD’s annual sustainable design competition and is held every Spring semester.
GDES students participate in the GDES Juried Student Show Exhibition and are encouraged to take part in various industry competitions, AIGA and AD Club competitions, and to apply for competitive internships.


GDES seniors exhibit their senior project in the GDES Senior Show at the end of each semester.

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  • CADC Student Council
  • CADC Ambassadors

  • Environmental Design student organization

  • Historic Preservation Guild

  • Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society

  • National Organization of Minority Architects and Designers (NOMAD)

  • CADC Learning Community

  • School of Industrial + Graphic Design

  • Auburn University Chapter of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)

  • American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)

  • Visit Auburn University Student Organizations for more information.

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The curriculum has been designed to meet accreditation standards set by SACS and NASAD (National Association of Schools of Art and Design) and is structured to provide students with a course of study that ensures growth and development over time.

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Visit the Graphic Design website.

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Carlton Nell

Carlton Nell

Professor and Graphic Design Program Chair

334-844-3388