New Graphic Design Degree Program Underway for Island University

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Island University is planning to offer a new degree in graphic design as early as Fall 2016.

The program received approval from the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents on Thursday, Sept. 3. It now goes to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Combining art and technology to communicate ideas and information, the degree program will teach students the impact design can make in society, as well as in the advertising and marketing industry.

Graphic Design at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Graphic Design at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Students will explore diverse problem-solving methodologies, innovative investigations and creative research in all forms of visual communication.

“We have seen a boom in workforce need within graphic design and with ad agencies,” said Amanda Garcia, Associate Professor of Art. “We are placing more students in large brands – Apple or Flint Hills or Whole Foods. This degree program is a necessary step for students who are looking for these jobs right out of college.”

According to the U. S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, graphic designers generally need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field and a professional portfolio that demonstrates their best design work.

“Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is proud to offer more robust graphic design classes through this degree program to better prepare graduates,” said Dr. Flavius Killebrew, President and CEO of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. “The University routinely assesses the job market and works to ensure that our classes provide students with the knowledge base that employers are expecting.”

Garcia said graduates will be very competitive in the workforce, having breadth of skills, knowledge and extensive portfolios.

The existing graphic design classes have been very popular, Garcia said.

The department has grown from one to nine classes over the last 10 years. This major will add 13 classes, allowing students to develop mastery of several specific skills that were previously covered briefly in one semester.

The curriculum also encourages students to take electives in communications or art, based on their desired career goal.

The University plans to add two faculty during the third and fifth year of the program. Four new graduate assistant positions will also be added throughout the first five years to support lower-level art courses.