Patti & Rusty Rueff School of Design, Art, and PerformanceDepartment of Art and DesignCollege of Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Program

With the rapid growth of technology, Visual Communication Design is a fast paced, highly technical and conceptual endeavor. Therefore, our program provides students with a broad background and thorough understanding of both medium and message, so that they can combine words, ideas, and images in original ways to convey information and promote ideas to targeted audiences. The curriculum is structured to prepare students for a profession that is evolving rapidly. Graduates are prepared to start their careers in design offices, advertising agencies, and corporations, to name a few.

Freshman & Sophomore Years

Throughout the freshman year, students in visual communication design are given a foundational approach to design, art history, design history, and visual computing. The curriculum provides the fundamental theories, concepts, technologies, history, and tools necessary to succeed in the program. These first-year courses are then expanded and explored more deeply during the sophomore year, as students continue to strengthen their visual design skills. 

During the sophomore year, students are further engaged in the principles and praxis of Visual Communications Design. Emphasis is on form, color, typography, development of illustration skills, and analytical techniques that aid in the visualization of ideas. Students develop their artistic and intuitive instincts throughout these years. Then, students are required to pass a selective portfolio review in the spring of their sophomore year to advance to upper-level design and complete this major. 


Junior & Senior Years

Once students complete the passage into the upper-level Visual Communication Design program, the curriculum challenges students to develop their critical skills through more conceptually driven projects in courses dealing with Typography, Multimedia Design, Web Design, Poster, Packaging, Information Design, as well as Professional Practice. Students explore the vast realm of Visual Communication Design to round out their strategic thinking, aesthetic, and artistic vision. In these last two years of the program, students experience immense mentoring, skill development, and an abundance of student opportunities from competitions, exhibitions, internships, and extracurriculars.




Program Summary

Undergraduate Plan of Study

Purdue Admissions Website

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Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts
Purdue University
552 W. Wood Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907
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Phone: (765) 494.8662
Fax: (765) 496.2076

AD Info:
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(765) 494.3670
(765) 496.1910 (FAX)

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The Visual Communications program at Purdue University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

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"Being ranked in the top 100 reaffirms that a Purdue degree represents a world-class educational experience."

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Purdue's Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

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