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Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design

The Graphic Design program at SUNY New Paltz is based on our strong conviction that broadly educated individuals make good designers. Our program integrates the College’s Liberal Arts core courses with a rigorous Design curriculum. We position Design as a cross-disciplinary practice with skills drawn from Communication and Media, Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology, and Fine Art. Not only do students “do” design, but they also think, read, write, and talk about design.

Professional design practice involves engaging in lifelong learning. Our program emphasizes process and research methods and prepares students for both independent and collaborative work. We respond to rapid advancements in design tools and practices by teaching design techniques that span the range of low to high technologies. Classes are taught in a hybrid studio/seminar format, in which demonstrations, lectures, discussions, and critiques alternate with work periods. Projects are often undertaken in collaboration with other campus programs.

Recent field trips include visits to museums, design studios, and lectures in New York City and Albany.

Visiting designers have included:

Gail Anderson

Matteo Bologna

William Drentel

Mikon Van Gastel

Carin Goldberg

Tim Goodman

Hilary Greenbaum

Sabrina Hall

Jessica Helfand

Ellen Lupton

Debbie Millman

The Reverend Billy

Nina Stössinger

Dana Tanamachi

Martin Venesky

Roberto de Vicq

Design students are involved in the Design Society, the graphic design student club, and the Student Art Alliance, an organization that supports visiting artists, travel, and student project proposals.

Each spring, New Paltz Design Week celebrates design on campus and in the region with public lectures, workshops and networking events.

Current students have garnered awards and scholarships from national and international design organizations including The Type Directors Club and the University & College Designers Association (UCDA). Many students secure selective internships in the field, which can be applied toward credit in the major. Recent internships completed by students have included the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, Slack, Consumer Reports, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Moonfarmer, Grey Advertising, and Marquee Brands, among many others.

Students graduating from the SUNY New Paltz Graphic Design program have met with success in the field. Graduates work professionally in established design studios, while others have founded and run their own design businesses. Recent graduates and alumni are employed at Martha Steward Living Magazine, Soundcloud, NBC Universal, Google, CNN, HarperCollins, General Electric, US Tennis Association, Simon & Schuster, United by Blue, NYS Assembly, Coach, and Time Inc., among many other notable agencies, companies, and studios. Many go on to attend nationally and internationally regarded graduate school programs.


Success stories

Tim Brown (2003), Jacqueline McCullough (2015), Rob Mostransky (2008), Jon Pfieffer (2008): "Alumni Leave Their Mark on the Design Industry"

Tania Velin (2020): "One way to be a world-class storyteller? Visualize it."

John LePore (2004): Profile on Art of the Title

Hillary Lindeman (2011): "Women’s Leadership Career Summit welcomes 27 alumnae back to the College"

Nicolette Seeback (2015): "Diverse classes prepare alum for career"


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