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graphic design workshop

Program Information

The Graphic Design program at SUNY New Paltz is guided by our strong conviction that broadly educated individuals make good designers. We position Design as a cross-disciplinary practice with skills drawn from Communication and Media, Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology, and Fine Art.

Our program is comprehensive and pre-professional and integrates the College’s Liberal Arts core courses with a rigorous Design curriculum. Seventy-five percent of the coursework you’ll take is in design, foundation studios, and art/design history. Our curriculum provides comprehensive hands-on experiences in print, web and interaction design, and motion as well as supportive coursework in design history, research and theory. Not only do our students and faculty design, but they also think, read, write and publish, 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.

Please note: we do not offer coursework or curricular tracks focused on illustration, animation or game design, so if this is the career path you’re most interested in pursuing, our program is likely to not be a good fit for you.

Student Learning Outcomes 

Our SLOs enact educational and professional values endorsed by our accreditor (the National Association of Schools of Art and Design/NASAD) and our national professional organization (the American Institute of Graphic Arts/AIGA). 

By the time they graduate, Graphic Design BFA majors will be able to:

 understand and describe, prototype, iterate, and evaluate communication problems 

 apply their working knowledge of human factors to understand and describe users, audiences and design contexts

 create, develop, iterate, and refine well-crafted visual form 

 understand and master tools and technologies, from creation to distribution

apply a basic knowledge of graphic design business practices, organization and teamwork 

Recent events:

Graphic Design Senior Thesis Show, Friday May 5, 2023, 4-7pm, FAB Rotunda. 

Design Week 2023, March 27–31.

Follow the SUNY New Paltz Graphic Design program on Instagram, @npzdesign.

To find out what you can do with this major, click here.


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