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Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design



Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Graphic Design

The graphic design program at JMU provides a professional education with an interdisciplinary approach. Program objectives for the graphic design student are:

1. Be able to articulate ideas and understand the fundamental elements and principles of graphic design while using correct terminology pertinent to the field.
2. Demonstrate a working knowledge of artistic methods, craft and formal structure as vehicles to enhance a solutions communicative value.
3. Be proficient in both traditional and digital ways of making.
4. Develop diverse problem-solving methodologies that combine theory, research, analytical skills and conceptualization to create effective graphic design solutions.
5. Develop a professional graphic design portfolio reflective of one’s knowledge and abilities that encompasses the contemporary design market.

The graphic design program objectives are enhanced by frequent field trips to design events, guest speakers, workshops and internship opportunities. While at JMU, design students have an opportunity to engage with design leaders in the field through our student-run chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the professional design organization.

Admission to the graphic design program is selective and requires a portfolio review after completion of the introductory coursework. The reward for admission and completion of the program is significant as JMU graphic design graduates are considered valuable additions to creative teams across the U.S. Our graduates are also accepted to the top graphic design graduate programs including RISD, RIT, VCU and North Carolina State, just to name a few.

Rob Miller Graphic Design Award
This award was created in honor of former JMU graphic design alum Rob Miller, class of 1997. Rob passed away in 2002. His parents, Dr. & Mrs. Martin Miller and his close JMU friend, Daniel Hoeck, committed to giving this award. This award is given annually to graphic design majors who are rising seniors and have shown outstanding accomplishments in their artwork as undergraduates at James Madison University.

For additional information about the program or if you are a prospective or transfer student, please contact the program coordinator, Trudy Cole, at 540-568-3488 or by email at
For Graphic Design computer requirements, visit the Computer Recommendations page at the JMU Bookstore.
Trudy Cole, Professor of Graphic Design, Graphic Design Coordinator
M.F.A. Pennsylvania State University; B.F.A. K-12 Teaching Certificate, Tyler School of Art;
A.A. Bucks Community College 540.568.3488
Richard Hilliard, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design and Illustration
M.F.A. University of Hartford; M.A. Syracuse University; B.F.A. Pratt Institute 540.568.6367
Dawn McCusker, Professor of Graphic Design
M.F.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; B.F.A. Eastern Michigan University 540.568.6500
Jun Bum Shin, Assistant Professor of Interactive Media/Graphic Design
M.F.A, B.A. Purdue University 540.568.3485
Sang Yoon, Professor of Graphic Design
M.F.A. Tyler School of Art; B.F.A. Seoul National University 540.568.6833