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Graphic Design

The Graphic Design major is a professional program in a sequenced curriculum that addresses the wide variety of design applications in print and digital media. Students will encounter a diverse and substantive experience in the range of design activity for the contemporary knowledge economy. Students graduating from the program pursue careers in graphic design nationally in a broad range of applications or continue their education in MFA programs.

The program provides a solid foundation of traditional and emergent creative expressions. Students will be introduced to design methods and principles to develop their ability to be personally engaged, economically viable and professionally relevant. The core graphic design curriculum stresses competencies in research, ideation, analysis and articulation, aesthetics, design theory, productivity, and the application of technology, necessary for personal expression or professional practice. Instruction throughout emphasizes and promotes social responsibility, diversity, and inclusion.

All graphic design students should expect a creative and collaborative environment built upon the experience of a faculty of practicing designers and design educators. Limited enrollment and class sizes ensure an intense and individualized course of study. The department's dedicated state-of-the-art facilities include classroom and production spaces built and equipped to facilitate instruction and invention with traditional and digital media. The program strongly encourages and supports critical interaction with the design community through lectures, workshops, internships, and professional memberships.

After Graduation

Graduates of our program have gained employment in a variety of design and design-related positions in the Hampton Roads area and across the country. These situations span the range of design opportunities from commercial to non-profit; agency, in-house and freelance; information to promotion; print to emerging media. In addition, alums have gone on to become entrepreneurs, using their skills to devise new products and services. Students have also continued on to graduate study in design at competitive programs nationally.


An individualized internship that focuses on the student's interest within the graphic design discipline may be used as graphic design elective credit. Students interested in an internship should be prepared to research positions in their specific areas of interest. Ideally, internships are performed during the final year of study. The ODU Career Resources Center provides listings of internship and employment opportunities. Be aware that situations listed by the office (and elsewhere) as "internships" may not meet our standards. Internships for credit must be approved in advance by graphic design faculty before application to and acceptance by the employer.

Internships are mentoring situations where the student works on-site under the direct supervision of a full-time graphic design professional. Qualifying internships must provide an experience equivalent to upper division coursework. The internship should provide students with valuable on-the-job experience, collaboration with industry professionals, and preparation for employment. Students must be given the opportunity to conceive, develop, and produce significant design materials. Weekly hours should be in the 10-12 range. Ideally, internships are paid situations as they provide real value to the organization or business. Final evaluation will be made by the work supervisor to the faculty of record for GDES 368.

Barry Art Building


Each semester prior to registration, all graphic design students are required to meet with one of the program advisors listed below for a preregistration advising appointment. At your appointment, the advisor will lift your advising hold, which is required in order to register for classes. Advisors will also discuss the major curriculum, academic and career goals, and identify appropriate resources needed for academic success.

Preregistration advising occurs after Fall break for Spring/Summer registration and after Spring break for Fall registration. Students should bring an updated Curriculum Checklist to their advising appointments to be advised.

Dedicated Faculty

The graphic design faculty have extensive teaching experience in higher education within the discipline of graphic design. They also have established records as productive scholars and commissioned professional designers for local, regional, national, and international clients. Their collective body of work has been recognized and published in respected professional and specialized journals, as well as national and international competitions and exhibitions. Publications from the faculty represent works in the field related to conceptual, theoretical, and applied aspects of graphic design.

Professor Kenneth FitzGerald
Email: kfitzger@odu.edu
Website: www.ephemeralstates.com

Assistant Professor Szilvia Kadas
Email: skadas@odu.edu

Assistant Professor William Truran
Email: wtruran@odu.edu
Website: https://willtruran.com

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