Houghton professor working with student in mab lab.

Applied Design & Visual Communication Major

Prepare for a career in the commercial arts

The Applied Design and Visual Communication degree at Houghton University is an art and communication partnership that will give you a foundation for various art, design, media production and communication careers. Courses in graphic design, video and photography complement study in art history and media studies.

ClassesCareersMeet the Faculty

Creative Confidence + Faith

As an Applied Design and Visual Communication major, you will gain confidence in your ability to integrate faith, knowledge and creativity through courses that provide a comprehensive experience in a variety of materials and techniques.

What will I learn?

Through Houghton’s BFA or BS in Applied Design and Visual Studies, you will:

  • Survey the essential digital tools involved in the production of static and time-based visual media
  • Learn letterpress printing techniques with hand-set metal type through limited-edition printing of text and images
  • Master the tools and concepts of creating and manipulating images with digital technology
  • Explore the movie-making process with digital video
  • Examine the technical and practical aspects of lighting for photography and video
  • Acquire introductory knowledge of the design, hosting and maintenance of webpages
  • Understand the fundamentals of digital photography, including camera operation and file management

124 Credits


Required Credits


Elective Credits and General Education

Degree Requirements

Meet a Faculty Member

Stevens Art Studio at Houghton College with partly cloudy skies.

Explore the Stevens Art Studio

Art and design students at Houghton have a light-filled, dedicated space to create in the Stevens Art Studio. The Digital Printing Lab provides students with a large, clean workspace for multiple design media and photography classes; cutting mats and drafting tools; large-format Epson inkjet printers; while the Forsyth Mac Lab provides access to the latest software for digital design and desktop publishing.

Discover Art Facilities and Equipment

Applied Design Internship

Add to your professional portfolio and apply your classroom knowledge in a real-world setting during your Applied Design internship. Internship positions may be available in a range of applied design industries, small businesses, artist studios, galleries and museums.

Prepare to Sell and Market Your Art

Interested in freelancing or owning your own business? Houghton offers an Art Business minor so you can learn the fundamentals of business, marketing and entrepreneurial practices to help launch your career.

Program Outcomes

Students earning a BFA degree in Applied Design and Visual Communication from Houghton University are prepared for careers in many areas, including but not limited to:

Employment Expected to Grow 29%

for Film and Video Editors
U.S. Bureau of Labor StatisticsSource

What Graduates Say:

Application Requirements


Start Your Application

Complete the application here
Apply Now

Documents and Supporting Materials

You’ll be asked to provide your official high school transcript and your test scores (can be waived)
Testing Policy

Personal Statement

The personal statement portion of our application for admission is perhaps the best place to truly tell your story, to tell who you are and what is important to you.
Personal Statement

Have Questions?

Discover if earning your degree in Applied Design and Visual Communication from Houghton University is right for you.