Graphic arts

Graphic Arts

Inspired visual design.

The attractive visuals found in magazines, posters and websites feed your imagination, especially the imagery that can make a statement. Be inspired to explore your own creative design through Marian University’s graphic arts program.

Program Information

Marian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission .


The Graphic Arts Program prepares students for the diverse opportunities in the field of graphic arts. Students are encouraged to develop a consistent body of work and define a personal style. That development, in part, is elicited by frequent group discussions of a design work’s aesthetic merits. Class projects advance a student’s presentation skills in order to develop an attractive portfolio primed for their career objectives. Their university career culminates with an internship experience.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will gain proficiency on industry standard design software.
  • Students will be able to learn to adapt to the changing landscape of available design software.
  • Students will acquire knowledge of the elements and principles of design.
  • Students will be able to apply the elements and principles of design.
  • Students will be able to critically think about and create solutions for the design projects they encounter.
  • Students will gain analogue design skills and integrate them with their digital skills.
  • Students will understand the requirements of publication in print and digital formats.
  • Students will be able to communicate their ideas to a client or coworker.
  • Students will apply their skills to real world applications.

The Program
Marian University’s graphic arts program actively integrates knowledge in the graphic design profession with the vision of a traditional studio artist. Students reflect upon the trends in graphic design technology and emerging media forms in a visually sophisticated society. Throughout their coursework, graphic arts students define a personal artistic style and develop a consistent body of work in the form of a professional portfolio.

General Education Program: 46–49 University requirements. Major satisfies the art common core and elective core courses.

Foreign Language requirement
12 credits or equivalent:

Language requirement for BA

Other requirements
10–12 credits:

University electives (6 credits must be non-art)

64–66 credits as follows:
Art History
6 credits:

ART 230 Survey of Art History I, 3 cr.
ART 240 Survey of Art History II, 3 cr.

3 credits from the following:
ART 235 Women Artists through History, 3 cr.
ART 236 Contemporary Art History, 1–3 cr.
ART 237 American Art History, 3 cr.

Studio Art
15 credits:

ART 111 Basic Drawing, 3 cr.
ART 201 Design, 3 cr.
ART 202 Basic Painting, 3 cr.
ART 250 Printmaking, 3 cr.
ART 303 Life Drawing, 3 cr.

3 credits from the following:
ART 211 Basic Sculpture, 2-3 cr.
ART 212 Basic Ceramics, 2-3 cr.

Graphic Arts
16–18 credits:

ART 203 Introduction to Graphic Arts, 3 cr.
ART 205 Digital Imaging, 3 cr.
ART 207 Computer Illustration, 3 cr.
ART 305 Introduction to Photography, 3 cr.
ART 340 Web Design, 3 cr.
ART 397 Internship, 1–3 cr.

3 credits from the following:
ART 401 Advanced Design, 3 cr.
ART Graphic Arts elective, 3 cr.

Other program requirements
18 credits:

ART Art elective, 3 cr.
COM 202 Writing for Media, 3 cr.
COM 333 Computer Applications for Communication, 3 cr.
MKT 201 Principles of Marketing, 3 cr.
MKT 302 Principles of Advertising, 3 cr.
TEC 102 Computer Software Applications, 3 cr.

0 credits:
ART 010, 020, 030, 040 Art Exhibition Attendance, 0 cr.

For more details regarding this program, view Marian’s Academic Bulletin.

As a student in the graphic arts program, you’ll have numerous opportunities to develop the technical design skills and broad-based liberal arts perspective necessary to design creatively in a collaborative environment. You’ll be equipped to adapt to emerging technologies and the ever-changing design world. Students gain experience in a variety of areas, including desktop publishing, digital imaging, illustration, typography, animation, motion graphics, interactive interface design and web design. Students also develop skills in design theory, brainstorming, conceptual development and printing methods.

For more information, please contact:

Office of Admission

Mark Merline, M.F.A.
Associate Professor & Chair
Art Department

You might also be interested in these programs:

At Marian University, you’ll be inspired by our focus on personalized support and quality hands-on experiences. You’ll find faculty who are experts in art and design, bringing with them decades of experience and a passion to share the graphic arts.

Minimum GPA of 3.25 in major courses required

Marian’s graphic arts program prepares students for personal and professional success after graduation through applied learning experiences. Through hands-on internship experiences, Marian’s graphic arts graduates stay one step ahead of the competition. Employers and graduate programs look for students who have field experiences, many of which lead to professional employment. Graduates can find career success in graphic design, advertising, illustration, typography, creative direction, animation, multimedia and web design.

The Graphic Arts Program is expanding and developing as demand for expertise in this field continues to grow in many industries and enterprises.

In 2014-15, students in courses offered in the Graphic Arts Program demonstrated the following learning outcomes:
Knowledge Acquisition: 88.3% of students assessed (N=37) meet or exceed expectations.
Critical Thinking: 87.3% of students (N=47) meet or exceed expectations.
Effective Communication: 88.0% of students (N=50) meet or exceed expectations.
Global Perspectives: 79.3% of students (N=29) meet or exceed expectations.

During their final year, students’ internships give them hands-on professional experiences, preparing them for career opportunities. They have the opportunity to apply their skills and the knowledge they have accumulated as learning outcomes on practical projects.

Employment: 100% of graduates are employed within six months of graduation from the Graphic Arts Program.

Students in the Graphic Arts Program have held internships at the following organizations:

  • JJ Keller & Assoc. Inc., Neenah, Wisconsin
  • Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
  • Duluth Trading Company, Belleville, Wisconsin
  • EAA, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
  • BCI Burke Company, LLC, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
  • Klapperich Real Estate, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
  • Willems Marketing, Inc., Appleton, Wisconsin
  • Gueller's Photography, Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin
  • 4imprint, Oshkosh, Wisconsin
  • Marian University, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Upon graduation, dedicated Graphic Arts graduates have become employed in design roles at various business including: LLC, Nancy’s Notions, 4imprint, J.J. Keller & Assoc. Inc., Ripon Printers, and Prestwick Golf Group.

Wallestad, Thomas

Tom Wallestad, M.F.A.
Associate Professor
Art Department

Mark Merline

Mark Merline, M.F.A.
Associate Professor & Chair
Art Department

Klapperich, Leah

Leah Klapperich
Assistant Professor & Director of Art Therapy
Art Department

Deborah Bartlelt, M.S.
Part-time per Course Faculty
Art Department

Shane McAdams, M.F.A.
Part-time per Course Faculty
Art Department

Anna Pagnucci, M.F.A.
Part-time per Course Faculty
Art Department

Lora Vahlsing, M.F.A.
Part-time per Course Faculty
Art Department

Michael Wartgow, M.F.A.
Part-time per Course Faculty
Art Department

Tami DeLisle, M.S.
Part-Time per Course Faculty
Art Department
Ph.D. Cap

Did You Know?

The first graduate (master’s degree) program was started in 1987. The PhD program was started in 2004 (Source: Marian University Archives).

Campus Info

Marian University
45 S. National Ave.
Fond du Lac, WI 54935-4699


All Locations