a Nazareth professor pointing at a computer screen during a design class


Bachelor of Science


With this degree, you will be prepared for careers requiring design understanding, interdisciplinary research, or for entry into graduate school.

The B.S. Design (Visual Communication Design) degree is a liberal arts design studies program with a studio orientation. You will develop creative problem-solving skills and visual responses to communication problems using digital and analog media for design. Working independently and in collaborative teams, you'll learn to create effective design solutions for diverse audiences and situations. The curriculum covers a wide breadth of experiences and understanding that connects graphic design to general studies in the arts and humanities, the natural and physical sciences, or the social sciences — rather than professional specialization.

The B.S. Design program gives you the freedom to choose 30 credits of self-selected interdisciplinary coursework. This flexibility allows you to build a customized learning path that can accommodate a second major or minor — or you may choose to deepen your design education by studying abroad.

All programs in the Art and Design Department are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). This accreditation means that our faculty, curriculum, and facilities meet or exceed national standards.


  • The program combines integrative studies in the liberal arts with a general and flexible design studio curriculum. By crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries, you will learn different perspectives and leverage new ways of thinking.
  • You may choose from a broad range of electives that allow you to focus on interests such as storytelling, communication, media, or the humanities.
  • The degree allows for elective options to accommodate a second major or minor such as communication and media, marketing, or technical production.
  • You can choose to study abroad. Among the options are a semester in Florence, Italy or in Rennes, France — programs that offer classes in this major.

Inside Nazareth's Art & Design Studios

    Portfolio option

    A portfolio is not required for admission, but we encourage you to schedule a portfolio review to be considered for a scholarship. View portfolio details and register.

    Fully immersed

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    Understand design so you can analyze it, communicate visually, guide others, do research, or pursue grad school

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    Flexibility: Add a second major or minor or study abroad

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    Gain understanding of design with regard to cultural context

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    Customize your focus with electives in your areas of interest

    Experiential Learning


    Unique to Nazareth, our SPARK Grant provides $1,500 for you to pursue internships, research, and study abroad, plus up to $2,500 in a tuition scholarship for summer SPARK-eligible experiences that earn credit. SPARK stories »

    an academic setting featuring a woman positioned in front of three computer screens
    a person diligently operates a laptop, surrounded by an assortment of vibrant color swatches
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    Your life's work


    • Design Consultant
    • Exhibit Designer
    • Graphic Designer
    • Illustrator
    • Production Artist
    • Publication Designer


    • Buffalo Business First
    • CGI Communications
    • Devara
    • Ear-Q Group
    • Geva Theatre Center
    • Mason Selkowitz Marketing
    • Memorial Art Gallery
    • Paychex
    • Pavilion Gift Company
    • Pinckney Hugo Group
    • Rochester Software Associates
    Amanda Riek, alum of BS graphic design degree program, visual communication major, Nazareth College

    Alumni Spotlight

    Amanda Riekstins '16

    "At my job, I'm the graphic designer and I am part of the marketing department, so the skills I learned in classes for my business management minor are useful to me. I'm more aware of how marketing works outside just the visual approach and have a better understanding of how the pieces are going to be used to reach the target market. A B.S. degree offers exposure to a wide variety of topics. You never know where you'll end up working, and since every company has a different focus, it helps to have knowledge of several different subjects. Because Nazareth is a smaller school, I really got to know all of my professors — who prepared me for my career path."