The Visual Communication Design program at Thomas Jefferson University emphasizes the role of design as a vital cultural, social, economic, political, and environmental force in society. Rooted in the universal principles of design that shape our world and the human experience, graduates learn to make and think critically in order to identify and solve a wide variety of modern problems.
Every student in the program learns the foundations of visual aesthetics, design research, the creative process, and a variety of tools and technology. Students can extend this core knowledge to either the Graphic Design Communication or Web Design & Development specialization in order to find their unique place within the ever-changing and expanding design profession.
By fostering curiosity, faculty empower students to develop individual points of view and equip them to investigate and tackle the complex challenges of our profession and the world. We provide students with opportunities to explore a range of techniques and applications, to collaborate with peers and faculty from other programs, to work on industry projects, and to engage with the professional design community.
About our Program
One of our strengths is our close-knit community, and that is by design. Faculty work closely with all VCD students as they progress through a series of 8 core design studios. This begins with design foundations, and progresses through courses in typography, user experience, branding, digital strategy, systems design, and culminates with a self-authored, senior design capstone project and portfolio.
The program provides training in a diverse combination of skills, including a strong understanding of design principles, typography and image making, the capacity to plan and design for human-centered products, interactions and experiences, an ability to harness the latest digital technologies and experience working in collaborative interdisciplinary environments.
These educational experiences are enhanced through our faculty’s expertise, industry and client sponsored projects, internships, guest speakers, workshops, studio visits, study abroad opportunities, and minors.
We also think it’s important to let everyone know about our incredible student design group, they foster a community of support, forming life-long friendships and unmatched opportunities for professional development outside of our classes.
Students who pursue a major in Visual Communication Design have interests in:
Human Centered Design
User Experience Design
Video Series: I Am ...
Hear firsthand from our students and faculty about what it's like to be a Visual Communication Design major.
Visit our YouTube channel to watch the full playlist of I Am ... videos.
Student Project Showcase
Visual Communication Design and Occupational Therapy students collaborated with industry partner Carousel Connections to help young adults with disabilities live independent and healthy lives, in their Inclusive Design elective.
Named a Top Graphic Design School for 15 years in a row by GDUSA
Student work is regularly recognized in local, national and international competitions and publications, with over 60 Adobe Design Achievement Awards.
Students work on industry projects with clients to tackle real-world problems
Learning extends beyond the classroom through our excellent study abroad and internship opportunities.
Students can join the AIGA (the Professional Organization for Design) student chapter to foster friendships and professional networks that last a lifetime.
Depending on the specialization students choose in Visual Communication Design, the opportunities are extensive. Here are some of the types positions held by former students: Graphic Designer, Web Designer, Experience Designer, Interaction Designer, UI/UX Designer, Product Designer, Entrepreneur, Information Designer, Digital Designer, Marketing & Brand Manager, Illustrator, and Design Researcher.
Graduates have received positions at The New York Times, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Chronicle Books, Push10, Comcast, Vanguard, 20nine, J2 Design, Health Union, Archer Group, Bailey Branding Consultants, Mohawk Paper, 76ers, and GQ Magazine.
Students are encouraged to begin seeking an internship after their second year of study. Through established relationships with businesses in the greater Philadelphia area and our vast network of alums, we are able to share many varied internship opportunities with students. Internships are encouraged during the summer, but may also substitute for credit towards a degree. Most recently, students have held internships at QVC, Health Union, Cohere, Archer Group, Bailey Brand Consulting, The DICE Group and Cooper Graphic Design.