Northern Arizona University - Flagstaff, AZ | Arizona Schools with Design Programs | Graphic Design

Northern Arizona University

School Summary
1900 S Knoles Dr, Babbitt Administrative Center, Room 200
Flagstaff, AZ 86011
(928) 523-9011
Degree Type:
Less than one year certificate; One but less than two years certificate; Bachelor's degree; Postbaccalaureate certificate; Master's degree; Post-master's certificate; Doctor's degree - research/scholarship; Doctor's degree - professional practice
Campus Setting:
City: Small
Campus Housing:

About Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University is a 4-year institution located in Flagstaff, Arizona. Flagstaff is just 80 miles southeast of the Grand Canyon, a national landmark that can be experienced through a day hike around the rim, a camping trip down into the canyon, or even a rafting trip along the Colorado River. Local Flagstaff attractions include the Arboretum, offering one of the nation's largest collection of high-country wildflowers. Sky watchers will want to visit the Lowell Observatory, open to visitors for tours and telescope viewing. There are also art and history museums, cultural events, and national monuments and forests to experience and explore.

NAU offers 4-year BS degrees in photography, merchandising, interior design, and advertising, plus 4-year BFA degrees in jewelry and metalsmithing or in visual communication with emphases in computer imaging and graphic design. All degrees require at least 120 units of coursework, with at least 35 units of liberal studies requirements, from 36 to 72 units of major requirements, and possibly at least 18 units of minor requirements in a subject of the student's choosing if a minor is required in the degree program being completed.

The photography program includes courses in communication, black and white, publications, color, studio, experimental, location, and corporate photography. Students also study photojournalism, reproduction processes for publication, graphic communication, and contemporary developments. Students have the opportunity to take a course in fieldwork experience, and pursue independent study. The senior capstone course in this program is a portfolio development seminar, focusing on individual work on portfolios with an emphasis on lighting and special techniques in commercial photography or photojournalism.

The merchandising program includes coursework in merchandising fundamentals, merchandise buying, textiles, evaluating apparel quality, promotional communication, trends and research, visual merchandising, and fashion show production. Students may choose to participate in undergraduate research or independent study. The senior capstone course is professional practices for merchandising, a study of supervisory and planning principles in merchandising.

The interior design program includes art coursework in drawing and two-dimensional design fundamentals. Interior design coursework includes an introduction to interior design, interior design graphics and visualization, design methodologies, the history of interior architecture and furniture, interior codes and regulations, and professional practices and procedures. Students must also participate in a pre-internship seminar and four levels of interior design study. They may also choose to participate in undergraduate research or independent study. The senior capstone course is the senior project, involving the development of a major design problem under the direction of a faculty member. Drawings, models, details, and an oral presentation are given jury consideration and the final project is exhibited.

The visual communication program includes an emphasis in either computer imaging or graphic design. In the computer imaging emphasis, coursework includes type foundations, four levels of computer imaging, and basic graphic design. Students must also complete courses in advanced imaging and layout, interactive multimedia, or computer animation. A course in television production plus either communication or black and white photography are also required. The graphic design emphasis includes type foundations, computer imaging, two typographics courses, three graphic design courses, computer imaging, interactive multimedia, information graphics, and a design studio course. Students must also complete either communication or black and white photography, plus a course in reproduction processes for publication. The senior capstone course for both emphases is the senior project, including analysis, development, and preparation of a professional portfolio plus a written capstone statement. Self promotion, resume, visual documentation, and an oral presentation are also required.

The jewelry and metalsmithing program includes two levels of drawing and two-dimensional design fundamentals, plus a course in critiquing and writing about art which also fulfills the school's junior writing requirement. Upper level coursework includes four levels of courses in jewelry and metalsmithing, plus a gallery workshop that includes participation in a variety of visual arts workshops. Students must also study other art mediums, including relief or silkscreen printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, and painting. A total of 18 units of art studio coursework is required, with at least 15 units being unrelated to jewelry. The senior capstone course is the jewelry and metalsmithing studio exhibition, which consists of independent studio activity culminating in an exhibition, a written statement, and an oral presentation directed and evaluated by a faculty committee.

The advertising program includes an introduction to advertising, plus coursework in copy and layout, advertising media selection, and creative advertising strategies. Students may also choose to participate in fieldwork experience, undergraduate research, or independent study. The senior capstone course is advertising campaigns, a course in designing complete advertising campaigns with an emphasis on consumer research, market planning, creative production techniques, media selection, and budgeting.

There are many scholarships available at Northern Arizona University for qualified students. They are awarded based on academic merit, financial need, or personal background. Some have specific requirements or conditions that must be met. Available scholarships include NAU merit scholarships, NAU departmental scholarships, and private donor scholarships. New and returning students simply complete the scholarship interest form and NAU's Office of Student Financial Aid uses the information to match students to scholarships for which they may be eligible. Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA application as well in order to be considered for those scholarships based on financial need.

Student Affairs at NAU offers many services to students through departments including campus recreation, counseling and testing services, educational support programs, the learning assistance center, and the Office of Student Life. This office exists to help students get involved on campus and have a place to discuss concerns and have accomplishments recognized. The campus offers many registered student organizations in categories including academic, advocacy, club sports, cultural, service, recreation, religious, and special interest, plus fraternities and sororities.

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