Graphic Design: Robert Morris University Graphic Design | Robert Morris University


The graphic design field is particularly diverse and continually evolving to adapt to the needs of the communications industry. RMU's students gain conceptual and technical skills that encourage flexibility and originality. These abilities are then developed with a focus on specific design applications, such as corporate identity, editorial design, advertising, design for print, typography, packaging and Web design.

At RMU, graphic design students start with traditional foundations coursework, including drawing, 2D design, and color theory before taking graphic design coursework. Usually during the sophomore year, students start taking graphic design courses in the computer lab. Coursework focuses on the subject matter where industry-standard software is used to deliver design solutions.

Fact: RMU grants close to one out of every four (25%) of all design and visual communications degrees within 150-mile radius of Pittsburgh. (Source: Noel-Levitz, 2012)

NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) Summer 2010 Salary Survey

Visual arts majors by functional area:
Design/Graphic Arts$29,834Performing Arts/Entertainment  $40,293
2009 RMU Salary Survey: Media Arts
 Mean: $32,300Range: $30,900 - $40,000 

Below is a typical four-year course of study for graphic design students, including major requirements and some electives. Your own schedule will vary based on your own interests.

FRESHMAN/Fall Semester FRESHMAN/Spring Semester
Foundation Studio Foundations Studio II
2D Design Principles Color Theory
Reading and Writing Strategies 3D Design Principles
Elective Argument & Research
Elective Elective
SOPHOMORE/Fall Semester SOPHOMORE/Spring Semester
Digital Imaging Intro. to Graphic Design
History of Visual Comms Intro to Photography
Intro to Printmaking Business Professional Communication
Public Speaking and Persuasion Vector Graphics
Media Arts elective Business elective
JUNIOR/Fall Semester JUNIOR/Spring Semester
Intro to Web Design Idea Development/Storyboarding
Intro to TV/Video Prod Production for the Designer
Design Studio I Design Studio II
Business elective Film Video Aesthetics
Elective Elective
SENIOR/Fall Semester SENIOR/Spring Semester
Corporate Identity Advertising Design
Advanced Typography Senior Studio
Media Arts elective Portfolio
Internship Media Management
Elective Elective

All four Media Arts degree concentrations are available as a B.A. or B.F.A. program.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is more specialized and intensive in the areas of concentration, with 24 credits of foundation studies and 24 major credits. The degree suits those who are clear that they wish to pursue a career in one of the four concentration areas, although they do not have to choose one until the sophomore year.

The Bachelor of Arts degree, in contrast, does not have a foundation studies area, but combines the same classes as those in the B.F.A. into 33 major credits. Additional courses are converted into open electives, allowing students to pursue a minor or broaden their studies into other areas of interest. The B.A. degree also allows transfer students to gain maximum advantage for credits completed at other institutions.

The Wheatley Center

The Wheatley Center unites students and faculty of the School of Communications and Information Systems under one roof for the first time. Media arts is the last department to leave RMU's former downtown property; it joins the school's other departments on campus — computer information systems, organizational leadership, communication, and English.

The soaring, 50,000 square-foot complex, glowing with colored LED accents, is the result of a dramatic architectural makeover. The former Wayne Center, a squat structure that once housed the university's facilities department and mailroom, forms the skeleton of the new building. Where maintenance workers once parked their trucks, students now relax in futuristic recliners under a three-story skylit atrium. In addition to faculty offices and classrooms, the center has a café, an art gallery, a screening room, and a variety of computer and design labs. 


Faculty members in the School of Communications and Information Systems are recognized for their dedication to teaching, academic research, global understanding, and professional experience. Our faculty regularly wins awards and accolades for excellence in teaching and research. As guides and mentors, they motivate students to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their field of study. Faculty members encourage students to engage in scholarly pursuits, including participation in academic conferences and professional organizations. Our faculty members hail from seven countries on four continents, helping to broaden students’ global understanding. Many lead study abroad trips and international student exchanges in Europe, South America, and Asia. Finally, SCIS faculty members’ professional experience and community involvement help students connect what they’re learning in the classroom to the workplace. 

Scholarships are available based upon academic achievement. 

For freshmen, high school grade point average and ACT/SAT scores are used. For transfer students, the cumulative grade point average of all college courses is used. Scholarships range from $1000 per year up to full tuition. (To calculate your scholarship eligibility, click here.)

Higher education is an investment in your future. 

At Robert Morris University, we will work closely with you to show you how to finance your education through a combination of need-based financial aid, scholarships, and financing strategies to make your education attainable. RMU has one of the lowest tuition rates of all private institutions in the state, but we know that financing your education can be complicated, and your family might need help in understanding your options. 

Talk to us—we can help! 
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