IUPUI Bulletins » Schools » Herron School of Art and Design » Undergraduate » Degree Programs » Bachelor of Fine Arts » Visual Communication Design

 Visual Communication Design

The BFA in Visual Communication Design is a professional undergraduate degree for students to gain theoretical and applied experience that will prepare them for numerous careers within the design discipline.

Visual Communication Design majors prepare for their career by integrating design studies with coursework in the liberal arts and sciences on the IUPUI campus.

Successful students achieve all the learning outcomes defined by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (Herron's accrediting body) and AIGA (the professional association for design) as essential competencies for design professionals.

Degree requirements

General Education

30 credits corresponding to IUPUI's Statewide Transferrable General Education Core.

Foundation Studies

20 credits

Art History, Theory, and Criticism and professional development

12 credits distributed as follows:

  • HER-H101 History of Art I (3 cr.) (may be used to fill Arts/Humanities General Education requirement)
  • HER-H102 History of Art 2 (3 cr.) (may be used to fill Arts/Humanities General Education requirement)
  • HER-V214 History of Visual Communication (3 cr.)
  • HER-V201 Making Meaning (3cr.)

Major Studio Requirements

The VCD curriculum is a sequence of Design Studios, support studios, and several Design Labs. In the junior and senior years, students are required to take 8 Design Labs (V308 and V408). These courses supplement the work that happens in the primary Design Studios. Design Labs are short, 8-week courses that focus on one area of design. Both junior and senior-level Design Labs will be available every semester an may include: advanced motion design, type specialties (hand lettering, type for screens, etc), user interface design, presentation techniques, game design, advanced design research, and many more. Each student customizes their roster of Labs to suit their individual professional and personal interests.

Students must complete 9 credits of 400-level coursework in their area of focus with all prerequisites and co-requisites for those courses. 

36 credits distributed as follows:

HER-V210 Design and Type Basic (3 cr.)

HER-V220 VC 2:  Design Methodology (6 cr.)

HER-V211 Typography (3 cr.)

HER-V301 Production for Print Design Outcomes (1.5 cr. 8W)

HER-V302 Production for Digital Design Outcomes (1.5 cr. 8W)

HER-V308 Design Labs (1.5 cr. each / need 4 sections)

HER-V311 Type & Image (3 cr.)

HER-V330 Introduction to Design Research Methods (3 cr.)

HER-V340 Design in Context (3 cr.)

HER-V400 Designing People Centered Experiences (3 cr.)

HER-V408 Advanced Design Labs (1.5 cr. each / need 4 sections)

HER-V453 Internship (3 cr.)

HER-V315 Design Lab Portfolio


Studio Art Electives

18 credits


HER-A205 Introduction to Illustration I (3 cr.) or

HER-K201 Photography 1 (3 cr.)


Academic elective (3 cr.)

Total:  125 credits

Recommended Associated Subjects for Academic Electives:
  • Anthropology and cultural studies
  • Business
  • Communication and rhetoric
  • Engineering
  • History
  • Psychology and human factors

Recommended Associated Subjects for Studio Electives:

  • Book Arts
  • Drawing
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Illustration
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Time-based media / Video

Last updated: April 2021