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.

For more information, please contact:


Dawn McCusker
Graphic Design Coordinator,
Professor of Graphic Design
School of Art Design & Art History
Studio Center, Room 118
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Phone: 540.568.6500


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 alumni are designers, art directors and leaders at the following: 

Deputy Design Director for Wired Magazine, San Francisco, CA 
Senior Art Director for The Atlantic Magazine, New York, NY
Senior Designer at The Martin Agency, Richmond, VA
Book designers at Penguin Publishing, New York, NY
Experience Design Lead at Adobe, San Francisco, CA
UX designer at Microsoft, Redmond, WA
Apparel Designer at Under Armour, Baltimore, MD 

In addition, our graduates are accepted to top graphic design graduate programs, such as RISD, RIT, VCU, and North Carolina State. For Graphic Design computer requirements, visit the Computer Recommendations page at the JMU Bookstore.



The Rob Miller Graphic Design 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.

Slideshow of Graphic Design Students' work


Trudy Cole

Associate Director of SADAH, Professor of Graphic Design

David Hardy

David Hardy

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design


Carissa Henriques

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design


Richard Hilliard

Associate Professor of Graphic Design


Dawn McCusker

Graphic Design Coordinator, Professor of Graphic Design

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