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We train designers and illustrators to cultivate intelligent, creative practices.
Students in a classroom leafing through design books laid out on a white sheet of paper on a wooden table.

Match your interests to a vibrant, multi-faceted field.

With no formal concentrations to weigh you down, you are free to move fluidly between drawing, typography, graphic design, illustration, book arts, and interaction design (and everywhere in between).


Through courses that incorporate advanced drawing techniques, sketchbook practice, and visual storytelling, you will learn to hone your skills and develop a signature style.

Graphic Design

Courses will develop your understanding of typography, layout, and narrative strategies, while cultivating a sophisticated visual acumen.

Interaction Design

From developing web and mobile interfaces to animation, this coursework will expand your understanding of experiential design.

Discover the perfect path for you.

Every first-year student is mentored by a dedicated academic advisor who guides them in shaping the educational path they desire. This includes course selection and scheduling. Whether you want a studio-intensive or a broader liberal arts-focus, we will help you find the right choice for you.
BFA in Communication Design
  • More studio-intensive experience
  • 65 credits of studio courses (about ½ of your total coursework)
  • Informal concentrations in Illustration, Narrative Design, or Interaction Design
  • Capstone experience + annual thesis exhibition

*Students may also earn the BFA as part of a dual-degree program.

BA in Design
  • Broader liberal arts focus
  • 30-36 credits of studio courses (about ¼ of your total coursework)
  • Optional concentration in Communication Design
  • No capstone requirement

*Students may also earn the BA as part of a dual-degree program.

Second Majors in Design
  • Optional concentration in Communication Design
  • Designed for WashU undergraduates pursuing a primary degree in another discipline
  • Develops essential skills like visual thinking + creativity

Learn more

  • Creative Practice for Social Change
  • Design
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Studio Art

Learn more

BFA in Communication Design seniors pursue a capstone project that culminates in an illustrated book, zine, screen-based presentation, graphic novel/mini-comic, or digital experience. Students devote the spring semester to the research, development, and production of their seminar project, which is displayed in a public exhibition and reviewed by external design professionals.


Aggie Toppins (Chair) / Amy Auman / Christine Bosch / Heather Corcoran / D.B. Dowd / James Fawcett / Jonathan Hanahan / John Hendrix / Audra Hubbell / Ben Kiel / Edward Kinsella III / Heidi Aronson Kolk / Shreyas R Krishnan / Penina Acayo Laker / Becca Leffell Koren / Vidhya Nagarajan / Jonathan Navy / Jen Neuhoff / Eric Nunez / Jeff Pike / Erika Roos / Abram Siemsen / Jonathan Smith / Annemarie Spitz / Madeline Valentine

Image: Aggie Toppins, Palimpsests (2015–2019), silkscreen and digital printing.

student + alumni Spotlights

Student Work