☰ 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 a 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 are complex problem solvers with individuals in mind.

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.

That's where we come in. Bethel's graphic design program is an integrative, interdisciplinary experience that allows students to choose an emphasis in business, communication, or anthropology/sociology. 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

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

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

You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in the R.E.A.L. Experience—a program specifically designed to help you gain the relevant, hands-on experience employers desire—so that when you graduate, you’ll be as impressive in practice as you are on paper.

What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?

Participate in Design Club activities

The Design Club student group hosts community-engaging events like the twice-annual poster sale. The club also attends local design lectures and participates in professional and portfolio development activities.

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

The Art Department Performance Scholarship is a $2,000 yearly renewable award given to incoming freshmen and transfer students who exhibit high potential. 

As you progress through Bethel's program, you'll also 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


students take art + design classes each semester

Upcoming Events

SEPT 16 2019

FORUM Student Exhibition Closing Reception

Olson Gallery

Closing reception for the FORUM student exhibition

SEPT 27 2019

Eric William Carroll performance and gallery reception

The Underground

Artist Eric William Carroll takes on the normally dry subject of science with a heavy dose of humor, humanity, song, mystery and magic.

OCT 9 2019


Olson Gallery

Landmark explore the fragmentation and layering of geography and experience, and the process of making meaning, monument and myth out of our lives in cities.

OCT 9 2019

Artist Talk and Opening Reception: Deborah Aschheim

6 p.m. Eastlund Room

Landmark explore the fragmentation and layering of geography and experience, and the process of making meaning, monument and myth out of our lives in cities.

Art and Design Features

Bethel Art Galleries

Learn more about Bethel's art galleries and see what's currently on display.

Department Instagram

See the latest work from Bethel art students, alumni, and friends. 

Become a Bethel Student

Facebook Instagram Tumblr