Graphic Design Major

Students in computer lab.

Students who major in Graphic Design receive individual instruction toward learning to create effective design and developing proficiency with technology.  Graphic Design Majors have access to current graphic design computer programs as they accumulate experience and build a design portfolio.  Graphic Design Majors at Simpson have gained internships and regular employment in a variety of places including Lessing-Flynn Advertising, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa, The Des Moines Register, Runner’s World magazine, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, and the Des Moines Art Center.

See the Graphic Design page for examples from Simpson graphic design students.


Students will complete nine courses plus capstone, and Sophomore portfolio and Gallery Event and Museum Attendance requirement.

Core Requirements:

  • ART 001 Gallery Event and Museum Attendance (0 Credits)
  • ART 121 Basic Drawing (4 Credits)
  • ART 131 Foundations of Design (4 Credits)
  • (Undetermined Course Number) Advanced Studio: Idea Development (4 Credits)


Art History Requirements

  • ART 206 History of Design (4 Credits)

Choose one from the following:

(Graphic Design majors are encouraged to take 203 or 205)

  • ART 201 Prehistoric to Renaissance (4 Credits)
  • ART 202 Renaissance to 19th Century (4 Credits)
  • ART 203 Modern Art (4 Credits)
  • ART 204 Non-Western Art (4 Credits)
  • ART 205 Art since 1940 (4 Credits)
  • ART 206 History of Design (4 Credits)


Sophomore Portfolio

Successful completion of the Sophomore Portfolio requirement by the end of the second year.


Studio Requirements:

ART 139 Graphic Design 1 (4 Credits)

ART 239 Graphic Design 2 (4 Credits)

ART 339 Graphic Design 3 (4 Credits)



Studio Electives for Graphic Design Major

Choose two of the following:

  • Art 221 Drawing I (4 Credits)
  • Art 322 Drawing II (4 Credits)
  • Art 245 Painting I (4 Credits)
  • Art 345 Painting II (4 Credits)
  • Art 241 Photography I (4 Credits)
  • Art 344 Photography II (4 Credits)



Capstone Courses

  • ART 319 Internship in Art (4 Credits)
  • ART 385 Senior Seminar (4 Credits)


Total for Graphic Design Major: 48 Credits