One of the country’s most comprehensive design colleges, the College of Design will challenge you to become a graphic design expert and set the pace in a field where global definitions of research, creative production, and practice are rapidly evolving. Expect to stretch your creative capabilities with a challenging curriculum that will drive your passion for design.
Developing Your Creative Identity
You will start your creative studies on day one, learning design methods, theory, and creative problem solving. You will develop sharp design skills and learn to use visual information to communicate and make an impact. Through your coursework, you will evolve into a creative thought-leader with design expertise, a professional portfolio, and a strategic approach that reflects your artistic talent and professional goals.
With a balance of hands-on studio, lecture, and digital courses, your studies will promote the practical application of design thinking and processes. Your coursework palette may include courses such as:Foundations: Color and Design in Two and Three Dimensions
Color your world–and start your graphic design challenge by diving into the study of color in two- and three-dimensional designs. Produce a bold, descriptive portfolio that illustrates color and design theory and highlights your own creative talent. Identity and Symbols
We live in a world filled with recognizable symbols and logos. Why do they work and what makes them memorable? Apply the principles of design to creating highly effective symbols, logotypes, stationery systems, and collateral products that communicate a consistent and memorable identity. Design and its Discontents: Design, Society, Economy, and Culture
There is more to graphic design than meets the eye–and here the secret history of modern, postmodern, and contemporary design is revealed. Research and uncover the truth behind designing renegades, innovators, and activists and what makes their approach both groundbreaking and inspirational.
As your personal design interest grows, you have the option to choose from a variety of Scholarship and Design Practice areas, including typography, small-scale design production, entrepreneurship, design for print, web design, interactive media design, data visualization, and user experience design.
With ample opportunities for international study in this program, you will be poised to develop an essential global design perspective. Every year, we offer faculty-led and Freshman Seminar Abroad courses that offer you a chance to engage with international learning during your first year of study.
Over the course of your program, you will be able to select from study abroad destinations across the globe—from Australia to Turkey, Europe to South America. Our most popular programs are located at the Accademia Italiana in Florence, Italy; Central St. Martins and Northumbria University in England; Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey; and the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) in Copenhagen, Denmark. At each location, you will benefit from exposure to global culture and design influences, as well as opportunities for travel throughout your chosen region.
Twin Cities Graphic Design: Making Connections: Your U of M Advantage
A progressive metropolitan area recognized for its appreciation of design and culture, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have a consistently high demand for talented, well-educated designers. This strong design community provides abundant opportunities—in fact, post-graduate job placement is consistently over 80 percent. You will have the opportunity to choose from an impressive array of internships in both small-scale and large firms, while benefitting from ongoing mentoring relationships with alumni.
By studying in this highly regarded program, the U of M offers an exciting opportunity for your future as a graphic design professional. Graduates are placed in top jobs across the region and the country, with job titles ranging from graphic designer to UX designer to web designer. As a student in the program, you will have the tools to develop the strong foundation in creative arts and leadership you need for a successful career in the field.
This is your opportunity to start an exciting venture into the creative design world.
The following factors are considered in the review of transfer applications:
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00; preferred minimum cumulative GPA of 2.80. Admission is competitive, with an average GPA of 3.3 for pre-Graphic Design.
- Grade patterns over time - overall GPA, term GPA, and number of withdrawals.
- Presence of any major-related courses and grades in those courses.
- An especially challenging pattern of coursework. If fewer than 26 college credits completed at the time of application, high school record and test scores will be considered for review.
- Space in the major. Note: some majors are more competitive than others.
- Extenuating circumstances. Please explain any grades or academic patterns in a letter of circumstance submitted with your admissions application. Include information about why you are a good fit for the major to which you are applying.
Only completed applications will be reviewed for admission into the College of Design. The transfer application checklist provides details on the application requirements.
If you have questions, call the Office of Admissions at 612-625-2008 or 1-800-752-1000.
Evaluation of Transfer Coursework:
Use the Transferology system to see how transfer courses from other schools may fulfill U of M liberal education requirements. After admission, the Office of Admissions reviews your transfer coursework to determine transferability of credit as elective and/or liberal education requirements. For classes not listed in Transferology, or on the regional transfer guides at right, you can submit course materials to be reviewed by faculty for transferability into a Design major.
Submitting studio work for review:
If you wish to submit transfer studio work for review in lieu of requirements must do so after admission to the program. Please note that approved work from studio courses taken at other universities rarely shortens the four-year length of the program. If you would like to submit transfer studio courses for review to meet major (versus liberal education) requirements please contact Lizzy Eischens to receive access to upload your work for faculty review to determine transferability. If you submit work for review by faculty, the work will be reviewed only IF you submit a syllabus and fully representative coursework for each course you completed.
*Note: It is not common for faculty to approve transfer courses to meet upper division major requirements.
Undergraduate degree in graphic design from the University of Minnesota:
Program Type: Baccalaureate
Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
Required credits within the major:79 to 91
Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts
In order for you to continue on with your coursework and complete the degree you must pass portfolio review. Students typically go through a portfolio review of their completed design foundations work in their 3rd semester of the Pre-Graphic Design program.
Below are the five foundation courses that you must complete prior to participating in portfolio review.
Des1101W: Introduction to Design Thinking
Des 2101: Design and Visual Presentation
GDes 1311: Foundations: Drawing and Design in Two and Three Dimensions *
GDes1312: Foundations: Color and Design in Two and Three Dimensions *
GDes 1315: Foundations: The Graphic Studio
*Note: Students are NOT to take these two coursesPortfolio review is a way to evaluate your design ability and knowledge of design concepts based on work from the foundation-level courses. Portfolio review assures that you have acquired an understanding of essential design knowledge and are prepared to move on to more advanced coursework.