Skip to: Main navigation | MyBUFFSTATE | Main content | Contact information

Communication (Graphic) Design

Graphic design, Student work, students, design, art, graphics, advertising
Final Critique: Computer Graphics 1
Communication Design Computer Lab
Communication Design Macintosh computer lab
Communication Design students at the Blackrock Canal.
Students researching for a community project at Blackrock Canal
CMD poster
Communication Design 2014 promotion

Technology is changing at breakneck speed – people have more options to access information, interact with the world, and be entertained than ever before. BUT we are still human and the message still needs to impact us on a personal level. 

We provide you with leading edge instruction in new media, industry current software, and traditional tools in this lively and rapidly expanding field. With this in mind, the Communication Design program at Buffalo State is constantly re-tooling the major to prepare you to design in and for this dynamic new environment!

Communication Design, B.F.A.

Course Sequence/Roadmap
Connect with Communication Design


Typical Communication Design students are driven, inquisitive, self starters, creative, and passionate.

By the time you graduate you will know how to:

  • design for print; magazines, books, packaging, way-finding, environmental graphics
  • put together conceptually creative and persuasive advertising campaigns
  • create logos and branding systems
  • illustrate with a variety of media from hands-on to digital
  • story board and create advertisements, Public Service Announcements, logo animation, kinetic typography and much more
  • transfer your designs into the digital 3D environment; create objects and environments, virtual packaging, product visualization, animate fly-throughs, logos, and typography
  • design for the web, creating intuitive and informative sites
  • mount an individual exhibition in a local gallery
  • design and create an individual portfolio, both digital and traditional.

The Communication Design program includes classes that help you prepare your portfolio and assistance in providing internship opportunities in the field. Most students do their internships locally, but some have been more adventurous and landed internships in London, Los Angeles, New York City, and other metropolitan areas.

The Communication Design BFA program is designed to prepare you for successful employment in an industry with a rapid influx of new technologies. Due to the demand for a higher level of skills from our graduates in these technologies, we continually evaluate our course offerings and update them accordingly.

Important Information

Ultimately the student is responsible for fulfilling all courses required for graduation.

Advisement is mandatory. Students must sign up for advisement each semester they are at Buffalo State to facilitate timely graduation. Changing majors or entering the college as a transfer may lengthen the amount of time to graduation.

The Design Department reserves the right to retain students’ work for official purposes, such as exhibitions, catalogs, teaching aids, or permanent collections and to use images of the students and their work for publicity and recruitment. Students are expected to assume the costs of materials used in courses. Some studio courses may have an additional charge for materials used in class.

Job Possibilities

The Buffalo State Communication Design B.F.A. program has an excellent reputation. Graduates from the program are employed by many design studios, advertising firms, marketing agencies, web, non-profit organizations, the music industry, news and print companies in the Western New York area and across the country. 

Our graduates are employed at NBC Universal, Verizon Wireless, Fisher Price, Yahoo, Xerox, Uniland Development, The Mechanism, Fuel Interactive, Hilton Worldwide, Buffalo Sabres, Block Club, Quinlan & Co., Clever Method, Buffalo Spree, Blue Cross Blue Shield, NOCO Energy, Local Edge, P22 Type Foundry, CGI Communications, The Martin Group, Eric Mower & Associates, The Buffalo News, and Art Voice.

Opportunities continue to exist in the more traditional fields of newspaper, magazines, advertising specialties, or sign companies. In addition, many businesses that employ more than a dozen employees often have an in-house design dept. Or, with the skills gained, some of our more enterprising graduates have begun their own companies!

Buffalo State has employment and job resources available for students - free of charge to students and the local community:

The Art Test and Portfolio Review

Students who entered the Communication Design program Fall 2013 or before must take the portfolio review the semester following completion of DES 270, Visual Communications I. For additional information regarding the portfolio review, please contact the Communication Design faculty in the Design Department, Design Office, Upton Hall 212. (716) 878 6032

Students entering the Buffalo State Communication Design program in the Fall of 2013 may opt to take the Art Test instead of going the current route of the Portfolio Review.

Students entering the Communication Design program beginning January 2014 must take the Art Test. Please refer to the The Art Test page for updated information on deadlines, sample content and current edition of the test. Next deadline for submission of the Art Test is May 1, 2015.


Buffalo State •  1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Upton Hall 212
Buffalo, NY 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-6032 •  Fax: (716) 878-4231