Degrees Offered

BFA in Graphic & Interactive Design

Graduates from Tyler’s internationally recognized Graphic & Interactive Design program are trained to handle every phase of the design process, from concept development to finished product. Design projects for print and interactive media include logo and collateral design for corporate identities, packaging, promotional campaigns, books, periodicals, websites, web apps and animation. The curriculum stresses creative thinking and professional discipline, preparing undergraduates to take advantage of the many and varied opportunities within the field of design. “Our goal is to send students into professional practice with the confidence and ability to handle whatever challenge is thrown at them,” explains GAID undergraduate Program Head Alice Drueding.

BFA students work closely with faculty who are practicing professionals with established international reputations in design for print and electronic media. The faculty challenges students to achieve the highest level of excellence in their work, evaluating their efforts by the industry’s exacting standards.

Graphic & Interactive Design students create portfolios that express their unique viewpoints and interests as designers. Courses introduce students to an extensive design vocabulary and provide training in the necessary skills for the execution of creative ideas. The computer studios are current with industry standards with software applications and an extensive font library for both print and interactive media. The curriculum is further enriched by visiting designers and illustrators and an exciting range of off-campus opportunities including an internship program for course credit, participation in national and international design competitions and exhibitions, community-oriented work for nonprofit organizations, tours of professional design studios, and portfolio reviews through professional design and advertising organizations.

Senior design students focus on the development of a final portfolio. Advanced level courses are offered in a wide range of topics including corporate design, packaging, typography, publication design, promotion design, advertising, art direction, design authorship, illustration, digital narrative and interactive design.

The exceptional quality and depth of Tyler student portfolios is highly regarded by design professionals. Graduates from the program are recruited and employed by design studios, in-house design departments and advertising and marketing agencies. Many alumni from the program go on to establish their own successful businesses.

MFA in Graphic & Interactive Design

Tyler’s MFA program in Graphic & Interactive Design [GAID] is an intensive two-year immersion in the practice of design. The program is highly selective, seeking students whose work demonstrates conceptual depth and experimentation, strong visual skills, and an exceptional degree of self-motivation.

The program emphasizes the role of designer as author and entrepreneur, with students defining the content and form of large-scale, semester-long projects in a wide variety of forms such as books, posters, folios, games, clocks, wearable design, interactive narrative, web sites and environmental design. Extensive research, writing, image-making and editing, as well as exploration of form and technique, are integral to the process.

Many of the MFA projects are now making their way into GAID’s design incubator, The Hatchery, a new initiative to promote entrepreneurship and transform student projects into marketable products. Our goal is to create a new generation of design entrepreneurs by providing them with real-world experience and the opportunity to be their own client. We identify specific MFA projects that have great entrepreneurial potential and guide students through the rigorous processes to make them real. MFA students work directly with the design incubator’s Director on marketing plans for graduate projects created at Tyler.

Design for Social Change has always been an important aspect of the graduate work at Tyler. Our MFA students frequently choose to generate positive change through design by addressing environmental, social or political issues in their projects. We believe this is some of the most important work designers can engage in. Many opportunities to design for social good are built directly into the graduate curriculum. Currently, we are committed to a community partnership with a middle school in Northwest Philadelphia whose aim is to provide the best education for traditionally underresourced students.

Graduate faculty, who are internationally recognized practitioners in the field, work closely with the MFA students in a program fueled by collaborative exploration. While faculty members guide students in defining and focusing on their unique projects, all students are engaged in supporting the development of each other’s work through regular group critiques and shared research.