Visual Communications Design

Visual Communications Design (VCD) develops students as problem seekers with the capacity to plan communication strategies and form effective visual products. The curriculum is structured to prepare students for a profession that is evolving rapidly influences by computer technology advances.  Students are encouraged to master the technical skills involved in typography, image generation, visual structure, and composition, as well as to think conceptually, articulate ideas, and critically evaluate the form making process.  Students interested in VCD combine words, ideas and images in original ways to convey information and promote ideas to targeted audiences.

Points of Pride

  • VCD is one of the majors housed in the new Visual and Performing Arts Building, a state-of-the-art facility built specifically for the visual and performing arts at Purdue. The building includes computer labs built specifically for the VCD program.
  • Purdue has a student chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).

Special note regarding portfolio review: An art portfolio is not required to begin this major. However, students are required to pass a selective portfolio review in the spring of their sophomore year at Purdue to advance to upper-level design and complete this major. Selection is competitive and is based on the student’s work in Purdue art and design courses and development as a designer. Students not selected for upper-level VCD work with their academic advisor to change to their second choice major.


  • Graphic design manager
  • Brochure and graphic design associate
  • Video game graphic designer
  • Graphic designer for a publishing company

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Plan of Study

2017-18 Plan of Study - BFA

2016-17 Plan of Study - BFA

2015-16 Plan of Study - BA

2014-15 Plan of Study - BA

Visual Communications Design

Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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