Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Digital Design - Web Design

Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Web Design

Offered By: College of Fine Arts and Production

Why Pursue a Digital Design Degree?

We live in an information-driven society. A digital design degree equips students to use their design skills to create real-world design solutions. Grand Canyon University’s BA in Digital Design focuses on how to communicate in a visual society and how to create engaging and enriching digital design. Throughout the program, students will learn principles of design, color, composition and typography while using industry standard software. In addition, students are provided opportunities to specialize in different areas of interest.

Digital design students continually refine their craft through developing prototypes and responding to actionable feedback. Portfolio classes and portfolio development will support students in their design efforts and provide them with material to showcase to future employers. Digital web design students will graduate equipped to enter the workforce and apply their skills in a wide range of industries.

Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Design With an Emphasis in Web Design

The Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Web Design prepares students to work as entry-level designers in a variety of exciting industries that use screen-based content, including advertising, marketing, branding, social media, and corporate communications. If you’re interested in earning a web design degree, this program provides a strong foundation in all forms of digital design with a strong focus on web design.

Behind every screen today is a digital designer deciding what content goes where, what moves, and how to marry form and function to create an enjoyable brand journey. Students learn the design process, including concept development, visualization techniques, stylistic trends, composition, typography, color theory, user experience, and interface concepts, and responsive design.

Students will take courses that support foundational creative skills, skill enhancement, motion graphics and portfolio development. Throughout the portfolio process, students are encouraged to use their creativity to highlight their distinct skillset. The mid-program portfolio course is designed to equip students to find internships and develop their employer-ready digital design pieces. The senior portfolio allows students to showcase their advanced skills as they prepare to enter the workforce and interview for digital design or web design careers often pursued after obtaining a web design degree.

During their time at GCU, students are provided with opportunities to enhance their skills and use their creativity. Students are encouraged to participate in GCU’s Design Club and the student chapter of of AIGA (Professional Association for Design) to discover design events and opportunities for networking.

In courses such as Designing for New Technologies, User Experience, Application Design, Content Management Systems Designing with Motion Graphics, students will acquire these core competencies:

  • The design and creation of motion graphics across multiple mediums to meet the needs of client businesses
  • The design and application of branded content in screen-based applications
  • Theories of user experience and interaction (UI/UX) as applied to the design of mobile and web products

During their senior year, students create their own professional portfolio to showcase their skills and talents to prospective employers. Throughout this degree, students develop their design skills, communication skills, problem-solving abilities and critical thinking capabilities. They explore the fundamental principles of ethical leadership, keeping the Christian worldview in mind. Students may enroll in this digital design degree in either the campus or online format. Web design students are required to have a working laptop and a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. Additional supplies or software programs may be required.

Explore a Future in Digital Web Design

Graduates who possess the design skills necessary to create websites, apps, kiosks, and interactive displays may pursue work across virtually any industry, including private companies, the public sector and nonprofit organizations. Some of the jobs that may be related to this Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design with an Emphasis in Web Design include the following:

  • Web designer
  • Graphic designer
  • Content creator
  • Front-end web designer
  • Art director
  • Creative director
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TOTAL CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks [More Info]

Online: 7 weeks
[More Info]
TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
TUITION RATE:
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]
Online: $477 per credit [More Info]

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
76 credits
Open Elective Credits:
4-10 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University’s General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.

Requirements

Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
  • COM-263, Elements of Intercultural Communication: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments. Students are required to take 3 credits of college mathematics or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • INT-244, World Religions: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Core Courses

Course Description

This survey course introduces students to basic design thinking, including principles and elements of design, and concepts of composition. This course includes reading, writing, and lab assignments and requires the creation and exhibition of student artwork. Technology requirement: Students are responsible for providing their own laptop that is capable of running the Adobe Creative Cloud. Verify required technical specifications in the University Policy Handbook available on www.gcu.edu.

Course Description

This foundational studio course focuses on developing visual style and production workflows in the creation of raster- and vector-based graphics using industry-standard technologies. Students apply color theory and composition skills to create complex illustrations and advertisements. Multiple input sources are combined to create both original and derivative content: camera, scanner, mouse, tablet, traditional media, and stock photography. Students practice acquiring work at the correct PPI, retouching, tonal correction, and color profiling to create images compliant with industry standards. Emphasis is placed on selecting appropriate imagery by analyzing audience needs, which is then applied to developing creative and original work. Students also learn how to legally acquire stock imagery and the ethical obligations in its manipulation. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, mouse, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Verify required technical specifications in the University Policy Handbook, which is available on www.gcu.edu.

Course Description

This survey course reinforces the use of design elements and principles of composition to create compelling, marketable designs. Structures, grid systems, and more informal freeform techniques are investigated to solve hands-on design problems. The role of typography, color, and hierarchy for effective communication is explored. Students use rapid visualization to iterate and prototype multiple solutions using the design thinking process and learn how to document their processes for presentation. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, mouse, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Verify required technical specifications in the University Policy Handbook, which is available on www.gcu.edu. Prerequisite: DDN-100 or DDN-101.

Course Description

This foundational motion course examines the basics of 2D motion design as it relates to graphic design. Students examine 2D motion in the context of the 12 Principles of Animation, the foundation of motion. This course teaches students how to view graphic design with the addition of a timeline. Students are introduced to the production pipeline as it relates to 2D graphic design in the context of motion. During preproduction, students strategize how to complete 2D motion graphics. Students then start crafting the assets and 2D motion of their projects in production and present a finalized motion graphic during post-production. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, mouse, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Verify required technical specifications in the University Policy Handbook, which is available on www.gcu.edu. Prerequisite: DDN-110 or DDN-115 or equivalent course.

Course Description

This course explores the fundamentals of User Experience as it applies to mobile applications through the use of prototyping and user testing. The historical context of User Experience is explored and as well as how it evolved into modern application design. During this course, students apply the Laws of UX to their designs. Various usability testing methods are implemented. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, mouse, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Verify required technical specifications in the University Policy Handbook, which is available on www.gcu.edu. Prerequisite: DDN-110 or DDN-115.

Course Description

During this course students will apply the concepts of production management, including structuring and preparing electronic files through production for a variety of mediums. Technology requirement: Students are responsible for providing their own laptop that is capable of running the Adobe Creative Cloud. Verify required technical specifications in the University Policy Handbook available on www.gcu.edu.

Course Description

This course explores fundamentals and traditions for designing with type, as well as corporate design with an emphasis on typography with integration of vector designs and photography into promotional pieces. Students propose and create solutions for visual problems with type. This course includes reading, writing, and lab assignments and requires the creation and exhibition of student artwork. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, mouse, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Verify required technical specifications in the University Policy Handbook, which is available on www.gcu.edu. Prerequisite: DDN-110 or DDN-115.

Course Description

This course focuses on the web design prototyping process including research, wireframes, design comps, and interactive mock-ups that address a creative brief. Students learn website production, as well as Search Engine Optimization as it applies to design assets. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, mouse, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Verify required technical specifications in the University Policy Handbook, which is available on www.gcu.edu. Prerequisite: DDN-250.

Course Description

This course exposes students to a variety of artistic methods to generate concepts and content off-screen, using traditional rapid visualization and mixed media. Structures for experimentation -- both planned and spontaneous -- are explored. A focus on concept development and rigorous hands-on practice helps students develop their artistic voice. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, mouse, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Verify required technical specifications in the University Policy Handbook, which is available on www.gcu.edu.

Course Description

This course requires students to research and build a self-marketing plan and curate a portfolio of work to use in a job search. Students examine their current work in order to accurately develop personal promotional assets, be introduced to design communities, identify industry networking opportunities, and begin to build a professional social network. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, mouse, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Verify required technical specifications in the University Policy Handbook, which is available on www.gcu.edu. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

Course Description

This writing intensive course focuses on the history of visual arts, graphic design, and animation; genres of design; and the influence of artists, graphic artists, and animators through the ages. Emphasis is placed on the history of and current developments in the digital and information age. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Course Description

This course focuses on the planning, design, and implementation of dynamic applications using different project management methodologies. Due to the constant technological changes in screen sizes, students learn how to design and adapt to various devices. Types of applications designed include websites, mobile, and wearable technologies. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, mouse, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Verify required technical specifications in the University Policy Handbook, which is available on www.gcu.edu. Prerequisite: DDN-255.

Course Description

In this course, students learn web design production and development. Web layouts, style, artistic quality, performance, navigation, and accessibility are explored in the development of websites using HTML and CSS. The focus of the course is to develop a core foundation in HTML and CSS, with an understanding of JavaScript. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, mouse, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Verify required technical specifications in the University Policy Handbook, which is available on www.gcu.edu. Students also must purchase their own domain name and Internet-hosting services. Prerequisite: DDN-255.

Course Description

This studio-intensive course introduces a new dimension to typographic foundations through the inclusion of motion and interactivity in type. Students learn how to source web-compliant typography for inclusion in their own creative, strategy-driven design projects. Students explore grids, hierarchy, style, contrast, and basic animated transformations. Students apply the 12 Principles of Animation to kinetic typography compositions. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, mouse, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Verify required technical specifications in the University Policy Handbook, which is available on www.gcu.edu. Prerequisite: DDN-210.

Course Description

In this course, students learn how to use various content-management systems including, but not limited to websites, blogs, e-mail marketing, and social media. Students design and produce strategic assets, and learn how to set up hosting and populate content inside an industry standard CMS. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, mouse, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Verify required technical specifications in the University Policy Handbook, which is available on www.gcu.edu. Students also must purchase their own domain name and internet hosting services. Prerequisite: DDN-336.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course focuses on the essential business skills necessary for the design professional. Personal branding and marketing, networking, industry landscape, professional advancement and career scaffolding, ethical and legal issues, project management, teamwork, professional communication, and other industry issues are explored as they relate to the design profession. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, mouse, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Verify required technical specifications in the University Policy Handbook, which is available on www.gcu.edu. Prerequisite: Senior standing.

Course Description

During this course students will forecast new technologies in order to enhance user experience. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, a graphics tablet, external hard drive, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Course Description

This course requires students to implement a self-marketing plan and portfolio of work to launch a job search in their preferred industry. Students examine the current market, audit and improve past work to meet industry standards, then identify additional self-directed projects that help them reach their employment goals. Students refine their digital portfolio and publish all the assets needed to launch a personal brand complimented by a set of self-promotion materials, including a print portfolio. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, mouse, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Verify required technical specifications in the University Policy Handbook, which is available on www.gcu.edu. Prerequisite: DDN-405.

Course Description

During this course students will create self-directed web projects to meet client business needs. Technology requirement: Students provide their own laptop, a graphics tablet, external hard drive, and subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. Students will also purchase their own domain name and internet hosting service. Prerequisite: DDN-455.

Locations

GCU Campus Student


Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

GCU Online Student


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student


Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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