Bachelor’s in Visual Communications

Taking your creative vision to the next level.

A man at night, his breath lit up in the cold.
Photo by Cassie Zhang ’18

What is Visual Communications at Newhouse?

The Visual Communications major prepares students for creative careers in a variety of visual, digital, print, motion, immersive and emerging fields. Future graphic designers, photojournalists, cinematographers and commercial photographers will find their unique visual voice in this multidisciplinary program. 

As a Visual Communications major at Newhouse, you will choose from four tracks:

Graphic designers will learn human-centered approaches for everything from web and motion design, to advertising and branding, to magazine and news design. Photographers and cinematographers learn the principles of light, concept and storytelling, and using the latest technology and methods to tell their stories. Students will experiment in the emerging fields of augmented reality, virtual reality and even virtual production. 

A portfolio is not required to apply to this program. If you have one and you would like it to be considered as part of your application, contact Professor Renée Stevens (, Program Director.

Is Visual Communications a new major at Newhouse?

Yes and no. For years the photography and graphic design programs at Newhouse have been run by the Visual Communications department but were separate majors. By combining the majors into one program with separate tracks, it is easier for students to take courses which match their interests. Combining the fields of visual communications into one major helps ensure students are prepared with a well-rounded skillset to face a variety of issues they may experience in the field. 

What practical experience will I have in the Visual Communications program?

Visual Communications majors have access to the latest in digital tools—still imaging, video, and sound—using software and state-of-the-art methods. Constructing multidisciplinary projects will help you work on production skills and design and writing skills to enhance the quality of your portfolio and presentations. 

Visual Communications majors work with a variety of student-run media organizations across campus, providing design systems, creating content, as well as making photographs and videos. 

A grounding in communications ethics and law, along with a background in entrepreneurship, rounds out the visual communications experience and expands career options.