Ferris State University Big Rapids MI College

Key courses:

  • Digital Imaging
  • Principles of Interactive Design
  • Production Techniques
  • Typography

Degrees:

Locations:

  • Big Rapids

Graphic designers in all kinds of organizations apply creative and conceptual skills to inform, educate, and persuade audiences. Graduates from this program have entered the workforce as print or web designers and become art directors, interaction designers, user experience or interface designers, creative directors, and production managers. The program has a consistently excellent placement rate for graduates in leading design firms, corporations, and agencies across the country. Demand for graphic designers continues to rise with the proliferation of traditional and new media outlets.

The Graphic Design program is very hands-on in a collaborative environment including both student colleagues and clients. Real-world projects and clients teach how creative, coordinated design can accomplish organizational objectives, as well as building experience in professional communications, presentation, and relationship management.

Students use current software to learn technology skills to design for print and screen. Studio tours and conferences provide a solid connection to the world of professional graphic design. And the program is business-based with a market-driven curriculum, because designers need to perform well in business as well as in design.

This program is excluded from ACBSP accreditation.

New & Noteworthy

Graphic Design Students Travel to 2015 DesignThinkers Conference

December 2, 2015

The Graphic Design program at Ferris State University recently traveled to the 16th annual DesignThinkers Conference in Toronto, Ontario. The conference was held by the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD), and is Canada’s largest conference for visual communicators. The purpose of the conference is… Read more »

Graphic Design Students Prepare for Senior Projects

September 28, 2015

The final year of the Graphic Design program moves into the Design Project Center (DPC), which fosters a real work-life environment for design students. The DPC experience is both an internship and first-hand experience in the design field. Students work with actual clients… Read more »

Internship Shows Spectrum of Graphic Media Management

July 2, 2015

Graphic Media Management student Samantha Hillock will begin her final year at Ferris this fall. Hillock originally came to Ferris to study Graphic Design, which she has always been passionate about. Studying Graphic Design led her to her job at the… Read more »

Portfolio Review Highlights User Experience Design Skills

May 11, 2015

Ferris Graphic Design seniors presented their work to nearly 50 design professionals at the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids on April 23. This event connects Ferris students with professionals for critical insight, feedback, and critique of their work. Each student can review with… Read more »

Design Students Get View of the “Other Side”

April 10, 2015

Ferris Graphic Design seniors heard from Mike Carnevale, principal of Carnevale Interactive Design, on March 24, 2015. Just a few months before their graduation, the students were eager to hear about what employers are looking for from young designers. Carnevale… Read more »

Carnevale Design Studio Hosts Graphic Design Students

April 9, 2015

On March 18, juniors in Graphic Design traveled to Grand Rapids to tour Carnevale Interactive Design Studio and learn more about what it’s like to work in their future field. Aided by milk and cookies, they attentively listened to the… Read more »

Alison Popp and Lisa Eshbach Earn Faculty Excellence Awards

March 10, 2015

The College of Business recently recognized two outstanding professors with the Sytsma Award for Faculty Excellence. Designed to “promote, encourage, recognize and reward faculty performance, excellence, and improvement,” this award comes with a $500 grant made possible by a gift from… Read more »

Graphic Design Success Spotlight: Ryan VanDyke

February 10, 2015

Ryan VanDyke, a 2007 graduate of the Graphic Design program, moved to Seattle in Sept. to begin a career as a UX Designer at Amazon.com. Ryan has completed design work for some of the largest companies in the world, including… Read more »

Capstone Graphic Design Portfolios Have Professionals “Blown Away”

May 6, 2014

Graphic Design seniors work tirelessly all year in preparation for their capstone portfolio review. This year, the evening was hosted at a new location, the Downtown Market of Grand Rapids, on April 24th. Thirteen seniors presented their senior projects to… Read more »

Graphic Design Alumnus, Craig Cockerill, Finds Success after Graduation

April 4, 2014

Craig Cockerill has found success as a Ferris alumnus at Piazza, a virtual classroom for students and instructors to come together and enhance the learning experience. Cockerill graduated from the graphic design program in May 2012. He found his position… Read more »

Ferris Inspires Sixth Graders to Pursue Higher Ed

April 1, 2014

Sixty sixth grade students from Reeths-Puffer Intermediate School visited the College of Business for their first look at a college campus. This visit to Ferris was part of a long-term effort to inspire the students to pursue higher education after high school.… Read more »

Students Inspired by Graphic Design Leaders at Conference

February 25, 2014

Senior Graphic Design students travelled to the University of Illinois to attend the annual SEEK Design Conference, now in its twelfth year. At the one-day event, students participated in hands-on workshops, spoke with Ferris alumni, and gained exposure to the… Read more »

Ferris State Graphic Design Alumna Brings Value To The Industry

November 25, 2013

Graphic design isn’t only a career for Taylor Kasony; it’s her passion. Kasony graduated from Ferris’s graphic design program last spring. Today, she is a designer at AGP and Associates, Inc. in Midland. Her technical and conceptual skills as well as… Read more »

AIGA Takes On the Big Apple

October 28, 2013

On October 17, graphic design upperclassmen ventured 14 hours by bus to visit one of the largest hubs of design in the world: New York City. On this jam-packed three day trip, students had the chance to tour some well-known… Read more »

Victory at Brand X Competition for Graphic Design Students

October 7, 2013

This past spring, Ferris Graphic Design students Haley Hawes, Ashley Kasul, Brandon Knap, and Alex Papin took second place in the national Brand X Experience Design Student Competition. While winning the $2,000 prize was a bonus, the most important thing… Read more »

Graphic Design Summer Interns Prove They’ve Got What It Takes

September 11, 2013

Bethany Sonefeld Company: ESPN Location: Bristol, Connecticut Description: “This summer I worked as a Digital Media Intern within ESPN.com’s editorial design team. There were day to day responsibilities like creating graphics that help maintain ESPN.com’s website or updating their content… Read more »

Students Compete to Learn about Experience Design

May 1, 2013

A team of Graphic Design program students competed in the Brand X Experience Design Students Competition, a national competition for undergraduate design students. Captain Ashley Kasul led the team, including Haley Hawes, Brandon Knap, and Alex Papin, all juniors in the Graphic… Read more »

Students Win at 2013 ADDY Awards

February 25, 2013

Ferris Graphic Design program participants enjoyed a successful night at the 2013 West Michigan ADDY Awards. The event was held at the Grand Rapids Art Museum on Thursday, February 21. The ADDY Awards are the advertising industry’s largest and most… Read more »

Graphic Design: An Alum Success Story

December 13, 2012

Imagine graduating college and then finding a career where you have the opportunity to design something that will be used by thousands of people. Sarah Lockwood, a 2009 graduate of Ferris State University’s Graphic Design Program, works today for a… Read more »

Graphic Design Students Bring a Vision to Life

December 7, 2012

Graphic design students helped a vision become a reality for the new Small Town Studio program at Ferris State University. Small Town Studio is a program for senior architecture students, which involves working with real life clients and the ability… Read more »

Admissions

FTIAC applicants must meet COB FTIAC admission criteria. New students who meet the criteria will be admitted into the Graphic Design Applied Associates Degree. Students must successfully pass a portfolio review after completion of sophomore level program courses to be accepted into the Graphic Design Bachelor’s Degree.

Transfer applicants must meet COB transfer admission criteria and will be referred to the program coordinator for portfolio review to determine acceptance and placement within the program


  1. New First Year or “First Time in Any College Freshmen (FTIAC)” Applicant COB Admission Criteria

Applicants are expected to meet the criteria listed below to be placed directly into a College of Business bachelor/associate degree program except Computer Information Technology (CIT), Graphic Design (GRDE), Information Security & Intelligence (ISIN), PGA Golf Management (PGA), and Professional Tennis Management (PTM) which have specific admission requirements listed in Section 3. Any mitigating circumstances will be considered on an individual basis by the College of Business Dean’s Office.

Applicants must have a 2.5 high school GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and meet two of the three criteria below:

  • English ACT score of 16 or higher, or SAT Writing score of 370 or higher
  • Math ACT score of 19 or higher, or SAT Math score of 460 or higher
  • Reading ACT score of 19 or higher, or SAT Reading score of 430 or higher

ACT/SAT score requirements shall not apply to international students and non-traditional students age 23 or older. However, a placement test (specified by Ferris State University and/or COB) may be necessary.

Applicants not meeting the above criteria (or criteria for direct admission into a specific COB program listed in Section 3), but who have a 2.35 High School GPA and at least a 16 ACT in Math AND Reading and a 13 ACT in ENGLISH can be considered for conditional admission in the COB Pre-Business program (PBUS), Pre-Professional Tennis Management (PPTM), Pre-Marketing (PMKT), or Pre-Hospitality Management (PHMT).

Students interested in PGA Golf Management (PGA) and meet all criteria except the required handicap score will be placed in Pre-Professional Golf Management (PPGM); all others can be considered for conditional admission in Pre-Marketing.

Pre-Program students must complete a minimum of 12 FSU credits (excluding developmental courses) with a 2.35 GPA (specific programs may require a higher GPA; see Section 2); courses must include ENGL 150 and MATH 115 before being considered for admission into the program of choice. Students must meet admission criteria for their chosen degree program by the time they have earned 30 credits (refer to Section 3 of this document for further information).

  1. Transfer Applicant COB Admission Criteria (this includes internal applicants from other FSU colleges and external applicants from other institutions)

Applicants are expected to meet the criteria listed below to be placed directly into a College of Business bachelor/associate degree program except for Computer Information Technology (CIT), Graphic Design (GRDE), Information Security & Intelligence (ISI), Music Industry Management (MIM), PGA Golf Management (PGA), and Professional Tennis Management (PTM) which have specific admission requirements listed in Section 3. Any mitigating circumstances will be considered on an individual basis by the College of Business Dean’s Office.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Combined college or university GPA of 2.35 (on a 4.0 scale) from all institutions attended. GPA is based on completion of 12 credit hours or more. (It is highly recommended that transfer credits include The FSU equivalency of ENGL 150, MATH 115, and the FSU equivalency of a social awareness or cultural enrichment course OR general education requirements.) Developmental courses will not be considered in computing the GPA requirement.
  • Transfer equivalency for FSU ENGLISH 150 or placement during the first semester at FSU which would require an ACT English score of 16 or higher; Compass score 70 – 100.
  • Transfer equivalency for FSU MATH 115 or placement during the first semester at FSU which would require an ACT Math score of 19 or higher; Compass Algebra score 46 – 74 and HS Algebra with 2.0.

ACT score requirements shall not apply to international students and non-traditional students aged 23 or older. However, a placement test (specified by Ferris State University and/or COB) may be necessary.

Applicants not meeting the above criteria (or criteria for direct admission into a specific COB program listed in Section 3), but who meet FSU criteria for admission (2.00 GPA), can be considered for conditional admission in the COB Pre-Business program (PBUS), Pre-Marketing (PMKT), Pre-Professional Tennis Management (PPTM), or Pre-Hospitality Management (PHMT).

Pre-Program students must complete a minimum of 12 FSU credits (excluding developmental courses) with a 2.35 GPA (specific programs may require a higher GPA; see Section 2); courses must include ENGL 150 and MATH 115 before being considered for admission into the program of choice. Students must meet admission criteria for their chosen degree program by the time they have earned 30 FSU credits (refer to Section 3 of this document for further information).

COB students may transfer into another COB program with a 2.0 GPA unless they do not meet requirements that are program specific. A “Program Change Form” will be processed in the Dean’s Office (BUS 200).

  1. COB Specific Programs’ Admission Criteria

New applicants (FTIAC) and transfer applicants interested in Computer Information Technology (CIT), Graphic Design (GRDE), Information Security and Intelligence (ISI), Professional Golf Management (PGM), and Professional Tennis Management (PTM) have specific admission criteria as follows:

  • Computer Information Technology (CIT-BS-BU)
    • FTIAC applicants must meet COB FTIAC admission criteria.
    • Transfer applicants must meet COB transfer admission criteria and have a 2.5 GPA
  • Graphic Design (GRDE-AAS-BU) and Graphic Design Bachelor’s Degree (GRDE-BS-BU)
    • FTIAC applicants must meet COB FTIAC admission criteria. New students who meet the criteria will be admitted into the Graphic Design Applied Associates Degree. Students must successfully pass a portfolio review after completion of sophomore level program courses to be accepted into the Graphic Design Bachelor’s Degree.
    • Transfer applicants must meet COB transfer admission criteria and will be referred to the program coordinator for portfolio review to determine acceptance and placement within the program.
  • Information Security & Intelligence (ISIN-BS-BU)
    • FTIAC applicants require a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) from high school and an ACT composite score of 22.
    • Transfer applicants must meet COB transfer admission criteria and have a 2.70 GPA.
  • Music Industry Management (MIM-BS-BU)
    • FTIAC applicants must meet COB FTIAC admission criteria.
    • Transfer applicants must meet COB transfer admission criteria and have a 2.50 GPA. Students must have completed NO MORE than 45 applicable credit hours.
  • PGA Golf Management (PGA-BS-BU)
    • FTIAC applicants require a 2.5 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) from high school, ACT composite score of 19 and a USGA handicap of 8 or lower. The program has a Fall Semester entry only. Because of the uniqueness of the program, applicants are encouraged to visit campus and talk with an admissions counselor or the program coordinator.
    • Transfer applicants must meet COB transfer admission criteria and have a 2.50 GPA and a USGA handicap of 8 or lower. GPA is based on completion of 12 credit hours including ENGL 150, MATH 115, and a social awareness or cultural enrichment course. Students must have completed NO MORE than 45 applicable credit hours at other institutions.
    • Students must complete the program within eight years of the initial enrollment as required by PGA.
  • Professional Tennis Management (PTM-BS-BU)
    • FTIAC applicants require a 2.5 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) from high school, NTRP of 4.0 with USTA District ranking and one of the following two criteria: (1) ACT Math score of 19 or higher OR (2) ACT Reading score of 19 or higher.
    • Transfer applicants must meet COB transfer admissions criteria and NTRP of 4.0 with USTA District ranking.
  1. Undergraduate COB Certificate Programs’ Admission Criteria

Any person admitted to a Ferris State University degree program may enroll in courses for undergraduate COB certificates. No more than 50% of the credits in a certificate may be transferred from another institution. If a student is in a FSU degree-seeking program, the certificate will not be granted if more than 50% of the certificate credits are required in the program/major. The certificate will be granted upon completion with an average GPA of 2.0 or higher in the courses designated for the certificate.

Individuals wanting to advance their career, but not admitted to an FSU degree program, may also earn undergraduate COB certificates through the non-degree program.

Admission/registration process for individuals seeking only a certificate:

  • Individuals wishing only to complete a COB certificate may enroll as a non-degree student restricted to a maximum of 9 credits per semester and a total of 15 credits.
  • Unless it is determined that regular program admission criteria should be met in order to complete the certificate successfully and be a contributing member of the course, non-degree students need only show proof of a 2.35 high school GPA where competency is required and complete the simple non-degree application process by accessing the FSU website. FSU provides part-time non-degree students with a streamlined method to register early for day or evening courses on the FSU campus through the Educational and Career Counseling Center located in Starr 313.
  • An advisor can be assigned by the College of Business in the certificate program.

Admission process for non-degree certificate students wishing to pursue a bachelor or associate’s degree:

  • If the student decides to pursue a bachelor or associate’s degree, admission criteria for the College of Business is initiated when the “Program Change Form” request is processed.
  • The student will then complete the regular admission process for FSU.

Any mitigating circumstances will be considered on an individual basis by the College of Business Dean’s Office.

This document is subject to change. Questions should be submitted to the COB Dean’s Office (BUS 200) in care of the director of student academic affairs (231.591.2420).

SLG: April 9, 2013; Spring, 2014 (PHMT and eliminate PMIM); December, 2014(editorial); August 20, 2015 (criteria change: Section 1 preprogram requirements; PGA Golf Management name change)

Ferris State University College of Business 119 South Street Big Rapids, Michigan 49307 | 231.591.2420 Tel | cob@ferris.edu

Accredited by ACBSP– The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs

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