Graphic Design Program Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Q: What is the difference between BA Design Studies and BFA Graphic Design?

A: The Graphic Design Program admits every student as BA Design Studies. Upon the completion of DsGD 100 and with at least 3.0 GPA, Students are eligible to apply for pre-admission to BFA Graphic Design.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Design Studies—Program for students who wish a broad-based study of graphic design principles, history and theory. The requirements will provide an understanding of the aesthetic as well as the technical skills needed to produce innovative design projects. Students are encouraged to combine their studies in design with electives in the arts and other fields.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design—This program prepares students for intellectually and aesthetically challenging careers in Graphic Design by providing courses that emphasize theory and professional practice. The program concentrates on the organization and visual communication of information and includes typography, form and image, information architecture, user interface, interactive design, and motion graphics. Passage of two portfolio reviews is required for admission to the program. Passage of two Junior and two Senior Reviews is required to advance through the BFA GD program. All students are required to complete a professional internship. In addition to the regular curriculum, students have the opportunity to attend special classes and workshops led by studio professionals and faculty members. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in all art/design courses; failing this, the BFA status will be changed to the BA-Art Design Studies. 

Q: How do I apply for the Graphic Design Program?

A: Please click here for complete information on SJSU Admissions.

Q: What is the admission criteria for fall 2014?

A: Admission policies for fall 2014 are available here.

Q: Do I need to pass a portfolio review to enter as a Freshman/Transfer student?

A: Currently, no.

Q: I am a current SJSU student. Can I change my major to BA Design Studies (Graphic Design area)?

A: Yes, we welcome students who have GPA of 3.0 and above to join the program. Please obtain the proper change of major form here.

Q: What should I take in Junior/Community College to prepare for BA Design Studies (Graphic Design area)? What classes transfer from my Junior/Community College?

A: Any drawing, photo, art history, basic 2D design, and digital applications (Adobe Creative Suite) are good preparation for transferring to SJSU. Lists are available here

Q: Should I take all of my GE classes at a Junior/Community College?

A: No. Because students can generally only take two Graphic Design courses per semester, they can spread out their GE classes and electives over the four years once enrolled in our program, in order to always have enough units to remain a full-time student (for insurance and financial aid considerations).

Q: I already have a Bachelor’s degree. Can I still apply to SJSU?

A: Unfortunately SJSU is not currently accepting students interested in pursuing a second Bachelor’s degree. In addition, the Graphic Design program does not currently offer a graduate degree.

Q: Is there a portfolio review for admission?

A: At this time, there is no portfolio review for admission for our BA Program. However, a Portfolio Review is required to gain admission to our BFA Program.

Q: When should I apply for BFA Graphic Design?

A: We accept every student as BA Design Studies. After the completion of DsGD 100, students are eligible to apply for pre-admission to the BFA Graphic Design degree. Portfolio review is required.

Q: What kind of work should I submit for the BFA Graphic Design Review?

A: Selected work from all of your previous SJSU Graphic Design courses. You can see the complete details by downloading DsGD 100 Portfolio Review Form (pre-admission to BFA) and DsGD 104 Portfolio Review Form (confirmation to BFA).

Q: What type of computer will I need?

A: Our students use both PCs and Macs; go with what you are most comfortable using Laptops are required (at least 15 inch monitor is recommended), as many classes require work in class to be done on a laptop. Computers should be fast enough to run the minimum system requirements for Adobe Creative Suite.

Q: What computer programs will I need?

A: The Adobe Creative Suite is available at reduced rates through the university and, this year, Adobe permitted students to download a version of the Adobe Suite for free.

Q: Who do I contact for advice regarding Graphic Design classes?

A: For all general information about the Graphic Design Program please contact Design Department Office
: Art Building 120, 408-924-4340, Design@sjsu.edu.

For questions about your major courses (prerequisite approval, substitution, and graduation application, it’s essential that you bring the major form and unofficial transcript to see your major advisors—Prof. Hwang, Prof. Kim, Prof. Sexton, and Prof. Tan—during their office hours (listed on the door of ART 120).

For questions about academic plan, progress, transfer units, and GE fulfillments, please contact the general advisors at Visual Arts Advising Center at ART 118.