In alignment with the College’s Jacket Journey competencies, art and design courses not only help develop skills in visual literacy, visual and verbal communication, digital technology, collaboration, and creative problem solving, but also provide students an outlet to be explorative and expressive.


Students of all academic majors interested in experiencing the fine arts are encouraged to pursue an 18 credit hour minor in Studio Art. A Studio Art minor exposes students to a variety of foundational art courses from photography and drawing to painting and sculpture. Whether pursuing art to support a creative career or for self interest purposes, the minor provides something for everyone. 


Graphic design is a growing and expanding profession filled with possibilities. A graphic designer can work for a company, an organization, a design firm, or for themselves as a freelance designer. The field of graphic design is broad. Where some designers will elect to be generalist, others may choose to become experts in a particular area of graphic design like illustration, motion graphics, or corporate brand communication.

The Graphic Design major at DC is a 120 credit hour Bachelor of Arts degree composed of foundational studies in art and design and advanced courses in various graphic design specializations. Upper level courses such as Internship, Capstone, Design Thinking, and the Business of Graphic Design focus on career readiness. This adds significant value to a student’s education.


The Graphic Design minor is a popular complement to a variety of academic pursuits. Composed of only 21 credit hours, it offers a student flexibility in selecting courses of interest to them.   


The Graphic Design program at DC is unique because it not only prepares students for vocation, but also transforms students into socially responsible designers. Graphic design students leave Defiance College with the skill and knowledge to be competitive leaders in the industry, as well as citizen designers.



Graphic Design majors are required to complete an internship for academic credit. The internship program at DC is overseen by the Institute for Career Readiness and Lifelong Learning. Internships are an experiential educational opportunity that provide a critical link between the classroom and the workplace. Internships allow the student to gain first-hand field experience through an academic relationship with the College and the employer. Students have interned at a variety of local businesses, including Sauder Woodworking, the Tuttle Museum, The Crescent-News, CE Electrics, Holy Hill Media, Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative, March 4th Design, and Premier Bank (formerly First Federal Bank).


Creating Defiance is a working design studio that mirrors professional practice. It affords students the opportunity to gain professional experience, collaborating with clients on real world projects while advancing their skills and building their portfolio.


“Design Makes a Difference” is an annual student exhibit that takes place as part of the College’s McMaster Symposium. Students verbally and visually present creative works centered around social, nonprofit, and community design.



Founded in 1970, the Art Center is the second largest academic space on campus and home to the Art and Design program. It includes a photography studio, woodshop, computer lab, and spacious open-concept classrooms with floor to ceiling windows that provide an endless supply of natural light. Equipped with interactive monitors, a large-format printer, 3D printers, a laser engraver, scanners, light boxes and more, the creative space provides students a collaborative environment to explore, learn, and grow.


Adjacent to the Art Center, the Women’s Commission Art Gallery is a valuable asset to the Art and Design program. The gallery cultivates knowledge and understanding of the arts by hosting a wide array of academic and community programs and events throughout the year. As an extension of the classroom, the gallery affords students the opportunity to engage with professional artists through small group lectures, gallery talks, and studio demonstrations. It also provides faculty and staff a professional venue to share their creative work with the College community.


The permanent art collection provides faculty and students access to hundreds of artistic artifacts donated to the College for academic research and study. Works of art vary in medium and time period, ranging from the Italian renaissance to modern art.