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.
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.
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.
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 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!
"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
Art Education Teacher (K-12)
Art Gallery Owner
Artist In Residence
Community Arts Organizer
Creative Arts Officer/Director
Creative Services Manager
Digital Portrait Artist
Director Of Education & Community Engagement
Education Program Coordinator
Elementary/Secondary School Teacher
Fine Arts Director
Marketing & Sales
Mixed Media Artist
Motion Graphics Artist
Museum Exhibit Designer
Technical Designer, Apparel
User Experience Designer
User Interface Designer
Video Game Designer
Visual/Special Effects Artist
Web Based Curators
Faculty: Design & Visual Communication
Associate Professor, Design & Visual Communication
Lecturer, Design & Visual Communication
Lecturer, Design & Visual Communications
Teaching Faculty I, Design & Visual Communication
Assistant Professor, Design & Visual Communications
Assistant Professor, Digital Fabrication & Design
Visiting Assistant Professor, Design & Visual Communication
Associate Professor, Design & Visual Communication
Co-Area Head, Design & Visual Communication