Graphic Design at MSU

At Montana State University we offer a professional BFA degree in Graphic Design. This traditional four-year undergraduate program is nationally accredited by NASAD. The emphasis is upon the development of professional design skills for employment within the creative industries. Over the past 30 years the BFA Graphic Design program at MSU has offered job placement for its graduates at the nation’s top advertising agencies, design firms and in-house departments.


BFA Degree in Four Years

During the freshman year Graphic Design students begin with several foundations courses along with art history and core classes. Then in the sophomore year students are introduced to graphic design and computer basics. To maintain excellence each sophomore is required to pass a portfolio review at the end of the second year. Once accepted into the upper level of the Graphic Design program, juniors must purchase a Mac laptop computer and Adobe Creative Suite software. During the third year students select from several Graphic Design electives to explore the scope of the profession. Both juniors and seniors may participate in professional internship opportunities at local, regional and national businesses. Finally the fourth year students develop a self-authored senior research project and create a capstone portfolio along with learning professional job-finding skills.


Careers in Graphic Design

With a BFA degree in Graphic Design from MSU graduates have the opportunity to work in advertising, publishing, marketing, public relations, user interaction and a wide range of creative based industries. Here is a list of some of the jobs related to this exciting profession: 

  • Advertising
  • Animation
  • Apparel Design
  • Art Director
  • Branding
  • Creative Direction
  • Gaming Graphics
  • Industrial Design
  • Illustration
  • Letterpress
  • Logo Design
  • Media Coordination
  • Multi Media Design
  • Marketing
  • Package Design
  • Photography
  • Preproduction Coordination
  • Production Design
  • Screenprinting
  • User Interaction
  • User Experience
  • Video Production
  • Web design


Click here to view and print the BFA Graphic Design Curriculum (2021-22).

Click here to view and print the BFA Graphic Design Curriculum (2020 and before).


Laptop Requirements


To ensure student success the graphic design program at Montana State University is now requiring that students in the graphic design BFA option must purchase a Macbook Pro laptop prior their sophomore level courses. Students will specifically need these laptops for their first day in GDSN 223 Design Principles in fall semester. Click here to view the laptop requirement PDF that outlines specifics for purchasing. 


 Student Achievements


Rosemary Middlebrook, Audrey Moss, and Collin Shull's design for Allora, wins an Award of Excellence—published in the Communication Arts Typography Annual 2019.

Jessie Madeson, Graphic Design Senior, shines at startup challenge in Missoula


Celebrating our Senior GDSN Class of 2021 


GDSN Senior Website

 The School of Art is pleased to present senior websites that document the work of our graduating students in Graphic Design. Please click on the "Best Shot" Spotlight Image to find out more about the class and their work. 


 Current Graphic Design Student Work


Student Logo Design WorkPackaging Student Project WorkLetterpress Process WorkProfessional NightInfographic student project - Christeen JanningType Hike Poster Student Work 3D Word Assembly from StudentsSPINDEGO - App design - Student projectPackaging Student Project WorkSenior Capstone ProjectGraphic Design Senior Trip - Fall 2017BARK magazine redesign - Student ProjectWorld Heritage Site Brochure Student WorkTeton Digital Photo Student Album Cover DesignInterchange - Student ProjectTeton Digital Photo Letterpress Artist BooksWork Hard - Student projectClimate Change Magazine LayoutGraphic Design Senior Trip - Fall 2017

Click on an image to view as a slideshow.


Connect Further + Apply

Connect with us through social media on Facebook and Instagram. You can also request more information or apply today to start your exciting journey at Montana State University.