Graphic Design FAQs

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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 a 3.0 GPA, students are eligible to apply for pre-admission to BFA Graphic Design. More information on the BA Design Studies and BFA Graphic Design program can be found here.

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

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

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, and digital applications (Adobe Creative Suite) are good preparation for transferring to SJSU. Lists are available here.

For questions about academic plan, progress, transfer units, and GE fulfillments, please contact the general advisors at H&A Student Success Center at Clark Hall Room 244, Phone: 408.924.5095, E-mail:

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

A: Transfer students should try to finish all their lower GE at the community college prior entering SJSU. Students who enter as freshmen could take three Graphic Design major courses along with two GE courses each semester.

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: 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: 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) which can be found here.

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 (at least 15-inch monitor recommended) are required 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: Students will need Adobe Creative Suite. San José State provides current enrolled students in eligible classes with free Adobe software for their campus computers and their home computers.

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

A: For all general information about the design programs please contact Design Department Office: Art Building 120, 408-924-4340,

For questions about your major courses (prerequisite approval, substitution, and graduation application, please bring your major form and unofficial transcript to see the graphic design major advisors—Prof. Yoon Chung Han, Prof. Connie Hwang, Prof. Chang Kim, Prof. Diane Lee, and Prof. Randall Sexton—during their office hours (you can acquire their office hours at the design office, Art Building Room 120).