What is Graphic Communication?

Founded in 1946, Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Department represents one of the best-known programs of its kind in the nation. The discipline includes media and mass communication involving the creation, production, management and distribution of advertising, marketing, web sites, books, magazines, newspapers, catalogs, packages and other media in printed and digital form.

Why Major in Graphic Communication?

Graduates are in high demand by leading national and international corporations.The field of Graphic Communication represents a large profession, one of the largest in the world. The profession embraces change, requiring those pursuing graphic communication careers to learn new and diverse skills. Graphic Communication includes varying fields such as: electronic and traditional printing, publishing, packaging, digital imaging, computer graphics, website development, digital photography, printable electronics and related areas.

Cal Poly Graphic Communication Mission Statement  

To pursue excellence in education through theoretical and experiential 
methods to discover, apply, and articulate fundamental technologies, applied 
aesthetics, and management in graphic communication. 
In pursuing a culture of innovation that leads the graphic communication 
discipline, we will create a reputation that prompts the profession to think 
first of Cal Poly Graphic Communication students for their excellence. 


Operating in a positive, respectful, inclusive and supportive way as applied to 
fellow faculty, staff, and students. 
Collaborating to obtain a shared purpose while promoting unity and a progressive 
community of students, alumni and industry, in pursuit of that purpose. 
Promoting continuous improvement and innovation in instructional strategies, 
relevant curricula and best practices as defined by ourselves, our peers, our 
students and the professionals we serve. 
Believing our students are more capable than they even see themselves, we set 
a high standard with meaningful and challenging coursework. 
Seeking diverse backgrounds, perspectives and life challenges to create a rich 
environment for strengthening department culture. 
Ensuring that our actions are consistent with our values.

Program Learning Objectives:

  • Integrate effective design and functionality into graphic communication products, optimizing user experience and adoption.
  • Produce professional graphic media, demonstrating competence using current tools and methods.
  • Articulate and defend graphic communication strategies using effective oral, written, visual and/or demonstration means.
  • Apply appropriate production and workflow methods for various media.
  • Evaluate business principles related to starting and/or developing a graphic communication business.
  • Analyze current and future trends, market drivers, and continuous learning opportunities in graphic communication.
  • Evaluate diversity in the graphic communication profession and identify attitudes and behaviors that affect workforce and product development.
  • Demonstrate the use of sustainability practices in various print and screen-based applications.

What concentrations are there in Graphic Communication?

As mentioned above, GrC is abundant with a variety of subject matter, which is well met with our variety of classes; and while there is a overarching curriculum which is mandatory for GrC students, after concentrating students' classes vary to a great degree. Take a look at our concentrations here.

What are the current course offerings?

Click here for the Tentative Course Offerings

What other Opportunities does Cal Poly Graphic Communication offer?

Considered joining a club? Graphic Communication is always bustling with things to do and people to see, but sometimes its hard to find your niche or a way to jump into the action. Get involved!

How do I apply?

Application details can be found on the Admission Office's Undergraduate page. Click here.

GrC Happenings! 

Be sure you access the folder shared with you by the Department Office. If you don't have the link, email Michelle Godfrey at 


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