Meaningful graphic design is critical to how we create and interpret meaning in messages.

Our students are immersed in print, web, and multimedia design, applying their advanced skills to hands-on projects and internships. You'll hone your skills in modern design software while developing branding strategies, web sites, magazine layouts and more. By strengthening your visual intelligence, you'll cultivate the artistry you need to create compelling and impactful messages.

Our students incorporate other communications disciplines like media arts and journalism in their coursework. That versatility sets our students apart — employers know Simmons graduates understand the bigger picture and can contribute to any creative team from day one.

With highly competitive design skills, you'll find interesting and creative internships in places ranging from Boston Children's Hospital to State Street. Our students not only excel in the technical and creative areas, but additionally understand the meaning making practices that afford them a competitive edge.

Program Requirements

Students may pursue a design concentration focusing on print, web, multimedia, or a combination.

Requirements Outside the Communications Department:

May be taken concurrently with Steps One through Three.

The following three studio art courses:

  • ART 111 Introduction to Studio Art: Drawing
  • ART 112 Introduction to Studio Art: Color
  • COMM/ART 138 The Poetry of Photography

Plus one of the following courses to satisfy the prerequisite in art history:

  • ART 141 Introduction to Art History: Egypt to Mannerism
  • ART 142 Introduction to Art History: Baroque to the 20th Century
  • ART 249 History of Photography
  • Design History elsewhere with the consent of a design advisor.

Step One: The Communications Core Requirements:

The major requires three core courses that explore the areas of media and society, writing and editing, visual culture and the technology currently driving emerging media. A blend of theory and hands-on, practical projects prepares students for further developmental work in one of the department's concentrations of study.

  • COMM 121 Visual Communications
  • COMM 122 Media Writing Bootcamp
  • COMM 124 Media, Messages, & Society

Students should complete the three core courses by the end of the second year of study in a four-year program. A student should declare their major at the end of the sophomore year. In this recommended sequence, the student would complete the core and then choose a track to declare at this time.

Step Two: four required courses

  • COMM 210 Introduction to Graphic Design
  • COMM 240 Intermediate Graphic Design I: Typography
  • COMM 248 Intermediate Graphic Design II: Type and Image
  • COMM 340 Advanced Design

Step Three: two electives, at least one at the 300-level

  • COMM 244 Web Design
  • COMM 246 Digital Imaging for Design
  • COMM 262 Media Convergence
  • COMM 320 Media and the First Amendment
  • COMM 323 Digital Cultures: Communication and Social Media
  • COMM 328 Special Topics (when appropriate)
  • COMM 333 Web 2

Step Four: COMM 344 Senior Seminar/Storytelling

Step Five: Independent Learning

Minor Requirements
  • COMM 121: Visual Communications
  • COMM 210: Introduction to Graphic Design
  • COMM 240: Intermediate Graphic Design I: Typography
Electives for non-Art majors (select 2):
  • ART 111: Intro to Studio Art: Drawing
  • ART 112: Intro to Studio Art: Color
  • COMM/ART 138: The Poetry of Photography
Electives for Art majors:
  • COMM 244: Web Design
  • COMM 246: Digital Imaging for Design
  • COMM 248: Intermediate Graphic Design II: Type and Image
  • COMM 262: Media Convergence
  • COMM 320: Media and the First Amendment
  • COMM 328: Special Topics (when appropriate)
  • COMM 333: Web 2
  • COMM 340: Advanced Design
Customize Your Program

The study of Graphic Design can be pursued with a concentration in print, web, multimedia or a combination of those fields. We encourage our students to augment their required courses with in-depth study in the liberal arts and additional courses in the major. Dual-degrees, interdisciplinary programs and a wide range of minors are also available. Each student works with an advisor to develop a coherent course program that will meet their educational goals. 

A minor in Graphic Design is also available. 

Internships and Research
Internships are a key component of the Graphic Design program. In a cultural center like Boston, there are a myriad of opportunities to build your skills, resume, and networking relationships with organizations in the city and beyond. Recent internship placements include Harvard Medical School and State Street. 
    Judith Aronson
    Ellen Grabiner
    • Ellen Grabiner
    • Associate Professor and Chair of Communications, Co-Director of the Cinema and Media Studies Minor
    • Phone: 617-521-2827
    • Office: L301
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How to Apply
So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a you're ready to apply! Let's get started.