University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC | District of Columbia Schools with Design Programs | Graphic Design

University of the District of Columbia

School Summary
4200 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 274-5000
Degree Type:
Less than one year certificate; Associate's degree; Bachelor's degree; Postbaccalaureate certificate; Master's degree; Post-master's certificate; Doctor's degree - research/scholarship
Campus Setting:
City: Large
Campus Housing:

About University of the District of Columbia

UDC is the only public institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. Chartered in 1974 from three other institutions of higher learning, it is the only urban land-grant institution in the nation. Because of this, the university maintains an open admissions policy. In addition, it is not only a graduate and baccalaureate degree-granting institution, but it also offers certificate and associate degree programs to citizens of the District. The university offers much to students outside of the classroom, including social, professional, special interest, ethnic, and sports groups, plus academic and honors societies. Art and design students can join groups such as the Animation Club, the Art Students Union, and the Photography Club.

A one-year certificate program in desktop publishing, offered by the graphic communications program, is designed to enhance the career options for those who are just entering the field of computer-assisted publishing. Those completing the program may also consider entering the two- or four-year graphic communications programs. Coursework includes foundations of design, lecture and lab courses in desktop publishing, digital imaging, and a design to print practicum, typography, color management, and news editing.

The two-year graphic design AAS degree program is designed to prepare students for work as professional print and Web designers, and helps students to develop a portfolio for entry-level design positions. Coursework includes drawing, digital applications, computer art, photography, visual thinking, graphic design, computer illustration, publication design, and a portfolio and marketing workshop. In addition, the university has specific general education requirements which must be met prior to graduation. At the completion of the two-year program, the graphic design student may submit an application and portfolio to be considered for admission into the four-year program.

The four-year BS degree curriculum offers students the opportunity to concentrate their education with options including management, procurement, multimedia, computer IT and photography. Students must complete all general education requirements, along with major coursework in desktop publishing, digital imaging, graphic design, typography, color management, Web page development, Web design, animation and multimedia, E-commerce, and core electives in the chosen area of concentration. To complete a BFA degree program in graphic design, students replace some of these courses with others in painting, figure drawing, world art history, illustration techniques, animation and motion graphics, an advertising or marketing elective, and a graphic design practicum. BFA students must also complete a portfolio of work.

The architecture program of instruction at UDC leads to the two-year AAS degree in architectural engineering technology, which can then be continued to complete the five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree. The AAS degree program includes general education requirements, plus major coursework in architectural drawing and design, material and methods of construction, environmental systems, computer-aided design, and structural design. Upon completion of this two-year degree, students may apply to the professional degree program, which includes an additional three years of study. Prior to graduation from the professional program, students will complete additional general education courses, plus major coursework in structural analysis, steel structures, professional ethics and practice, concrete structures, and several professional studio lab courses. Between the fourth and fifth years students must complete a ten week cooperative education summer session at the Architectural Research Institute. In the final year of study, students complete a thesis seminar.

Students at UDC may also complete a four-year interdisciplinary art BA degree program with a specialization in photography. The program is designed to prepare students for work as exhibiting fine art photographers, commercial photographers, photojournalists, teaching and photography instructors, and as artists working with government agencies that utilize and promote photography. The program also manages Gallery 42, a non-profit art gallery for exhibitions of both professional and student artwork and photography. In addition to the required general education courses, students in the photography specialization study foundations of design, drawing, digital applications, visual thinking, digital photography, painting, world art history, film photography processing, computer art, advertising and publication photography, lighting, a history of photography, and a photography portfolio seminar. Students are also required to complete studio work and take additional elective courses in either art history or studio art classes.

Information on scholarships available through UDC can be obtained from the university's financial aid office. Available scholarships may include the Honors Scholarship, the Family Matters Scholarship, the Transfer Scholarship, the Non-Resident Scholarship, the Senior Scholar Award, the International Student Scholarship, and the FAO Book Scholarship.

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