Graphic Design

Graphic Design Bachelor’s Degree Program

The Graphic Design Major at Mercyhurst University prepares students to succeed in this exciting field. The Graphic Design courses provide training and experience with the most up to date skills, software and industry standard facilities. Our students receive hands-on experiences including internships, portfolio development and projects for real-life clients, Students will experience both traditional and contemporary theories of design and idea generating methods with our extensive art curriculum. Other opportunities come form participation in outside of class activities including membership in AIGA/Ad Pro, professional portfolio reviews and trips to major art museums such as the Carnegie in Pittsburgh and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Taken together, these unique assets produce graduates who routinely land some of the most coveted jobs in the field and gain acceptance into some of the most prestigious graduate programs.

Not Your Typical University

  • A comprehensive curriculum. Our program covers the basics and beyond, including both print design and interactive media publishing, computer illustration, branding, digital imagery, photography and more.
  • Hands-on experience. You’ll gain valuable real-world experience by going on department trips to major art shows twice each year, developing both traditional and online portfolios, and working on projects for the Small Business Development Center of Erie, the Mercyhurst Marketing and Public Relations Office, and many different real world clients.
  • Internship opportunities. The Career Services Office will help you find internships that let you gain valuable experience while still earning credits toward your degree.
  • Strong liberal arts core. You’ll take 40% of your classes in liberal arts disciplines so that you’ll benefit from the well-rounded education today’s business leaders need.
  • Small classes. With most classes having less than 20 students and professors who work with students one-on-one, you’re never just a number at Mercyhurst.
  • Study abroad opportunities. Mercyhurst offers many ways to earn college credits in countries that include France, Ireland, Costa Rica, Russia and more!


AdPro is the student chapter of AIGA (the professional association for design). Members include majors from several creative and professional fields, including graphic design, communication, marketing, and advertising. The organization often competes in the AIGA's National Student Advertising Competition. AdPro also acts as a social organization to promote a better understanding of advertising, encourage professionalism and promote fellowship and free exchange of ideas between members.

On-Campus Clubs

Many on-campus clubs and organizations welcome the talents of Graphic Design majors. For publication experience, consider getting involved in The Merciad, the official student newspaper of Mercyhurst University or The Lumen, Mercyhurst’s award-winning literary magazine. There is also AIGA/AdPro, the Student Advertising Club; the Art Club; and the PR group within the Student Activities Committee.

Degree Requirements

  • Art 100 Drawing I (foundation year)
  • Art 125 2-Dimensional Design (foundation year)
  • Art 126 3-Dimensional Design (foundation year)
  • Art 128 Basic Computer Design (foundation year)
  • Art 106 Photography I
  • Art 122 or 123 Art History
  • Art 220 Introduction to Graphic Design
  • Art 221 Digital Imagery
  • Art 225 Computer Illustration Technique
  • Art 230 Graphic Design History
  • Art 320 Type & Publication Design
  • Art 321 Introduction to Website Design
  • Art 322 Corporate Identity & Branding
  • Art 323 Portfolio Development
  • Art 325 Introduction to Flash
  • Two Approved Studio Offerings

A Few of Our Faculty Members

Jodi Staniunas-Hopper, MFA, director of the Graphic Design program, holds a bachelor’s degree from Mercyhurst and a Master of Fine Arts in Design and Advertising from Marywood University. Before coming to Mercyhurst, Professor Staniunas-Hopper served as the first web designer of CyberInk, the firm behind from the Erie Times-News, and as the first art director within the marketing department of National Public Radio.

Pete Stadtmueller, Instructor of Art, is an Erie, Pa native.  He received his Bachelor of Education from California University of Pennsylvania and his Master of Science in Information Science / Telecommunications from the University of Pittsburgh.  Pete has been teaching art at Mercyhurst University for the past 10 years. He teaches courses in Web Design, Digital Imagery and Computer Design.

Some of Our Alum

Mercyhurst Graphic Design grads go on to do great things with their degrees. Just a few examples include:

Tony Dorchak - Homeomedics
Steve Puskar & Andrew Kochirka -
Tiffany Campbell – Scott Enterprises
Kellie Cope – S&D coffee and tea in Concord, NC
Sam Williams — FH group
Steve Clark — Rue 21
Aly Sandrock – Bensur Advertising


Civil War photo exhibit
Photographs of the American Civil War

Dates: Jun 12-Aug 1, 2014

Location: Cummings Gallery

MU Course Catalog