Graphic Design College of Design
Why UMN?





As one of the most comprehensive design colleges in the country, the College of Design is the recognized leader in advancing transformative thinking and practice, and reinventing our disciplines and professions for a new century.

In order to prepare our students to confront the real challenges of the future, every graduate will:

Be able to apply design thinking as a way to address issues big and small confronting the local and world community.
Understand and be prepared for the social, environmental, and economic ramifications of each problem they address and every decision they make in their work.
Able to conceive unique ideas and be capable of implementing them through actionable plans, projects, or strategies.


About The Program





The graphic design Bachelor of Fine Arts program educates students in design methods, design theory, creative problem solving, and visual and verbal literacy. An emphasis is placed on visual components, such as how humans communicate, perceive, interpret, and understand visual information. The program fosters flexibility, which enables graduates to adapt to social, cultural, and technological change in graphic design.

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


Admissions Information





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.




Application Materials






If you have completed college credits after graduation from high school, then you are considered a transfer student. After admission, the Office of Admissions reviews a student's transfer coursework to determine transferability into the U of M for credit as well as to meet Liberal Education Requirements. Use the Transferology system to see how transfer courses from other schools may fulfill U of M Liberal Education requirements. The U of M Office of Admissions also has many liberal education transfer guides posted on their Website. If you have questions, call the Office of Admissions at 612-625-2008 or 1-800-752-1000.

Submitting studio work for review:
For classes not listed in Transferology or on the regional transfer guides at right, admitted students can submit course materials to be reviewed by faculty for transferability into a Design major. Students who 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 Branden Rudie and he will give you 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. If you are admitted spring term the four year sequence begins the following fall term.
*Note: It is not common for faculty to approve transfer courses to meet upper division major requirements.







Spring Semester 2016

ALL CDes majors are accepting transfer applications for spring term except architecture bachelor of science (B.S.). Please note that while the programs admit for spring, studio sequencing for Pre-Architecture, Pre-Apparel, and Pre-Interior Design only begin in the fall term.

Priority Deadline - October 1, 2015
Final Deadline - December 1, 2015







College of Design domestic transfer students are automatically considered for a transfer scholarship based on an overall assessment of their admissions application. International students are automatically considered for the Global Excellence Scholarship based on an overall assessment of their admissions application. Students will be notified by mail if they are offered a scholarship.


Portfolio Review





Portfolio review is a way to evaluate a student's design ability and knowledge of design concepts based on work from the foundation-level courses. Portfolio review assures that students have acquired an understanding of essential design knowledge and are prepared to move on to more advanced coursework. Students typically go through portfolio review in their 3rd semester of the Pre-Graphic Design program. Students must pass portfolio review in order to continue on with their coursework and complete the degree. Students begin with courses in fundamental aspects of visual studies. Below are the five foundation courses that you must complete prior to participating in portfolio review.

You will receive permission numbers for 2-3 of these foundation courses for fall term:

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 courses

Students transferring from outside the U of M system
will receive course permission numbers during their orientation session, when they register for courses. If you are unable to pick up your permission numbers in person, please e-mail your academic adviser to receive your permission numbers.

Permission numbers will be available beginning April 8, 2015. If you are notified of admission after this date, please wait 5 business days from the date posted on your admission email to get your permission numbers. This time is needed to process your permission numbers. You must pick up your permission numbers at the front desk of Design Student Services in 12 McNeal Hall. You will need a photo ID to pick up your permission numbers. Our office is open 8:30 am - 4:00 pm.









You will complete a required internship that will provide you with an opportunity for hands-on experience in your discipline. Your faculty adviser and Career & Internship Services will help as you formulate your learning goals and find an internship site. View the PDFs below for more detailed information.




International Undergraduate Students










The U of M classifies you as an international applicant if you are not a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or refugee, of if you need a visa to study in the U.S. The Office of Admissions handles all applications for undergraduate admissions to the College of Design. Admission consideration of applicants is based on academic performance, academic preparation, and English proficiency (for non-native English speakers). Read on for helpful Websites.


Visiting & Advising





Transfer Admissions Counselor:
Branden Rudie
Phone: 612-626-3605 or 1-800-752-1000

Individual appointments can be made by contating Melodie Bard directly. Please also note the drop in hours available with no appointment necessary:

Drop-In advising hours are Mondays, 1:30-3:30pm, while school is in session, 107 Rapson Hall. 5-10 minutes sessions are available for:

Brief review of current semester class schedule
Petition process discussions
Follow-up signatures for academic forms (after initial advising appointment)
Short Q & A’s

You are required to have an advising appointment with your academic adviser within your first year in the major.

Advisers do not make their own appointments. To schedule an advising appointment, please call 612-624-1717 or stop by room 12 in McNeal Hall.

Contact Information

Undergraduate Student Services
12 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108
107 Rapson Hall, 89 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
P: 612-624-1717 | E:

General Information
P: 612-626-9068 | E: