Freshman Admissions

Graphic Design

student looking at the computerGet ready to develop your creativity, versatility, confidence, and leadership in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in graphic design program at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

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 studios, lectures, 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 challenges 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

student showing projectsWe 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 meeting 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.

Study Abroad

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.

students talkingTwin 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.

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Explore Other Design Majors:

Apparel Design (BS)
Architecture (BDA, BS)
Interior Design (BS)
Landscape Design and Planning (BED)
Product Design (BS)
Retail Merchandising (BS)

Student Quote:

“The College of Design mentor program has been an invaluable resource for learning more about what I want to do in the future. My mentor has given me very specific insights into the design industry that I couldn’t have gotten on my own, and learning about the work he does has made me feel more secure in my transition from a student to a professional. Thanks to him, I know so much more about what to expect when I begin working as a designer."

Jordan Wagaman,
Graphic Design