This major is built off of an articulation agreement, a specialized agreement between a four-year university, in this case, Eastern Michigan University, and a community college. Faculty from both schools collaborated to design an agreement that facilitates the smooth transfer of course credit from a two-year associate’s degree program to a four-year bachelor’s degree program.
This agreement is effective Fall 2018 - Summer 2021. Students have until Summer 2026 to graduate from Eastern Michigan University using this agreement.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts is designed to encourage students to develop a personal focus and direction as well as learn to function professionally as artists.
An extensive range of foundation courses, culminating in AD 300W - Studio Concepts and the accompanying Foundations Review, provides students with the basic skills they need to be successful in upper-level courses. The required area of concentration allows students to gain proficiency in a limited range of media and use that expertise to refine their artistic vision. Art elective requirements enable students to gain additional knowledge and engage in experiences that support their area of study and personal interests. A Capstone course provides direction for their future professional careers and gives students an immersive experience by requiring them to exhibit and disseminate their work.
This professional degree begins with Foundations classes offering instruction on basic skills in design, drawing and art history. The students develop a repertoire of vocabulary, both visual and verbal, necessary to create, analyze and discuss artwork. As students progress in their chosen area of concentration, they further develop creative problem-solving and critical thinking abilities. A variety of media and approaches are taught to help students achieve the control and understanding necessary to produce quality work. Individual and group critiques are used as teaching aids to help students improve their grasp of concepts and techniques.
There are numerous merit-based scholarships in art, as well as many opportunities to work in the studios and galleries. Students may take summer courses taught at the Jean Noble Parsons Center for the Study of Art and Science which is an interdisciplinary educational center and natural area located in northern Michigan. With three galleries on campus, students engage with a wide range of contemporary artworks and artists who come to speak about their work. Likewise, students have opportunities to exhibit their work. Graduates are prepared to work in design agencies, as independent artists, in art galleries, as photographers, in community art centers and professional studios for pottery, jewelry, printmaking and furniture design. The BFA degree fully prepares students to successfully then earn their terminal MFA degree in studio art.
A student’s eligibility to graduate from this major is determined by the following
- Apply and granted admission to Eastern Michigan University (emich.edu/admissions).
- A completed associate degree, certificate, or adequate coursework. Students eligible to follow an articulation agreement, typically transfer in 64 credit hours to EMU. Eligible students who transferred in less than 64 credit hours, had unique circumstances and were granted permission to follow the articulation agreement by the Director of Community College Relations (emich.edu/ccr).
Interested students should meet with their community college advisor for information on following the articulation agreement before transferring to EMU. After transferring to EMU, a student must consult with the Community College Relations Office to confirm eligibility.
General Education Requirements:
A student with a Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) endorsement on their transcript only needs to complete the General Education Application Requirements of
To use MTA, a student must have an official community college transcript, with the “MTA Satisfied” endorsement sent to EMU’s Admissions Office. The MTA may be completed after admission to EMU, however, students should inform their advisor or they may be advised to complete additional courses for the general education program.
Students who do not have “MTA Satisfied” on their community college transcript, will be required to satisfy EMU’s general education requirements as applied to transfer students. For specific General Education requirements, click here or print a General Education Worksheet .
Major Requirements: 81 hours
Students must submit a portfolio of their graphic design work to determine if substitutions will be granted.
All requirements must be met, as listed below.
Graphic Design Concentration: 42 hours
A minimum grade of “C” is required in all Graphic Design Core courses and students must pass mid-program portfolio review prior to ADGD 401 .
Graphic Design Core: 15 hours
- ADGD 301 - Introduction to Graphic Design 3 hrs
or satisfied by GDT 100 - Typography I @ WCC (4 hrs) [substitution]
Complete four courses from the following:
- ADGD 321 - Typographic Systems 3 hrs
- ADGD 322 - Image Making 3 hrs
- ADGD 323 - Experimental Typography 3 hrs
- ADGD 324 - Design Systems and Series 3 hrs
If transferred, GDT 112 - Principles and Problems in Graphic Design @ WCC (4 hrs) and GDT 215 - Typography II @ WCC (4 hrs) satisfy this requirement (8 hrs) [substitution]
Graphic Design Restricted Electives: 9 hours
Nine credit hours selected from any ADGD course (200 level and above).
If transferred, GDT 220 - Publication Design @ WCC (4 hrs), GDT 239 - Imaging and Illustration @ WCC (4 hrs), and GDT 252 - Advanced Digital Studio @ WCC (4 hrs) may apply to this requirement (12 hrs) [substitution].
General Studio Electives: 12 hours
Twelve credit hours of studio electives taken in any media: 2D (AD2D), 3D (AD3D), Graphic Design (ADGD), Photography/New Media (ADPM), or general Art & Design studio (AD) at the 200-level and above.
If transferred, WEB 115 - Introduction to Interface Design @ WCC (4 hrs) and WEB 215 - Intermediate Interface Design @ WCC (4 hrs) may apply toward this requirement. [substitution]
Capstone Studios: 6 hours
- ADGD 401 - Advanced Graphic Design Studio I 3 hrs
- ADGD 402 - Advanced Graphic Design Studio II 3 hrs
Capstone Seminar: 3 hours
This major does not require a minor.
Students must earn a minimum total of 124 credits at the 100-level or above. If sufficient credits hours are not transferred in, additional EMU credits must be completed to reach the minimum of 124 credit hours required to graduate.
Beginning in Fall 2022, all baccalaureate degree programs for all undergraduates (regardless of catalog year) will require a minimum of 120 credit hours for completion.
Critical Graduation Information
This articulation agreement provides the following exceptions and substitutions:
- The requirement that students “earn a minimum of 60 credits from a four-year college or university” is waived. A student may transfer in a maximum of 85 credit hours to Eastern Michigan University.
Students are required to satisfy all requirements listed below, not waived or modified above
Each undergraduate student will be responsible for the fulfillment of the requirements or their equivalents of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration at a college or university or a subsequent catalog including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.
In the event an undergraduate student does not complete the degree requirements within seven years of the date of their original registration at a college or university, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their major/minor in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.
The following are minimum requirements for all bachelor’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University. Some majors and minors require more than the minimum in one or more of the areas below; students are urged to consult the online catalog for the requirements of their particular programs.
- Earn a minimum total of 124 credits at the 100-level and above. Courses with numbers below 100 will not be counted toward this degree requirement. At most 8 credit hours of physical education (PEGN) activity courses will be counted toward this requirement.
- Meet the requirements of the General Education program (see information below).
- Complete a Writing Intensive (GEWI) Course in your major.
- Earn a minimum of 60 credits from a four-year college or university; courses taken at community colleges cannot be used to meet this requirement. (Some formal program-to-program articulation agreements modify this requirement. See specific agreements for details.)
- Earn a minimum of 30 credits from courses taken at EMU.
- Complete 10 of the last 30 hours for the degree from courses taken at EMU.
- Have a minimum of 30 unique credit hours in their major and 20 unique credit hours in their minor for a total of at least 50 unique credit hours between them. Some majors that require 50 or more hours themselves do not require a minor; students should check requirements of the selected major in the undergraduate catalog to see if a minor is required.
- Earn no more than 60 credit hours in one subject area (prefix). Credits in excess of the 60 maximum will not be counted toward the minimum of 124 credits required for a bachelor’s degree.
- Earn the minimum number of credits in 300-level and above courses in each major and minor as specified below - these credits must be earned in distinct courses; that is, no course can be used to fulfill this requirement in more than one major or minor.
- Earn a minimum of 6 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each minor
- Earn a minimum of 9 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that requires a minor.
- Earn a minimum of 15 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that does not require a minor
- Transfer credit will be awarded for courses taken at colleges and universities that are accredited by one of the recognized regional accrediting bodies only if the courses are college-level (equated to 100-level or above at EMU) and the student earned a “C” (or 2.0 on a 4 point scale) or better. Transfer credit may be awarded on a case-by-case basis for college-level courses in which a “C” (2.0) or better was earned at institutions outside the U.S. or at non-accredited U.S. institutions; individual departments/schools conduct the internal review of such courses within EMU, and additional documentation may be required. Please note: EMU awards only credit for transferred courses; grades are not used in the calculation of an EMU GPA.
- Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in courses taken at EMU in order to graduate. In addition, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 must be reached in each major and minor. Only courses taken at EMU and those applied to a student’s major or minor will be used in the calculation of their major and minor cumulative GPAs. (Note: some programs may require a higher GPA - check with your program advisor.)
General Education Requirements EMU’s General Education Program requires students to choose from a menu of approved courses in several different areas; do not assume that other courses in the same department or with similar names will fulfill these requirements. A detailed description of General Education requirements is available in the General Education section of the catalog.
Students who transferred to EMU may have modified general education requirements based on Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) or articulation agreements; consult your academic advisor for additional information.