The School of Architecture, Design, and Planning offers four Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree programs in Design: Illustration & Animation, Industrial Design, PhotoMedia, and Visual Communication (Graphic Design). All Design BFA programs are professionally focused and allow students ample studio time to develop their talents and create their art.

Design Department website




Featured Resources & Career Ideas

Environmental & Interior Design: Involves the planning, design, and furnishing of interior spaces; may require additional professional credentials beyond a bachelor's degree.

Illustration & Animation: Includes creating artwork for print (e.g. books, magazines, newspapers, calendars, greeting cards) or digital media (e.g. websites, films, television, video games, etc.).

Industrial Design: Specializes in the development and design of commercially manufactured products (e.g. cars, furniture, packaging, toys, etc.).  

PhotoMedia: Encompasses traditional photography and contemporary digital photography, video, and multimedia imaging; captures or creates images for use in a wide variety of mediums (e.g. print photography, mass media, web design, etc.).

Visual Communication (Graphic Design): Combines design and visual communication strategies to create and arrange graphics and layouts for print and digital publications, promotional materials, websites, etc.

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Further Explore Careers in Design

View specific employers by state.

Employer categories:

  • Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations Firms
  • Art Studios, Museums, and Galleries
  • Book, Magazine, and Newspaper Publishers
  • Commercial Manufacturers & Wholesalers
  • Computer Software & Video Game Companies
  • Educational Institutions
  • Design Firms: Architecture, Graphic, Industrial, Interior, Website
  • Greeting Card, Calendar, and Stationary Companies
  • Local, State, and Federal Governments
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Retail/Department Stores
  • Private Corporations & Businesses: Art, Promotions, Web Departments
  • Self-Employment, Freelance, or Contract Work
  • TV Networks & Film Studios
  1. Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
  2. Register for KU Career Connections and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
  3. Develop a portfolio that encompasses your best work and represents your unique talents and professional interests; work closely with design faculty to build and review your portfolio.
  4. Stay up-to-date on trends and hot topics in your areas of interest by subscribing to print or online journals and magazines.
  5. Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your areas of interest, such as: KU Community Resources Engaging in the Arts through Education (CREATE), KU Photo Club, Photography Club, Tau Sigma Delta, or Women in Design.
  6. Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest: sample resume-industrial design (pdf).
  7. Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field.
  8. If required by your industry, familiarize yourself with professional exams and/or credentials needed to practice in your field; note that requirements may vary by state.
  9. Attend KU's Architecture, Design & Planning Career Fair, held annually during the spring semester, to network with potential employers.

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