The Communication Design Program is one of the largest public programs in the country and considered to be one of the best within the Southwest United States. The goal of the program is to create a stimulating learning environment for students where they can pursue their specific interests within four areas of professional study: graphic design, art direction, interactive media, and illustration.
In addition to the general course work, Communication Design students are encouraged to participate in local, regional, national and international design competitions, serve as an intern to a professional practice, join Communication Design student organizations, and attend visiting professional lectures and exhibitions.
Communication Design students have received recognition in many prestigious design journals by having their work published in CMYK, Step Inside Design, Graphis New Talent Annual, and PRINT. Students have also received recognition in national, regional, and local competitions such as: The One Show, American Advertising Federation Awards, National DSVC Student Show, Creative Summit, Art Director's Club of Houston, Austin Addy Awards, and San Antonio Addy Awards.
Courses in Communication Design emphasize conceptual communications following the model of professional practice while seeking to explore innovative new aesthetics. Students seeking the BFA in Communication Design–in addition to their general studies, art foundations, art history, and art electives—engage in a rigorous study within their major. Four specific foundations courses prepare the student for the upper level curriculum with course offerings for the student within his/her area of specialization. The outcome of this curriculum is the preparation of a superior portfolio, with a focus on enabling the student to enter into the professional practice of communication design.
Courses in typography, advertising art direction, corporate identity, packaging, corporate marketing materials, environmental graphics, interactive design, and illustration prepare the student for professional practice within a designer/client relationship. Students may further their education with independent study courses and professional internships.
The Communication Design courses are taught in a studio environment, with class sizes limited to approximately 20. The Mitte Complex has Macintosh labs, an open lab for student use, digital color printing availability, digital still and video camera checkout, and a photography studio.