American University of Beirut

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design (BFA)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Pioneering program

Offering one of the first professional graphic design degrees in the region, the undergraduate program in graphic design at the American university of Beirut has been a pioneering force in shaping the graphic design industry and a leading model for graphic design education in Lebanon and the Arab world since 1992. While adhering to international standards, the program continuously evolves to meet the needs of the local and regional markets, keeping up with the fast-developing advancements in the field and responding to the increasingly growing demand for the graphic design profession.  

Well-rounded professional degree

The Bachelor of Fine Arts​ in Graphic Design offers a comprehensive scope covering print, space and digital media and encompassing the multiple practice areas of the discipline. These include branding and visual identity, packaging and promotional communication, publication design, signage and wayfinding, web, app and interaction design, among others. The program also provides training in the skills and tools of the graphic designer such as drawing, animation, printmaking, computer graphics, photography, ill​​ustration and typography. In addition to the practical and technical aspects of the profession, the curriculum focuses on a solid training in the theory and history of design and promotes a socially responsible and locally grounded practice. In their final year, students embark on a two-semester long thesis project focused on a topic of their choice.

Distinct r​​​​ootedness

The program is proud to be a prominent hub for the study and development of Arabic from traditional calligraphy to contemporary lettering and typography. By encouraging the development of contemporary Arabic fonts, fully integrating the Arabic language within the digital realm and focusing on design in multiple languages as a core component, the program gives graduates a particular strength and a competitive edge as design professionals in this multicultural region. The program also boasts a center for comics with an impressive collection of regional comic books and graphic novels, as well as a city-focused urban lab with a prominent design and data visualization unit.​

Cutting-edge facilities

With state-of-the-art studios and labs, including those​​​ for printmaking, fabrication and digital production, the School of Architecture and Design is a creative teaching and learning environment that encourages critical thinking, experimentation and innovation. The regular programming of events, lectures, conferences, workshops, competitions, seminars and conferences keeps the school an active and lively place, connected to the design professional and academic worlds both regionally and globally. The school is nestled in AUB’s historical campus, a green sanctuary overlooking the Mediterranean and comprising five libraries, athletic fields, an indoor pool, a private beach, as well as archaeological, natural history and art museums.​

Program Description

The Graphic Design Program is comprised of a total of 139 credit hours normally taken over four years, including three summers. The curriculum is structured as follows: ​

  1. Two foundation years, first and second, with core requirements in design, typography, representation techniques, digital media, and history courses, which offer students basic skills and knowledge in design and related areas.
  2. An advanced year, the third year, with core requirements in advanced design, digital media, and theory courses, reinforced by the field electives and General Education requirements.
  3. A final year, the fourth year, with a one-year long design project and advanced electives.​

Program Learning Outcomes

Graphic Design students graduate from their undergraduate program with a thorough working knowledge of how to:​

  • (Design)  Develop original design solutions in the fields of publication, identity, packaging, communication and environmental design that integrate local, regional and global concerns (both social and cultural) into projects that are creative, feasible, and ultimately realizable.
  • (History/Theory)  Formulate critical positions in their design practice and in written communication drawn from knowledge of the history and theory of art and visual culture.
  • (Representation)  Demonstrate the ability to communicate a design concept clearly through the stages of its development process using a range of tools and technologies, including sketching, printmaking and multiple media.
  • (Typography)  Display a full working knowledge of the macro and micro aesthetics of typeface design with particular focus on issues of typography in the Arab world.
  • (Digital Media)  Create time-based media and responsive interactive media to current international standards using the digital tools of to​day including TV graphics, title sequences, animated logos and promos, web pages, e-magazines and mobile app designs.
  • (Professional Practice) Demonstrate basic business acumen and familiarity with the legal and ethical dimensions of the profession, including the ability to organize design projects and to work productively as a member of a team.
  • (General) Advance with competency into the graphic design profession at entry level in their area of specialization.​


​Degree Requirements​

The degree requirements in Graphic Design consist of the following:

  • 94 credit hours of mandatory core courses. 
  • 15 credit hours of approved ArD/MSFEA field electives:
    • 3 credit hours in Category A: Representation
    • 3 credit hours in Category B: History, Theory and Methodology
    • 3 credit hours in Category C: Digital Media, Typography and Professional Practice
    • 6 credit hours: choice between A, B & C

To meet the AUB General Education requirements (30 credits must be taken outside the department): 

  • 6 credit hours of English: English 203 and English 204.
  • 3 credit hours in Understanding Communication (Arabic).
  • 9 credit hours of approved electives in Cultures and Histories, including ARCH 121 and 122 and a course in the History of Ideas.
  • 3 credits of approved elective in Human Values.
  • 6 credit hours of approved electives in Societies and Individuals, including GRDS 331.
  • 9 credit hours of approved electives in Understanding the World and Quantitative Reasoning with at least 3 credits from each, including CMPS 207.
  • 3 credit hours of an approved elective in Community Engaged Learning Of those courses, one has to cover the theme of Social Inequalities.

To meet the AUB General Education Requirements (27 credits must be taken outside the school):

  • 6 credit hours of English including English 204
  • 3 credit hours of Arabic, as per the placement test
  • 12 credit hours of approved electives in humanities including ARCH 121 and ARCH 122
  • 6 credit hours of approved electives in social sciences including GRDS 331
  • 6 credit hours of approved electives in natural sciences 
  • 3 credit hours of approved electives in quantitative thought: CMPS207​

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