College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2013-2014

Visual Communication

Visual Communication, Bachelor of Fine Arts

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Interactive Design - Emphasis
  • Graphic Design - Emphasis

This program is designed to produce graduates who are skilled in using art and technology to creatively communicate ideas and transform messages into visual communication. Through this program, students will learn to use aesthetic judgment, color, type, symbols, digital images, multi-media, interactivity, motion graphics, photography, and project management skills to produce messages that clearly inform, effectively communicate brand experience, and persuade viewers.


What Can I Do with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication?

Do you like to sketch, dream, and create? Do you have an eye for detail? If images and visual technology delight and inspire you, then careers in the expanding universe of media are calling. The Visual Communication program at Northern Arizona University can help you to think critically and convey ideas with precision and impact. Sharpen your creative thinking and analytical skills in the School of Communication's core studies. Boost your tech-savvy in cutting-edge laboratories and studios. Learn to use color, form, type, and symbols to craft powerful messages. You'll develop your personal voice while seeking a universal message in your work.

By harnessing aesthetic judgment with project management skills, you'll learn to persuade viewers and forcefully communicate your client's message. Our alumni have started successful independent design practices and worked for some of the country's leading firms, including Body Glove, Yahoo! Games, Teva, and Nike.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Advertising design
  • Graphic design
  • Illustration
  • Set design

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • Museum curator
  • Art director
  • Graphic design supervisor
  • Academic professional

University Requirements

  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • At least 66 units of major requirements including 39 units of emphasis requirements
  • Be aware that you may not use courses with a VC prefix to satisfy liberal studies requirements
  • Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Major GPA 2.5
Highest Mathematics Required MAT 114
Emphasis, Minor, Certificate Required
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
University Honors Program Optional
Progression Plan Link View Progression Plan


Major Requirements

  • All majors must earn the grade of "C" or better in COM 101, COM 200, their freshman composition required course and their foundation mathematics course.

General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit. 

    You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)

Additional Information
  • See the School of Communication page for information about the Communication Core, Advising and Student Responsibilities, and Graduation Requirements.
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

Go to mobile site