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At Pratt, we see communications design as a close alignment of thinking and making. Our curriculum pairs critical, cultural observation with emerging technologies and tools to help you form your own design process.

Graphic design with neon colors. A sleeping, naked woman floats amongst an array of different items like plants, posters, alarm clocks and other objects in abstract forms.
Undergraduate, BFA
Undergraduate Communications Design
School of Design
Courses Plan of Study

The Communications Design curriculum embraces the multifaceted and interdisciplinary nature of communication design practice. Our courses and projects promote the rich exchange embodied in a studio culture that values the development of individual perspectives, critique, visual literacy, media fluency, experiential learning, and innovative formal outcomes.

Second-year coursework introduces fundamental theories, methodologies, and skills central to communication design. Courses prompt students to define and explore a design process that engages research, historical and contemporary contexts, experimentation, audience, technology, and play in the construction of meaningful visual forms.

Upper-level studio courses prompt students to engage in increasingly complex projects that introduce time-based media, visual systems, branding, and installations. Beginning in the third year, students develop an individual focus or set of interests inside the larger discipline through courses in their chosen area of emphasis: graphic design or illustration. Electives both inside the department and throughout the Institute expand the core curriculum, allowing students to explore ways of thinking and making throughout the visual arts.

Emphasis in Graphic Design

Students who select the Graphic Design Emphasis take a series of upper-level studio courses that explore topics and modes of practice, such as typographic and identity systems, visual rhetoric, interactivity, experience design, sustainability, and inclusivity. Projects encourage critical inquiry, collaborative processes, and experimentation with multiple technologies and platforms. Electives provide opportunities to explore a wide spectrum of specializations in graphic design, including user experience, motion graphics, independent publishing, design writing and creative coding. 

A photo of a magazine with graphic designs using typography and color contrast.

In the Communications Design BFA program students will undertake a course of study where they will work towards:

  • Developing a professional, responsive and interdisciplinary perspective on the role of design and the designer and their relationship to economic, social, ecological, historical and political systems

  • Engaging with form, systems, experiences and interactions as intersecting modes of knowing, thinking, making and being, and the implications on people, communities and environments across scale

  • Situating making practices, research and theory in response to the legacies of design history and to global, local and personal narratives

  • Demonstrating fluency in challenging the use of tools, technologies and materials across media in consideration to the value systems they embody

  • Practicing exploration and experimentation of the interplay between thinking and making towards developing a diverse body of work