Visual Communication Design Major Curriculum

At Champlain, there's no waiting to jump into your design courses. You'll take classes such as Form & Color and The Digital Image in your first year and continue to develop your design skills as you continue through the curriculum. This gives you the tremendous advantage of gaining hands-on knowledge about your major from the start and will leave you well prepared for employment upon graduation.

Champlain's study abroad program is built right into the major, so you can spend a semester abroad at Champlain's international campuses in Dublin and Montreal—or anywhere else in the world-during your junior year. You'll work with your faculty advisor to ensure your credits fulfill the requirements for your major.

The program name change from Graphic Design & Digital Media to Visual Communication Design will be effective as of Fall 2020.

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Visual Communication Design Major Curriculum 2019–2020


First Year

First Semester

Form & Color
(GDD 100)

Intro to Drawing
(ART 110)

Art History
(ART 120)

Concepts of the Self
(COR 110)

The Rhetoric of Self
(COR 115)

Second Semester

The Digital Image
(GDD 115)

Intro to Typography
(GDD 201)

Concepts of Community
(COR 120)

The Rhetoric of Community
(COR 125)

Math Elective


Second Year

First Semester

Design & Communication
(GDD 200)

Form and Space
(GDD 202) OR
Form in Motion
(GDD 203)

Publication Design I
(GDD 205)

Aesthetic Expressions
(COR 220)

Choose 200-level COR course
(COR 2XX)

Second Semester

Web Design I
(GDD 206)

Visual Creativity & Meaning
(GDD 220)

Choose 200-level COR course
(COR 2XX)

Choose 200-level COR course
(COR 2XX)

Intermediate Typography
(GDD 270)

Talk to your Advisor and/or the Office of International Education about possible curriculum adjustments in order to create a semester abroad in your third year.


Third Year

*In the third year, students MUST take COR 310, 320, and two COR 330 courses. COR 310 and 320 MUST be taken together, and the two COR 330 courses MUST be taken together. Either pair may be taken in either semester.

First Semester

Publication Design II
(GDD 305) OR
Web Design II
(GDD 306)

The Global Condition*
(COR 310)

Human Rights & Responsibilities*
(COR 320)

Choose two Local Contexts, Global Connections courses*
(COR 330)

Advanced Typography *
(GDD 301)

Program Elective (ART or GDD)

Second Semester

Advanced Art History
(ART 380)

Choose two Local Contexts, Global Connections courses*
(COR 330)

Projects in Graphic Design I
(GDD 300)

Program Elective (ART of GDD Studio)
(GDD XXX)

Natural Science Elective with Lab
(SCI XXX)


Fourth Year

First Semester

College Capstone
(CCC 410)

Projects in Graphic Design II
(GDD 400)

Program Elective (ART or GDD Studio)
(GDD XXX)

General Elective

Second Semester

Senior Portfolio in Graphic Design
(GDD 401)

Graphic Design Business Practice
(GDD 440) OR
Apprenticeship in Graphic Design
(GDD 490)

Program Elective (ART or GDD Studio)
(GDD XXX)

Program Elective (ART or GDD Studio)
(GDD XXX)

General Elective