Mount Mercy College - Cedar Rapids, IA | Iowa Schools with Design Programs | Graphic Design

Mount Mercy College

School Summary
1330 Elmhurst Dr NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
(319) 363-8213
Degree Type:
Bachelor's degree; Master's degree; Doctor's degree - research/scholarship; Doctor's degree - professional practice
Campus Setting:
City: Midsize
Campus Housing:

About Mount Mercy College

Mount Mercy College is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in Iowa, situated on both banks of the Cedar River just north of Iowa City and east of Des Moines. The city has much to offer those who enjoy the arts as home to the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra, the Paramount Theatre, and Theatre Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids is also home to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Legion Art's CSPS Museum, the National Czech and Slovak Museum, the African American Historical Museum, Kirkwood Community College's Iowa Hall Gallery, and the Grant Wood Studio. These venues have hosted award-nominated exhibitions, including the works of Andy Warhol, Grant Wood, and the Iowa Biennial. In addition, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art houses the largest collection of Grant Wood paintings in the world.

The Sisters of Mercy of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, founded Mount Mercy College as a two-year college for women in 1928. In 1957 the college began a four-year program, awarded the first bachelor¡¦s degrees in 1959, and was accredited by the North Central Association of College and Schools in 1960. Since then, Mount Mercy has become coeducational and tripled its enrollment. Mount Mercy boasts a beautiful hilltop 40-acre campus, offering the highest vantage point in the county overlooking downtown Cedar Rapids. The campus offers weekly social events like Club Friday, annual activities such as Hillfest and Spring Fling, an energetic theater program and choir, an active Student Government Association and a weekly newspaper. The college also offers thirteen varsity sports and an intramural program, as well as more than thirty clubs and organizations developed to appeal to a variety of interests.

The art department of Mount Mercy offers a four-year BA degree program in fine arts with a graphic design concentration. The program provides graduates with a strong background for commercial or applied art careers. In addition to the college's general education requirements, major course requirements in the first two years of the program include drawing, design, graphic design, sculpture, microcomputer graphics, printmaking, painting, and art history. At the end of the sophomore year, students must complete the Art Department Portfolio Review. In the final two years of the program, required courses include visual arts, photography, art electives including a course in fiber arts, typography, and public relations and marketing courses. Students are required to complete a senior thesis preparatory course in the Fall term of senior year, followed by a senior thesis and exhibit course in the spring term. Students round out the degree with additional art electives or an internship.

Mount Mercy's department of communication offers a four-year degree program in communications with a specialization of media and design. Course requirements are organized around a core set of communications courses intended to provide students with a foundation within the discipline. The multimedia and design concentration is a hybrid major drawn from the art and communication disciplines. It is designed to provide an understanding of the role of communication in organizations while learning to apply new and emerging technologies. Students complete the college's general education requirements, the communications core requirements including human communications and public communications, and major coursework including photography, mass media industry, a communications theory course, graphic design, and new genres in art in the first two years of the program. The last two years include courses such as typography and production methods, mass media in America, microcomputer graphics, a communication seminar, and a course called video on the computer designed to familiarize students with video production and translation of video material into various presentation formats. All communications majors are also required to complete a one-semester, 150-hour internship prior to graduation.

Mount Mercy College offers many academic and departmental scholarships. High school seniors are eligible for the Holland Scholarship, academic awards, merit awards, out-of-state grants, the Iowa Tuition Grant, the Mount Mercy Grant, departmental scholarships, the Busse Grant, and alumni grants. Transfer students are eligible for all of the above with the exception of the Holland Scholarship.

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Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,