Graphic Design &

Digital Media

Graphic Design

See Differently

CBU Graphic Design & Digital Media program is built with the industry in mind.  As a true design program, and premier Christian design school, the program is authored by professional designers with a tested understanding for what makes young designers successful. Best practices, latest technologies, ideation, craft, and business acumen are embedded into the instruction and mentorship – all with the intention of sending the designer out to make an impact for the Kingdom where image, brand and message are paramount.

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Student Work

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CBU Graphic Design & Digital Media offers a flexible undergraduate degree which allows for the student to receive a solid design foundation, and built on it with their choice of digital media specialization.

Graphic Design & Digital Media Concentrations

CBU Design offers five concentrations, allowing students to specialize and distinguish themselves as designers who demonstrate professional excellence and personal integrity, are servant leaders in their communities and who live biblically-based, missional lives within the profession.

See Optional Concentration Details »
“One of the biggest advantages of CBU’s Design program was how courses where setup to simulate a real world design firm. Each project involved creative briefs with the client right from the beginning and the success of the project directly affects how one will navigate the creative process. It was through these invaluable experiences and on-on-one time with the professors did I gain the skills I need to continually excel in the industry.  –Taylor Bechard, gojane.com

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Ready to See Differently?

Discover. Define. Ideate. Prototype. Test.

Our demand of the student is simple.  See Differently.

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Graphic Design & Digital Media Minor

21 Units

The Graphic Design and Digital Media minor allows students majoring in another degree path to become introduced and practiced in the fundamental skills and processes within graphic design.  Students are required to complete 21 units as listed below.

Lower Division Requirements

GDM 110 Fundamental Design

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course explores the tools and implementations of Adobe Illustrator through assigned projects and exercises. Techniques will be explored and explained. Best practice work-flows will be taught. The goal of this course is a working knowledge of Illustrator for the student.

GDM 120 Fundamental Typography

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course explores the tools and implementations of Adobe InDesign through assigned projects and exercises. Techniques will be explored and explained. Best practice work-flows will be taught. The goal of this course is a working knowledge of InDesign for the student and for the student to be able to identify key typography concepts.

GDM 130 Fundamental Image

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course explores the tools and implementations of Adobe Photoshop through assigned projects and exercises. Techniques will be explored and explained. Best practice work-flows will be taught. The goal of this course is a working knowledge of Photoshop for the student.

Upper Division Requirements

ART 430 Art and the Bible

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

A study of the dynamic relationship, which has historically existed between the content of Biblical texts and visual art, with consideration also being given to select examples of music and literature.

GDM 310 Intermediate Design

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course is an intermediate design course in which project work is used to study work flow, pre-press techniques and practices, idea generation, and other concepts that arise from the process of creativity. Prerequisite: GDM 110, 120, and 130.

GDM 320 Intermediate Typography

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course is an intermediate typography course in which more complex typography concepts, best practice type generation and project work challenge the student. Prerequisite: GDM 110, 120, and 130.

GDM 330 Intermediate Image

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course is an intermediate image course in which more complex photography and photoshop techniques will be taught. Students will learn how to manipulate photography using photoshop to create complex ideas and messages. Prerequisite: GDM 130.

B.A. Graphic Design & Digital Media

The Graphic Design and Digital Media major prepares students for careers in professions including graphic design, photography, web design and video/animation. The students will learn the technologies, trends and principles employed by professionals in these fields. The program is based around hands-on projects and portfolio building.

General Education Courses

The general education requirements will follow the curriculum set forth for other university programs. Some general education requirements will be met through specific major requirements.

Lower Division Requirements

DES 110 Design Thought Foundations I

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

The course will be an introduction to 2D design thinking, as applied to the interrelated, interdisciplinary fields of design and as understood from a biblical world-view. Basic design theories, principles, major movements and works will be covered. Basic creative approaches and design expressions are explored through projects, class discussions, field trips and lectures. This course is an introduction to the design paths available through the College of Architecture, Visual Arts, and Design, but also serves non-design majors interested in discovering design.

GDM 110 Fundamental Design

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course explores the tools and implementations of Adobe Illustrator through assigned projects and exercises. Techniques will be explored and explained. Best practice work-flows will be taught. The goal of this course is a working knowledge of Illustrator for the student.

GDM 120 Fundamental Typography

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course explores the tools and implementations of Adobe InDesign through assigned projects and exercises. Techniques will be explored and explained. Best practice work-flows will be taught. The goal of this course is a working knowledge of InDesign for the student and for the student to be able to identify key typography concepts.

GDM 130 Fundamental Image

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course explores the tools and implementations of Adobe Photoshop through assigned projects and exercises. Techniques will be explored and explained. Best practice work-flows will be taught. The goal of this course is a working knowledge of Photoshop for the student.

GDM 140 Fundamental Web

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course introduces students to the primary languages of web design, HTML and CSS. The course is designed to provide students with a foundational knowledge in the way that web pages are designed and coded. Tools and techniques needed to design and create web pages will be explored.

GDM 240 Design Movements of the 20th Century

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course surveys of design movements of the 20th century and the influences found today. Movements such as Futurism, Modernism, Postmodernism and the Information Age will be studied.

Upper Division Requirements

ART 430 Art and the Bible

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

A study of the dynamic relationship, which has historically existed between the content of Biblical texts and visual art, with consideration also being given to select examples of music and literature.

DES 310 Design Thought Practicum

Units: 3. Offered: Fall.

Design Thought Practicum builds on and continues the process of understanding interdisciplinary design thinking.  The aim of the course is for students to apply the principles and processes of design thinking to the act of design. Students will work in interdisciplinary teams to complete design exercises and projects.  Topics include developing a larger framework for design, design methods, design process, human factors in design, and environmental factors. Prerequisite: DES 110.

GDM 310 Intermediate Design

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course is an intermediate design course in which project work is used to study work flow, pre-press techniques and practices, idea generation, and other concepts that arise from the process of creativity. Prerequisite: GDM 110, 120, and 130.

GDM 320 Intermediate Typography

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course is an intermediate typography course in which more complex typography concepts, best practice type generation and project work challenge the student. Prerequisite: GDM 110, 120, and 130.

GDM 330 Intermediate Image

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course is an intermediate image course in which more complex photography and photoshop techniques will be taught. Students will learn how to manipulate photography using photoshop to create complex ideas and messages. Prerequisite: GDM 130.

GDM 499 Senior Project

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course is designed as a capstone showcase of the student’s accumulated body of work while in the program. The Graphic Design Senior Show will consist of 10 portfolio pieces from the student’s portfolio. This is an effort to keep the student on task and focused on the portfolio. Prerequisite: Senior status and permission of the Department Chair.

DES 498 Portfolio

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This is an interdisciplinary course where students will focus on their portfolios and final presentation specific to their industry. Standards in presentation and expectations will be examined to set guidelines for the student’s efforts in portfolio building. The goal of this course is for the student to finish with a strong, cohesive and compelling portfolio of student work. This course should focus on presentation beyond the capstone projects required for graduation.

Concentration Courses

Students must complete all requirements (12 units) in one of the following concentrations: Graphic Design; Mobile Design; Photography; Video and Animation; Web Design.
See concentrations tab for details.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graphic Design & Digital Media Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)

  1. Examine the principles of professional typography.
  2. Apply the principles of professional design techniques and best-practices workflows.
  3. Use the principles of professional photography, imaging techniques, and best-practices workflows.
  4. Use the principles of professional web design techniques and best-practices workflows.
  5. Effectively present the initial concepts and final design implementation orally and in writing.
  6. Apply techniques to solve design problems from creation, through production, to final implementation.
  7. Work proficiently with the industry standard software.
  8. Integrate business concepts related to graphic design industry.
  9. Apply a Christian worldview to the moral and ethical questions inherent in the graphic design industry.
  10. Articulate the Christian graphic designer’s place in the Kingdom of God.
  11. Apply techniques of professional presentation and promotion in the graphic design industry.
  12. Apply techniques of professional graphic design to build a professional portfolio of work.
CURRICULUM PATH

The following documents outline a suggested course schedule.

B.A. Graphic Design & Digital Media

2 Year Transfer

The Graphic Design and Digital Media major prepares students for careers in professions including graphic design, photography, web design and video/animation. The students will learn the technologies, trends and principles employed by professionals in these fields. The program is based around hands-on projects and portfolio building.

CBU Graphic Design program has been designed to seamlessly integrate transfer students.  In particular, students who successfully transfer academic credit which fulfills all of CBU’s general education credits (except Christian Studies general education) are able to earn their B.A. of Graphic Design & Digital Media in 2 years time.  Transfer students should refer to CBU Articulation Agreements to explore which academic credit units transfer from their institution.

Below is a suggested course schedule for a 2-year transfer student, presuming successful transfer of general education credits.  Please refer to the B.A. Graphic Design & Digital Media program page for complete degree requirements.

First Semester

DES 110 Design Thought Foundations I

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

The course will be an introduction to 2D design thinking, as applied to the interrelated, interdisciplinary fields of design and as understood from a biblical world-view. Basic design theories, principles, major movements and works will be covered. Basic creative approaches and design expressions are explored through projects, class discussions, field trips and lectures. This course is an introduction to the design paths available through the College of Architecture, Visual Arts, and Design, but also serves non-design majors interested in discovering design.

GDM 110 Fundamental Design

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course explores the tools and implementations of Adobe Illustrator through assigned projects and exercises. Techniques will be explored and explained. Best practice work-flows will be taught. The goal of this course is a working knowledge of Illustrator for the student.

GDM 120 Fundamental Typography

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course explores the tools and implementations of Adobe InDesign through assigned projects and exercises. Techniques will be explored and explained. Best practice work-flows will be taught. The goal of this course is a working knowledge of InDesign for the student and for the student to be able to identify key typography concepts.

GDM 130 Fundamental Image

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course explores the tools and implementations of Adobe Photoshop through assigned projects and exercises. Techniques will be explored and explained. Best practice work-flows will be taught. The goal of this course is a working knowledge of Photoshop for the student.

Christian Studies (General Education)

Units: 3. Offered: As Offered.

CST110, 130, 300, 350, 360, 370, 491 (ISP prep); ICS105, 375

Second Semester

GDM 140 Fundamental Web

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course introduces students to the primary languages of web design, HTML and CSS. The course is designed to provide students with a foundational knowledge in the way that web pages are designed and coded. Tools and techniques needed to design and create web pages will be explored.

GDM 240 Design Movements of the 20th Century

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course surveys of design movements of the 20th century and the influences found today. Movements such as Futurism, Modernism, Postmodernism and the Information Age will be studied.

GDM 310 Intermediate Design

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course is an intermediate design course in which project work is used to study work flow, pre-press techniques and practices, idea generation, and other concepts that arise from the process of creativity. Prerequisite: GDM 110, 120, and 130.

GDM 320 Intermediate Typography

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course is an intermediate typography course in which more complex typography concepts, best practice type generation and project work challenge the student. Prerequisite: GDM 110, 120, and 130.

GDM 330 Intermediate Image

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course is an intermediate image course in which more complex photography and photoshop techniques will be taught. Students will learn how to manipulate photography using photoshop to create complex ideas and messages. Prerequisite: GDM 130.

Christian Studies (General Education)

Units: 3. Offered: As Offered.

CST110, 130, 300, 350, 360, 370, 491 (ISP prep); ICS105, 375

Third Semester

DES 310 Design Thought Practicum

Units: 3. Offered: Fall.

Design Thought Practicum builds on and continues the process of understanding interdisciplinary design thinking.  The aim of the course is for students to apply the principles and processes of design thinking to the act of design. Students will work in interdisciplinary teams to complete design exercises and projects.  Topics include developing a larger framework for design, design methods, design process, human factors in design, and environmental factors. Prerequisite: DES 110.

DES 498 Portfolio

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This is an interdisciplinary course where students will focus on their portfolios and final presentation specific to their industry. Standards in presentation and expectations will be examined to set guidelines for the student’s efforts in portfolio building. The goal of this course is for the student to finish with a strong, cohesive and compelling portfolio of student work. This course should focus on presentation beyond the capstone projects required for graduation.

Concentration Course

Units: 3. Offered: As Offered.

Degree Concentration Course (Varied)

Concentration_Course

Units: 3. Offered: As Offered.

Degree Concentration Course (Varied)

Fourth Semester

ART 430 Art and the Bible

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

A study of the dynamic relationship, which has historically existed between the content of Biblical texts and visual art, with consideration also being given to select examples of music and literature.

GDM 499 Senior Project

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course is designed as a capstone showcase of the student’s accumulated body of work while in the program. The Graphic Design Senior Show will consist of 10 portfolio pieces from the student’s portfolio. This is an effort to keep the student on task and focused on the portfolio. Prerequisite: Senior status and permission of the Department Chair.

Concentration Course

Units: 3. Offered: As Offered.

Degree Concentration Course (Varied)

Concentration_Course

Units: 3. Offered: As Offered.

Degree Concentration Course (Varied)

Christian Studies (General Education)

Units: 3. Offered: As Offered.

CST110, 130, 300, 350, 360, 370, 491 (ISP prep); ICS105, 375

Student Learning Outcomes

Graphic Design & Digital Media Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)

  1. Examine the principles of professional typography.
  2. Apply the principles of professional design techniques and best-practices workflows.
  3. Use the principles of professional photography, imaging techniques, and best-practices workflows.
  4. Use the principles of professional web design techniques and best-practices workflows.
  5. Effectively present the initial concepts and final design implementation orally and in writing.
  6. Apply techniques to solve design problems from creation, through production, to final implementation.
  7. Work proficiently with the industry standard software.
  8. Integrate business concepts related to graphic design industry.
  9. Apply a Christian worldview to the moral and ethical questions inherent in the graphic design industry.
  10. Articulate the Christian graphic designer’s place in the Kingdom of God.
  11. Apply techniques of professional presentation and promotion in the graphic design industry.
  12. Apply techniques of professional graphic design to build a professional portfolio of work.
CURRICULUM PATH

The following documents outline a suggested course schedule.

Graphic Design & Digital Media Concentrations

CBU Graphic Design & Digital Media offers five paths of specialization within Graphic Design & Digital Media degree.  These concentrations allow students to specialize and distinguish themselves as designers who demonstrate professional excellence and personal integrity, are servant leaders in their communities and who live biblically-based, missional lives within the profession.

Concentrations require twelve (12) additional units of upper level coursework from a specific set of courses as listed below.

Graphic Design

The Graphic Design concentration allows for students to take their fundamental graphic design skill to new levels and new applications.  Students in this concentration emerge with a well developed, competitive, and diverse portfolio – setting themselves up for advanced employment opportunities.

Complete twelve (12) units from the following:

GDM 410 Advanced Design

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course is an advanced design course in which project work is used to build a professional portfolio for employment or advanced studies. Complex design issues and problem solving challenge the student throughout the creative process. My be repeated one time for credit. Prerequisite: GDM 310.

GDM 420 Advanced Typography

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course is an advanced typography course in which complex real-world typography concepts are now explored to build projects for a professional portfolio of work for employment or advanced studies. Prerequisite: GDM 320.

GDM 430 Advanced Image

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course is an advanced image course in which professional, complex image generation is explored and expert techniques in color correction, masking and compositing are implemented. Professional portfolio projects are built to prepare students for employment or advanced studies. Prerequisite: GDM 330.

Mobile Design

The Mobile Design concentration allows for students to bring the principles and processes of design to the technology each of us hold.  With specific mobile design courses, and cross-interaction with students from the College of Engineering, mobile design concentration students will develop the experience of bringing projects from ideation, to prototyping, to design, and implementation.

Complete twelve (12) units from the following:

GDM 370 User Interface Design

Units: 3. Offered: As offered.

This course explores design principles, methodology and best practices through assigned projects and exercises. Techniques and ideas will be explored and explained. The goal of this course is to introduce the student to the emerging world of mobile application and explore concepts of user interface design. Prerequisite: GDM 110 or 130.

GDM 375 Fundamental Mobile Design

Units: 3. Offered: As offered.

This course introduces the concepts and methodologies of mobile application design. The building blocks for the programming and design of the language and code will be introduced. The student will build a basic application from scratch to presentation and then launch. Co- requisite: GDM 370.

GDM 470 Advanced Mobile Design

Units: 3. Offered: As offered.

The advanced mobile design course will further develop the students understanding of the principles and methodologies application design. The course will task the students to build application from their inception to launch. The students will work within the confines of application API and other standards within the industry. My be repeated one time for credit.  Prerequisites: GDM 370 and 375.

Photography

The Photography concentration leverages the resources of CBU’s renown photography department to develop the commercial photography skill sets of graphic design students.  The concentration is built with the working designer and photographer in mind, teaching students how to integrate work flows between graphic design processes and photography processes.

Complete twelve (12) units from the following:

GDM 360 Studio Photography

Units: 3. Offered: Spring.

This course explores techniques and the tools implemented by a photography studio. Projects and exercises will teach the students how to use a camera, use lighting and workflows. Photoshop post-camera techniques will also be taught in conjunction with image processing. Prerequisite: GDM 330.

PHO 433 Assignment Photography

Units: 3. Offered: Spring.

This course will offer the student the opportunity to develop photography skills independently in an online format with teaching and student online forums and content. The student and instructor will meet to discuss the student assignments and outcomes. Prerequisite: GDM 330.

PHO 410 Studio Lighting

Units: 3. Offered: Fall (even years).

This course explores techniques and the tools implemented by a photography studio. Projects and exercises will teach the students how to use a camera, use lighting and work flows. Photoshop post-camera techniques will also be taught in conjunction with image processing.

PHO 432 On Location Photography

Units: 3. Offered: Fall.

This course will challenge the photography student to tell stories outside the controlled environment and to successfully navigate lighting and viewpoint obstacles. Prerequisite: GDM 330.

Video & Animation

Technology is expanding the domain of the design student into areas of motion gfx, animation, and other story telling mediums.  This concentration affords and encourages this development, believing that it is paramount the students have some exposure and development in the motion arts.

Complete twelve (12) units from the following:

GDM 331 Animation Design

Units: 3. Offered: Spring.

This course explores the tools and implementations of Adobe After Effects through assigned projects and exercises. Techniques will be explored and explained. Best practice work-flows will be taught. The goal of this course is for the student to have a working knowledge of After Effects. Prerequisite: GDM 310.

GDM 341 Video Fundamentals

Units: 3. Offered: Fall, Spring.

This course explores the tools and implementations of Adobe Premiere Pro through assigned projects and exercises. Techniques will be explored and explained. Best practice work-flows will be taught. The goal of this course is for the student to have a working knowledge of the Adobe Premiere Pro editing software.

GDM 441 Advanced Video

Units: 3. Offered: Spring.

This course is an advanced video course in which project work is used to study complex concepts of story, editing and publishing. Projects in this course are designed to build a student’s portfolio of professional work for presentation for employment and advanced studies. May be repeated one time for credit.  Prerequisite: GDM 310.

Web Design

The Web Design concentration equips students to bring their graphic design skills to the ever present medium of web design.  From blog design to advanced web design coding, the web design concentration will provide the necessary skill sets to students to become successful independent designers of web content.

Complete twelve (12) units from the following:

GDM 328 WordPress and Advanced Blog Design

Units: 3. Offered: As offered.

This course explores the process of using WordPress, a power engine, to build professional blog sites upon. The students will design and build blogs using WordPress and other programs needed to build graphic assets. Prerequisite: GDM 310.

GDM 340 Intermediate Web

Units: 3. Offered: As offered.

This course expands on students accrued HTML and CSS knowledge. Principles of content strategy will be integrated with visual design to create compelling web experiences. Popular as well as up and coming CMS solutions such as WordPress, Ghost, and others will also be explored. Prerequisite: GDM 140.

GDM 440 Advanced Web

Units: 3. Offered: As offered.

This advanced course exposes students to real world web design problems through projects and case studies. Client side scripting with JavaScript will be introduced. Web standards and best practices will be studied in depth, as well as project workflow. May be repeated one time for credit. Prerequisite: GDM 340.

Launch your Creative Career

Design is taking a lead role in business and broader culture.  Companies where design sits at the core of their philosophies, such as Apple, Tesla, AirBnB are succeeding in unprecedented manners.  Designers are in high demand to craft the user experience. Graduates from the CBU Graphic Design & Digital Media program are uniquely equipped and sought after candidates to enter the new economy, as well as uniquely trained to start their own design firms.

Working Designers

88% of graduating students who went to work in the creative fields. Out of the 112 graduates from 2009 to 2014, 77 are working in the creative fields, 20 are unknown, 10 are outside the creative field, 2 are military and 1 is creating seminars.

Award Winning

Over 40 American Advertising Awards have been awarded to CBU design students including:

  • “Gold – Elements of Advertising—Still Photography, Campaign”, National Competition
  • “Gold – Out-of-Home—Poster”, National Competition
  • “Gold” State Competition
  • “Best of Show” State Competition

Industry Known

Greg Laurie
Pastor, Harvest Church
harvest.org

“Design Matters. I have had a passion for art and design as long as I can remember. It is second only to my passion for preaching the gospel and teaching the Bible. I am excited about the design program at CBU and hope a new generation of artists will rise up to impact our culture with cutting edge design coupled with the timeless message of Jesus Christ.”

Aaron Lemen
Creative Director

“When we needed to fill our graphic designer position, we didn’t want to cast a wide net. We knew what kind of talent we were looking for. So we reached out to a short list of the best local talent, including the CBU design program. The top portfolios consistently came from CBU and we felt fortunate to bring one onto our team.”

David Riley
David Riley Associates
rileydra.com

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have a long standing relationship with CBU. I’m excited to see that CBU has developed such an outstanding design department that will expand and enrich the lives of these creative individuals.”

Student Work

Faculty

Real World Engagement

Classrooms are integral but they are a place to stagnate. Whether it is a mountain shoot, internship, studio tour, desert shoot, pool shoot, field trip, speaking engagement or just fellowship, we build a community of designers that connect on campus and off.  Our students learn to understand the power of their work and grow to direct others — then to change others.

Desert Shoot

The classroom is only the start. Each year, CBU design students arm themselves with cameras and head out to the desert.

Underwater Shoot

Pool. Professional Models. Underwater cameras. Hands-on.
Doing what you do out of school.  Doing what the profession does.

On-Location

From the beach to the mountains.  Hand-held cameras and drones. CBU students in design learn to apply what they learn in real-life scenarios.

International Service Projects

CBU is committed to fulfilling Jesus’ mandate in the Great Commission “to go and make disciples of all nations.” To this end, CBU believes that God bestows upon every student gifts and passions to accomplish their purpose. To that end, CBU sends out more students worldwide than any other college in the country.  For more information see the Office of Mobilization.

Design for Good

Design for Good is an ethos to use problem-solving and design thinking towards social change.  CBU joins forces with the AIGA, the professional association for design, to utilize design skills to serve our local community and work towards bringing about social change.  For more information on Design for Good program, see the AIGA website.

Program

ArchitectureGraphic DesignFilmPhotographyVisual ArtsI'm not sure.

Anticipated Enrollment

Contact Information

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