Imaginations powered by innovation.

A state-of-the-art, private graphics lab, iMac computers, Adobe editing software, GoPro cameras and 3D printing —all the tools and high-tech gadgets our majors need to produce high-quality work to attract the attention of leading employers in the industry. It doesn’t hurt that our comprehensive curriculum integrates web and print design, which fosters versatile graduates. When students get to apply that knowledge in consultations with actual clients, they’re not only providing a tangible service within the community, but they’re also building robust professional portfolios. There’s no question — our graduates are well prepared for the workforce. This is evident in the number of jobs our graduates snag with high-profile corporate companies, such as Southwest Airlines, Dick’s Sporting Goods, L’Oreal, and EXPRESS.

Fast Facts

  • Mercyhurst's graphic design program was ranked #4 nationwide by College Choice for 2020

  • What better way to learn about art than to experience it firsthand? That’s why graphic design majors regularly design for real clients such as  Community Resources for Independence (CRI), Chroma Guild, and the Icebreaker Tourney.

  • The art department purchased its first 3D MakerBot printer in 2016. Several courses incorporate 3D printing to bring student sketches and designs to life

  • AdPro is a student-run, social organization that helps students better understand advertising, while practicing professionalism

infographic examples


This class expands student’s command of Adobe Illustrator by exploring a combination of vector skills, traditional media and techniques used to create spot and editorial illustration.


This course is an introduction to digital video editing. Students will be working in the style of non-linear video editing.

I was thinking of a minor to go with my Graphic Design major. Good idea?

It can be. Your advisor will discuss individually the strengths and weaknesses of different minors. To be up to this discussion, look up the minor in your catalog. Look at ALL the courses required. It is not necessary to MINOR. Often it is recommend to those unsure to take a smattering of other courses in marketing, public relations, technical writing, television production, philosophy, world cultures, etc. There are so many areas to explore and all will teach you critical reasoning, the language of a field, and how to work with others and clients.

I have already had this course in high school. Do I have to take it in college?

Yes, you do. High school provides a broad general understanding of a topic. In college, you are developing a critical mindset that will take the information from each course and build on that information. In your major, this connection is especially important.  Students come from diverse background with varied experience in the making of Art. Some of you will understand basic terminology. Other will not. What the foundation year does is establish a common base line for performance in the Art Department at Mercyhurst University. At Mercyhurst there will be requirements and expectations that are based on you carrying knowledge from 2-D design into Graphic Design, from Graphic Design into Photography, from Art History into Painting, etc. These connections and concepts are what you are learning to adapt and embrace. When you graduate and work in the field of art these skills are what employers expect you to know and understand. When you cut corners, revert to old habits, make assumptions that you already know how to do something, you set yourself up for difficulties within the discipline of Art and Design. That is not to say forget what you have learned before. It is to say, “Be flexible.” The more you are open to new ideas, as well as the traditions of the field, the better you will be as an artist. Art is in a state of constant growth and experimentation.

Will I graduate in four years?

If you follow the requirements in the catalog and student handbook, pass all your courses, and have a GPA above 2.5, it is absolutely possible to graduate in four years.

What other opportunities for experience are there on campus for artists/designers?

There are many projects, clubs, and work-study positions that would employ your artistic skills.

For publication experience, there is The MerciadLumen, and the Yearbook. At the end of sophomore year you are prepared to apply to work on the staff of any of those publications.

For work-study experiences that use design, there is Sport Information, the PAC, the Marketing and Public Relations Office, and the Graphics Lab. See, Mrs. Hopper with questions about these.

For clubs, there is AdPro, the Student Advertising Club; the Art Club; and Student Activities Committee. AdPro leans more toward applied design/advertising. The Art Club sets it own agenda every year. The SAC usually has a group in charge of PR. Whatever your interest there is usually opportunity to join a club and help with the design.

Trips also provide outside experiences. Usually twice a year we travel to major art shows in the area. Take advantage of these really inexpensive ventures and sign-up when they are announced.

What if I am ever unsure about a course, major or minor?

That is what advisement is all about. You have two advisors available to you, an general academic advisor and your “major” academic advisor. Your advisors want to help you answer academic questions, explore the opportunities, and help you make the connections you need. They are interested in you making choices that are right for you. You will meet with them in the fall, and every term from then on, to discuss how you are progressing toward your goals.

Where did my schedule come from? Is it right for me?

Your advisor reviewed your file that includes your SAT/ACT scores, High School transcripts, Sports considerations, and any other notes specific to you. That information along with the college’s requirements molded the choices that were made. As a first term freshman you are required to take: Drawing, 2-D Design, College Writing I, and at least one other course. Some advisors schedule 5 courses. Our philosophy is that your college education starts out better the highest GPA you can achieve. “College is a marathon not a sprint.” You need to build a solid foundation with your early classes. Make friends and get involved. Thusly you have been set up for success with a 4-class load.


Here’s a formula to get you started. For every hour in class, plan on 2 hours outside of class for homework. Example: a 2.5 hour art class = 5 hours of homework. Try planning your week on a chart in half hour increments.  Remember that most of your new friends will be around in the evening making it harder to do reading and “quiet” homework. Time between classes is great for getting small tasks done and late afternoon is great for homework.


Contact Us

Peter Stadtmueller, MSIS
Program Director, Graphic Design
Office: Hirt 100A
Phone: 814-824-3346