close up of a student working on a computer in a graphic design class

Create Your Future with a Degree in Graphic Design and Illustration

If you see yourself as a creative problem solver, as someone who wants to effect positive change in the world using your visual skills, discover IUP’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Illustration/Art Studio.

With a dual focus in both graphic design and illustration, you’ll gain deep knowledge as a professional and develop a diverse and competitive portfolio. IUP’s faculty are working designers and illustrators with rich real-world experience, who will support and challenge you every step of the way. When you graduate, you’ll be ready for hire in a variety of commercial art fields—or start a venture of your very own.

What You’ll Learn

The BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration/Art Studio will prepare you with a foundation of experience in art and design for the commercial marketplace. Guided by IUP’s world-class faculty, you’ll hone your ability to develop creative concepts and learn a variety of in-demand design skills in:

  • Brand design
  • Digital illustration
  • Layout
  • 3D modeling
  • Typography
  • Web design

You'll choose from a range of electives to round out your expertise as a visual communicator. From there, you’ll be ready to begin an exciting career as a graphic designer, illustrator, web designer, art director, or something of your own creation. As a graphic design and illustration major, you’ll gain the knowledge necessary to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities, like self-publishing or individual product development.

Imagine Your Future

There isn’t just one job, or one industry, you’ll be prepared for. When it comes to what’s next, your options are many—and multiplying all the time—including careers in graphic design, web design, 3D modeling, illustration, art direction, and interaction design.


Industries Looking for You

From the smallest local business to the largest corporation, businesses and celebrities need a brand identity, an internet presence, and visual marketing materials to stay competitive. As a graphic designer and illustrator, there is a nearly infinite need and opportunity to utilize your skills with every website, every smartphone, and nearly every product.

Recent graduates have found lasting employment with companies including:

  • Brunner marketing agency
  • General Electric
  • Lost Battalion Games
  • The National Park Service
  • Rue21
  • American Eagle International

You’ll learn from faculty who have worked for clients such as:

  • British Airways
  • Capcom
  • Chicago magazine
  • General Motors
  • Pierogi Gallery
  • Rolling Stone magazine
  • Square Enix
  • The US Air Force

Career Opportunities

  • Art director
  • Brand and identity specialist
  • Commercial art entrepreneur
  • Creative director
  • Illustrator
  • Layout designer
  • Print designer
  • UI designer
  • UX designer
  • Website designer

Art Director


Median Salary


National Job Growth

Fine Artist, including Illustrators


Median Salary


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Graphic Designer


Median Salary


National Job Growth

Web and Digital Interface Designer


Median salary


National Job Growth

Classes and Requirements

What You'll Study

You will be prepared for an established career in graphic design and illustration with this exciting program that simultaneously teaches you the skills you need to succeed as an entrepreneur in the visual arts.

Graduation Requirements

Your core classes form the foundation of this IUP program, including layout, typography, web design, 3D modeling, animation, photography, design theory and history, illustration, drawing, digital painting, print media, and career preparation. You’ll have a leg up with elective courses in marketing and communications media, which will prepare you to face the challenges of contemporary designers and visual communicators.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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Submit Your Portfolio

If you have been accepted to IUP, your next step is to submit an entrance portfolio for review. Click the button below to upload your work and finalize the process.