Explanation of Course Numbers

  • Courses in the 1000s are primarily introductory undergraduate courses
  • Those in the 2000s to 4000s are upper-division undergraduate courses that also may be taken for graduate credit with permission and additional work assigned
  • Those in the 6000s and 8000s are for master’s, doctoral, and professional-level students
  • The 6000s are open to advanced undergraduate students with approval of the instructor and the dean or advising office

CGD 1010. Fundamentals of Graphic Design. 3 Credits.

This course is an introduction to the visual components that serve as fundamental principles in the field of Design. Projects include the study, classification, and application of Gestalt theories of perception; color systems for designers; and pattern design. Course projects focus on visual relationships of form, image, type and grid structures. Students are engaged in a series of projects that address 2D and 3D abstract forms and their professional applications. Students learn design methodology and processes, design language, and the critique process for designers. These design methods and processes help students observe, understand, and articulate their intuitive visual decision-making skills. Professional practices for designers, project workflow, and professional presentation are integrated into course projects. Digital software tools and hand craft tools are learned and applied to course projects. Prerequisites: CDM 1200 and a working knowledge of OSX and Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop.

CGD 1090. Design Fundamentals I. 3 Credits.

The study, classification, and application of Gestalt theories of perception. Design methodology, project workflow; professional practices and presentation; and digital software and hand craft tools. Students create 2D and 3D forms and learn to use materials in design projects.

CGD 1091. Design Fundamentals II. 3 Credits.

Further development of skills acquired in CGD 1090. Visual relationships of form and image, type and grid structures, and scale. A minimum grade of C in the prerequisite course is required. Prerequisites: CGD 1090 or CDE 1090.

CGD 1099. Variable Topics. 36 Credits.

Topics vary by semester. May be repeated for credit provided topic differs. Consult the Schedule of Classes for more details.

CGD 2020. Communication Design. 3 Credits.

An introduction to visual communication practices that are built on fundamental principles in the field of graphic design and typography. Prerequisites: CGD 1091.

CGD 2050. Typography I. 3 Credits.

Introduction to typefaces and letterforms. Typographic terminology, history, technology, classification, measurement, and context. Prerequisites: CGD 1090 or CGD 1091.

CGD 2060. Typography II. 3 Credits.

This is an intermediate studio course in typography. Topics covered include typographic vocabulary, terminology, history, technology, classification, measurement, and syntax. Projects explore audience, structure/syntax, content/meaning, visual hierarchy, and aesthetics in message building for visual communications. Students further their knowledge of typographic history, nationality, technology, and the grid as organizing principle and system. Students must have received a grade of C or above in CDG 2050 to have it count toward the prerequisite requirement. Prerequisites: CGD 2050; and CDE 2090 or CGD 2000.

CGD 2090. Design Studio I. 3 Credits.

Exploration of visual hierarchies, composition, design principles, and an intro to Semiotics. Students learn through an iterative design process. Requires a high level of execution through precise craftsmanship. Restricted to graphic design majors. Prerequisites: CDE 1090 or CGD 1090.

CGD 2091. Design Studio II. 3 Credits.

Brand identity systems and programs. Iterative design process used to develop a cohesive and comprehensive branding program, with the developed brand identity applied to print, motion, and web media. A grade of C or above is required in the prerequisite course. Prerequisites: CGD 2090.

CGD 3010. Special Topics in Design. 3 Credits.

Topics vary by semester. May be repeated for credit provided topic differs. Consult the Schedule of Classes for more details. Prerequisites: CGD 1091 or CDE 1091.

CGD 3020. Web Design. 3 Credits.

Students learn to design websites using tools such as HTML, CSS, Javascript, and WordPress and other databases, while learning best practices in web design. Key concepts include user research, content development, user experience principles. Prerequisites: CGD 1091 or CDE 1091.

CGD 3050. Typography III. 3 Credits.

Advanced design study exploring typography as both a legible and expressive communication tool. Exploration of traditional and contemporary practices through experimentation with narrative and hierarchical structures in static and kinetic media. Prerequisites: CGD 2060 or permission of the department chair.

CGD 3060. Typography IV. 3 Credits.

This is a course in advanced typography. Projects cover advanced visual hierarchy, sequence, kinetic type, narrative tools, and the grid as organizing principle and system. Students explore typography as legible and expressive communication within cultural context. Letterform ideation is investigated. Media utilized includes print and motion. Students must have received a grade of C or above in CGD 3050 or CGD 3090 or CDM 3090 to have it count toward the prerequisite requirement. Prerequisites: CGD 3050 or CGD 3090 or CDM 3090; or permission of the department chair.

CGD 3070. Typography in Motion. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on advanced experimental typography for animation and motion graphics. Projects focus on narrative, storyboarding, style frames, kinetic sequence, transitions, and workflow. Students explore typography as legible and expressive communication within cultural context. Methods and iterative processes for experimental typeface design are explored and developed. Students must have received a grade of C or above in CGD 3050 or CGD 3090 or CDM 3090 to have it count toward the prerequisite requirement. Prerequisites: CGD 3050 or CGD 3090 or CDM 3090; or permission of the department chair.

CGD 3090. Graphic Design Studio III. 3 Credits.

In this advanced level course, students focus on interactive and interaction design. Course projects immerse students in interactive web design, and mobile apps design for smart phones and tablet devices. Students learn, employ, and engage in systems design, user experience, user interface design, user interaction, and responsive design. Students learn to use mobile devices (smart phones/tablet devices) and computers as digital tools to communicate designed messages and visual content. Students learn advanced design process which includes: iterative concept development, wire framing, prototyping, design development, craft, details, production, and coding. Software and coding used in course projects include Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS), HTML, and CSS. Students develop professional oral presentation skills by participating in weekly critiques. Project workflow, professional presentation, and professional practices for designers are integrated into course projects. At the end of the semester, students obtain experience in professional design projects and skill sets, while understanding on-the-job expectations for a fast-paced professional design studio. Students must have received a grade of C or above in CDE 2091 to have it count toward the prerequisite requirement. Restricted to graphic design majors. Prerequisites: CDE 2091 or permission of the department chair.

CGD 3091. Graphic Design Studio IV. 3 Credits.

In this advanced level course, students focus on design as instrument for social change. The semester long course project is Design Ignites Change. The project focuses on a social change or a social awareness issue. Students learn and develop skill sets in research, messaging, strategy, mood boards, branding, identity, production, and implementation. The project components include print design, interactive design, motion design, and social media. Students learn advanced design processes and create a cohesive brand package as they work with numerous project components and phases. The design process includes: iterative concept development, design development, craft, details, and production. Students develop professional oral presentation skills by participating in weekly critiques. Project workflow, professional presentation, and professional practices for designers are integrated into course projects. At the end of the semester, students obtain experience in professional design projects and skill sets, while understanding on-the-job expectations for a fast-paced professional design studio. Students must have received a grade of C or above in CGD 3090 to have it count toward the prerequisite requirement. Restricted to graphic design majors. Prerequisites: CGD 3090; or permission of the department chair.

CGD 3800. Independent Study: Corcoran Graphic Design. 3 Credits.

Independent research and special projects. Prior approval of the instructor or the program director is required. Restricted to junior and senior graphic design majors.

CGD 3900. Internship in Graphic Design. 3 Credits.

Provides opportunities for students to develop marketable skills, establish professional contacts, and explore different career options. Program approval is required prior to enrollment. Restricted to graphic design majors. Prerequisites: CGD 3090.

CGD 3960. Design Lab. 3 Credits.

This course offers a select group of undergraduate junior and senior graphic design students the unique opportunity to design and oversee production of projects for the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art Design. Design Lab serves as an in-house design studio as students gain experience interacting with clients, managing deadlines, understanding and working within the limitations of their projects, and scheduling timelines. Elements of the design process covered in the course include writing design briefs and contracts, conceptual and design development phases, producing print-ready artwork, and fabrication coordination and supervision. Permission of department required for enrollment.

CGD 3961. Design Lab II. 3 Credits.

To be announced.

CGD 4090. Graphic Design Thesis I. 3 Credits.

"Graphic Design Senior Thesis is comprised of three components: written paper, interview of a design professional, and a final graphic design thesis project. In this course, students select a topic related to the field of Design, develop a thesis statement and written paper through a research and writing phase. Graphic Design briefs pertaining to the development of the written thesis and paper are explored during the semester. This course is for BFA/Graphic Design only. Prerequisite: A grade of ""C"" or better in CGD 3091 Graphic Design Studio IV; or Department Chair's approval.".

CGD 4091. Graphic Design Thesis II. 3 Credits.

"Graphic Design Senior Thesis is comprised of three components: written paper, interview of a design professional, and a final graphic design thesis project. Students finalize the written thesis paper on a design-related topic. Then, students interview a prominent practitioner in the field of Design. As the third component of Graphic Design Senior Thesis, students translate their thesis paper into a graphic design thesis project. Upon completion, the thesis projects are presented in a special museum exhibition. This course is for BFA/Graphic Design only. Prerequisite: A grade of ""C"" or better in CGD 4090 Graphic Design Thesis I; or Department Chair's approval.".

CGD 4120. Environmental Design. 3 Credits.

Reading the environment and the unique messages within it, using the environmental sign as a medium. A grade of C or above is required in the prerequisite course. Prerequisites: CGD 2091 or CDE 2091.

CGD 4170. Professional Practices for Designers. 3 Credits.

Resume and portfolio development and business considerations of the practicing designer. Personal goal assessment, operation of a design business, and designer-client relationships. Prerequisites: CGD 3091.