☰ In This Section

Major/Minor Image

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Graphic Design combines rigorous studio arts experiences with required courses in relevant disciplines of the social sciences, communication, and business. Students are actively challenged to consider their roles as makers and creators within broader industry contexts and systems.

Why should I study graphic design?

Designed objects and images exist all around us. Designers are culture constructors. They bring brands and products to life, manifest movements, motivate, engage, and serve people. They make information accessible. Designers solve complex problems.

Students who are interested in graphic design want to make a difference in the world. They want to make it a more beautiful, useful, and inspiring place. They are strategizers, innovators, creative thinkers, dreamers, doers, and makers looking for an education that will help them hone these skills and put these traits to work.

Bethel's graphic design program is an integrative, interdisciplinary experience that allows students to choose an emphasis in business, communication, or digital humanities. This component equips and challenges students to apply their design practice by using visual and strategic communication skills to address real-world problems across disciplines.

What can I do with this degree?

Because graphic design is a high-demand and versatile discipline, our graduates work in a number of fields including:

  • Corporate communication
  • Editorial design
  • Publishing
  • Advertising
  • Branding
  • Museum curation
  • Architectural design
  • Medical illustration

Whether working as part of an agency or in-house design team, or creating in a freelance capacity, graduates hold roles such as:

  • Studio owner
  • Freelance designer
  • Art director
  • Web designer
  • User interface designer
  • User experience designer
  • Production designer
  • Motion graphic designer
  • Educator
  • Museum curator

Our alumni are currently working in roles such as:

  • Graphic designer at 10K Research and Marketing
  • User experience designer at Honeywell
  • Web designer at the Star Tribune
  • Owner of Barsuhn Design

What skills will I develop?

  • From typography to web design, you’ll gain proficiency in industry-standard software
  • An understanding of the essential principles of graphic design
  • The ability to work through complex design problems that require you to pull from studio experiences and interdisciplinary knowledge
  • Practical skills required when designing for real-world projects and scenarios
  • Professional skills such as knowing how to create a polished portfolio and develop an original body of work

What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?

Learn and receive mentoring from professional artists and designers

Bethel affords all the advantages of a small department nestled within a booming metropolis. You will be exposed to studio visits with prominent local designers and design firms. You will have conversations and receive critique of your work from local, regional and national artists and designers who present in our galleries and courses. Finally, you will learn from professional artists daily. All of Bethel's art instructors are exemplary educators and experienced artists who actively pursue their craft.

Gain hands-on experience

The Twin Cities area boasts numerous design shops, agencies, start-ups, and in-house design opportunities. Recently, graphic design students have conducted internships with area design groups, publishing houses, in-house teams, and non-profits including Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge and Urban Ventures.

Earn awards, grants, and scholarships for your work

Bethel University offers the Arts and Humanities Scholarship to incoming students. Through this program, one full-tuition and several $10,000/year scholarships are awarded to deserving students planning to pursue majors in these academic areas.

Additionally, as you progress through the design major, you will have other opportunities to receive monetary awards and earn recognition. For example, students who participated in the 2017 journalism and design J-Term trip Textura used their experiences to publish a magazine, which won two national awards from the University & College Designers Association as well as a Best Feature Magazine national title from the Associated Collegiate Press. 

Finally, at the annual Raspberry Monday spring student art exhibition, the art department decorates students with a number of monetary awards, including the Raspberry Monday Award for the student with the best all-around performance; the Guy Chase Graphic Design Award for the student with the strongest graphic design work; the Jeff Koeningsberg Award for an exemplary art student; and the Purchase Award for artwork chosen by faculty to add to Bethel's permanent collection.

Academic Plans and Course Catalog

See plans


exhibits each year featured in our 2 on-campus galleries


art majors to faculty ratio

Upcoming Events

MAR 23 2023

Wayne Adams Curator's Talk - Peaceable Kingdom

6 p.m. Eastlund Room

Curator's Talk for Peaceable Kingdom, on show in the Olson Gallery.

MAR 23 2023

Peaceable Kingdom

6 p.m. Olson Gallery

Peaceable Kingdom features six artists who respond to the work of 19th century artist and Quaker minister, Edward Hicks.

APR 3 2023

Raspberry Monday 2023

Johnson Gallery

Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition

APR 3 2023

Raspberry Monday Reception and Awards Ceremony

7 p.m. Johnson Gallery

Join us for the awards ceremony of our Annual Juried Art Exhibition!