Learn to Speak a Powerful Visual Language

Graphic and media designers use color, line, shape, texture, images, motion and more to tell stories, share ideas and create emotional connections with the world.

Majoring in Graphic Design

As a student in Russell Sage College’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Graphic + Media Design, you’ll study print production, interactive design, and video, animation and digital imaging as you develop your own authentic style. And you’ll add to your portfolio, resume and professional network at an internship and year-long, self-designed capstone project.

Our curriculum that offers you the flexibility to focus on the area of design that most interests you, along with interdisciplinary opportunities to broaden your education.

A course called Colab is a great example of the interdisciplinary experiences in Sage’s Art + Design department.  Colab students from our Graphic + Media Design, Art + Extended Media and Interior + Spatial Design programs work in teams on a collaborative project — to develop a concept and designs for a boutique hotel, for example. The class runs like a professional project in a busy design studio, and students end the semester with strong work samples for their portfolios and teamwork experience for their resumes.

Russell Sage College’s Graphic + Media Design program is small, so your professors get to know you personally. They’ll brainstorm projects with you, offer constructive critiques as you grow as a graphic and media designer and advise you on freelance assignments and other career opportunities.

Facilities for Graphic Design Majors

As a BFA student at Russell Sage College, you’ll have easy access to equipment like 3-D printers, a laser cutter, large format printers, Wacom Cintiq displays, scanners, audiovisual equipment, a vacuum former and more at the Art + Design Technology Center.

Two on-campus galleries — Opalka Gallery and the Little Gallery — attract prestigious exhibits and provide a professional venue for students’ work. You may also serve on the editorial board or publish your work in Vernacular, a student-run art, design and literature publication and campus tradition for more than 50 years.

And you’ll have plenty of opportunities to network with members of Troy and Albany’s creative communities at department-sponsored artist lectures, portfolio reviews and special events held in conjunction with professional organizations like AIGA.

Leah Rico, MFA
Assistant Professor of Graphic + Media Design

Careers with a Graphic Design Degree

Graduate Studies with a BFA in Graphic Design

A Master of Fine Arts degree or master’s degree in graphic design is the next step for many individuals with a BFA in graphic design who want to continue their studies. Our undergraduate graphic design degree program is also excellent preparation for master’s programs in other fields that align with your goals, like a master’s degree in Art Education from Sage’s Esteves School of Education. 

Careers with a BFA in Graphic Design

Graphic design majors go on to get great jobs in large communication agencies, boutique design firms and in-house marketing departments.

Recent graduates are working as a UX designer at Amazon; marketing director at a custom printing company; and as graphic designers and art directors at Jane Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, Trampoline Design and on national political campaigns.

Spotlights Pattern

Graphic Design Internships

Employers that have recently hosted Graphic + Media Design students from Sage include Mohawk Fine Papers, Black Dog Designs and the Arts Center of the Capital Region.

BFA Capstone Project

During your senior year in the Graphic + Media Design program, you’ll apply your designer’s toolkit to a problem centered on the needs of people, available and new technologies, and the success of a business or organization. Examples of standout capstone projects include a publication to build empathy, connect and share resources for homeless transgendered people; a video game concept to help young voters navigate the American political system; a set of classroom print and digital tools to encourage young women to pursue STEM fields; and a bra-fitting app where the student ended up being courted by Hanes for a job!


What’s Next?

We’d like to meet you! Come visit our campuses, get to know our faculty and diverse student body, even sit in on a class or two.

First-year and transfer students can find information about application procedures, tuition, financial aid and scholarships via the links at the bottom of this page.


Please also visit our website at art.sage.edu to learn more about the many opportunities available in our program.

Program Objectives

Russell Sage College’s BFA program in Graphic + Media Design will prepare you for a career in graphic design, illustration, web design, motion graphics and video. Our curriculum includes coursework, internships and a capstone project and is based on industry-recognized standards for professional designers. You will graduate with the skills, confidence and business savvy to succeed in the visual communication field.


Russell Sage College’s Visual Arts programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190. 703-437-0700.

Art + Design Mission Statement

Russell Sage’s art and design programs, creative arts in therapy, and art history courses develop innovators of art and design with an understanding of visual culture, its relevance to society, and the ability to contribute as artist citizens. In this student-centered environment, students broaden their artistic vision through internships and the interdisciplinary opportunities offered at Russell Sage. Art and design students leave Sage with the confidence to influence their world through mastery in competence areas, creative vision, critical thinking and problem solving capabilities.

Sage’s art and design programs and art history courses will prepare students for current and emerging careers in the arts by:

  • Developing curriculum that mirrors departmental and college core values and aligns with the institution’s strategic plan.
  • Aligning and expanding the art and design disciplines to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of Russell Sage
  • Designing innovative and immersive programs that offer connections to both the local and global communities through community projects, exhibitions, guest lectures, field trips, internships, clubs, and travel opportunities
  • Establishing residency programs for visiting artists, designers and scholars that benefit both students and the community.
  • Fortifying relationships with the surrounding community
  • Fostering environmentally sensitive and socially conscious citizens.

This will be accomplished through:

  • Assessing art and design and art history curricula and its viability, using learning assessment methodologies such as faculty-guided peer review of student work, accreditation, portfolio reviews, testing, research methods and papers. In addition, art faculty will conduct yearly reviews for all students to assess programmatic progress and to continually strengthen teaching.
  • Interacting with Sage colleagues, programs and institutes across disciplines and the campuses to facilitate relationships necessary to strengthening interdisciplinary activity and courses.
  • Facilitating outreach to community partners to expand student opportunities for service learning.
  • Collaborating with the Sage community to combine resources for visiting artists and scholars who will benefit the Sage community in its mission.
  • Creating meaning by emphasizing communication modes and literacy through listening, writing, speaking, self-reflection and proficiency assessments. In part, this will be accomplished with the addition of writing and speaking components into every studio class to work in concert with art history courses and core goals of humanities education. 
  • Encouraging non-art majors to minor in an art discipline and for art majors to minor outside of the department to foster relationships across the disciplines exposing students to a greater variety of viewpoints. 
  • Maintaining personal faculty development in order to foster continued scholarship and professional practice in the fields of art, design, creative arts in therapy, and art history.
  • Modeling behaviors consistent with our value system of empathy for our fellow citizens and stewardship of the world around us.

The art and design unit, like all college constituencies, regularly aligns our plans with the Sage mission. We complete annual reviews which articulate goals for assessment, instruments to be used, how information will be gathered, and identify how assessment results will be used with program-level assessment grids. Curricular decisions are guided by and informed by the mission, and course content is designed to support each of the institutional learning outcomes.   

Next steps?

It’s time to take the next step. Choose yours below.

Have Questions About a BFA in Graphic Design?

Chair, Department of Visual & Performing Arts // Professor of Graphic + Media Design
Professor of Graphic + Media Design
Assistant Professor of Graphic + Media Design