• UWM Design & Visual Communication Resolution

Student Experience

The Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Design & Visual Communication offers students autonomy and agency in the face of an ever-changing cultural landscape. The study of graphic design, design methodologies, modes of production, and design histories, provides our students with the skillsets required to actively participate in visual culture, commerce, and communication.

Students build a body of work demonstrating their mastery of tools, media and concepts to effectively communicate ideas to a target audience. The curriculum includes coursework in composition, typography, strategy and design process, design methodologies and research, portfolio development, web and multimedia design, design entrepreneurship and real-world internships in local design firms. Risk-taking, experimentation and productive criticism are central to our program. Our curriculum works as an on-going design laboratory.

The DVC program places a high degree of value on diverse, equitable, and inclusive viewpoints and approaches. Our emphasis on personal growth and an entrepreneurial mindset prepares students to make meaningful contributions to the field, challenge the status quo, and carve their own path forward.

Unique Resources

The aDream Lab, a digital fabrication and design laboratory, offers students access to develop their work with professional-grade 3D printers, vinyl cutter, laser cutter, vacuum former, heat press, wide-format color printer, die-cutting printer, DSLR cameras, photo sweep, lighting kit, fabrication tools, and rapid prototyping supplies.

Additional studio and curricular resources with the Department of Art & Design support interdisciplinary projects. This includes facilities for digital fabrication and design, motion capture, VR and AR as well as the wide range of studio disciplines within the department. In addition, students draw on the extraordinary resources of UW-Milwaukee’s courses, centers, films, lectures, and galleries, and especially the extensive research and special book collections of the Golda Meir Library and the American Geographical Society Library, one of the premier collections of its kind in North America, containing over 1.5 million items supporting instruction, research, and outreach.

Apply Now  Program Highlights

Public Events & Showcases

Every year, seniors in the Design & Visual Communication program hold two public events showcasing their design research.

UWM Design Entrepreneur Showcase
An annual event each Fall semester, at which DVCII/Design Methodologies students exhibit their semester projects. Students exhibit a highly refined prototype, information graphics of their research, personas of their target audience, their company brand and a dynamic story exhibited at the Design Entrepreneur Showcase.

DVC BFA Exhibition
The Senior Capstone BFA Exhibition in Design & Visual Communication is an annual event each Spring semester at which graduating Design & Visual Communication majors exhibit their capstone project and portfolios.

Professional Networking

AIGA-Wisconsin, The Professional Association for Design
Each year AIGA student members attend AIGAWI events, workshops, portfolio reviews, professional studio tours and more.

United Adworkers
United Adworkers is a Milwaukee based organization dedicated to the pursuit of marketing communications excellence. Student have the opportunity to join for free and network with a close knit group made up of advertising practitioners, designers, directors, photographers, production professionals, and all other professionals and students interested in the fine art of propaganda.


Explore – Specific degree information can be found in the UWM Academic Catalog along with credits, courses, admission and program requirements.

Connect – After reviewing, please contact our Advising & Student Services Office to start planning your degree path today!

Design & Visual Communication, BFA


Profile Picture

Sarah Mick

BFA, Design & Visual Communication | 2010

"I started out going to school for print design—I wanted to work for a magazine doing layout. Then I realized that digital was going to be the way of things, and then very shortly after that, realized that apps were going to take over web." -Sarah Mick, CCO of Bumble, Formerly VP of Design at Tinder

Careers in Art & Design

3D Animator/Modeler
Advertising Director
App Developer
Arts Administration
Art Critic/Writer
Art Dealer
Art Director
Art Education Teacher (K-12)
Art Gallery Owner
Art Historian
Art Therapist
Artisan Solutionist
Artist In Residence
Artists’ Agent
Augmented Reality
Caricature Artist
Collage Artist
Commercial Artist
Community Artist
Community Arts Organizer
Costume Designer
Creative Arts Officer/Director
Creative Services Manager
Cultural Relations
Design Manager
Digital Portrait Artist
Director Of Education & Community Engagement
Display Designer
Education Program Coordinator
Elementary/Secondary School Teacher
Exhibit Designer
Fashion Designer
Fine Artist
Fine Arts Director
Floral Designer
Font Designer
Freelance Artist
Furniture Designer/Restorer
Game Designer
Glass Sculptor
Graphic Designer
Graphic Artist
Industrial Designer
Interactive Designer
Interior Designer
Jewelry Designer/Maker
Lighting Designer
Make-Up Artist
Marketing & Sales
Mixed Media Artist
Motion Graphics Artist
Museum Director
Museum Exhibit Designer
Packaging Designer
Photo Editor/Retoucher
Photographic Stylist
Photographic Technician
Product Designer
Production Artist
Program Director/Coordinator
Prop Maker
Public Artist
Public Relations
Set Designer
Sketch Artist
Technical Designer, Apparel
Textile Designer
Toy Maker
University Administration
University Faculty
User Experience Designer
User Interface Designer
Video Game Designer
Visual Merchandiser
Visual/Special Effects Artist
Web Based Curators
Web Designer/Developer


Faculty: Design & Visual Communication

profile photoKim Beckmannkbeckman@uwm.eduArt 430B

Associate Professor, Design & Visual Communication

profile photoLauren Braierlcbraier@uwm.edu

Lecturer, Design & Visual Communication

profile photoCoe Douglascdgls@uwm.edu

Lecturer, Design & Visual Communications

profile photoMax Estesmaxestes@uwm.edu

Teaching Faculty I, Design & Visual Communication

profile photoRobert Grame(414) 229-4258grame@uwm.eduArt 291

Associate Professor, Design & Visual Communication

profile photoAdam Hawkhawk@uwm.eduArt 430B

Assistant Professor, Design & Visual Communications

Assistant Professor, Digital Fabrication & Design

profile photoWes Larsenlarsenw@uwm.edu

Visiting Assistant Professor, Design & Visual Communication

profile photoLisa Molinelmoline@uwm.eduArt 417

Associate Professor, Design & Visual Communication

Co-Area Head, Design & Visual Communication

Department Faculty & Staff