Art - Graphic Design
Graphic Design at Illinois State fosters a collaborative environment engaging you with print and emerging digital media. Our program prepares you to contribute to positive change for the betterment of society.
Students graduating from the Graphic Design program can pursue successful careers in client-based design or self-initiated research. You'll have opportunities to work at design studios, advertising agencies, and diverse corporations or institutions.
Our alumni continue to be a part of the Wonsook Kim School of Art after graduation and we continue to harness professional relationships and networking connections between them and our current students through social media and CrossPlatform, the Graphic Design student club.
We offer three programs in Graphic Design: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA).
BA/BS in Graphic Design
In the BA/BS in Graphic Design sequence, you'll develop an understanding of topics such as brand identity, typography, interaction and time-based media, design history, multicultural perspectives, and civic engagement.
In addition, you will gain professional experience through Graphic Design Internship or Design Streak Studio.
BFA in Graphic Design
The BFA in Graphic Design sequence is a highly selective course of study which prepares you for a professional career in graphic design and related fields in visual communication.
This program offers twelve Graphic Design courses and several electives such as Digital Media, Video, Photography, Game Design, and Expanded Media. You will explore diverse topics such as design thinking and research methodologies, advanced typography, systems design, branding, interaction and time-based narratives, design history, multicultural perspectives, social impact, and civic engagement.
In addition, you will gain professional experience through Graphic Design Internship or Design Streak Studio. Senior students are required to create and develop an independently chosen research topic for the BFA student design exhibition.
Point of Pride
Design Streak Studio, a social innovation lab, facilitates an interdisciplinary environment for students to promote human-centered research, experimentation, and service learning. In addition, students can apply for graphic design internships offered every semester to earn pre-professional work experience.
Why study Art - Graphic Design?
The program prepares you to enter creative professional practice through theoretical and applied instruction in topics such as systems design, interaction and time-based media, and typography.
You'll engage in real-world projects where you can experience multicultural perspectives and practice civic engagement.
Come see campus and meet with campus representatives either in person or virtually. Optional chances to meet with academic department, honors, and financial aid.
Applying to Illinois State
Incoming freshmen will initially apply to the Wonsook Kim School of Art by submitting a five-piece portfolio of artwork upon the University accepting the student’s admissions application.
Applying to BA/BS in Graphic Design
Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) do not require an additional Graphic Design portfolio. Students may customize their experience by pairing the program with a minor’s degree. The program offers eight Graphic Design courses and students may choose to pursue a minor in Civic Engagement, Entrepreneurial Studies, Digital Media, and Studio Arts.
Applying to BFA in Graphic Design
Students choosing to pursue their degree in Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) are required to submit a Graphic Design portfolio. Selected students will enter the program and continue their degree with their cohort.
You must have a major and cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and demonstrate competency through a review of their digital portfolio. Graphic Design applicants may be prospective transfer students or current ISU students who are in progress of completing or have completed Graphic Design II.
Digital Portfolio Format
Content to include in the portfolio should be six to eight projects from graphic design classes and two to three projects from other categories such as client-based work, self-initiated projects, or other art courses. Download BFA in Graphic Design portfolio guidelines and template.
Format the content into:
- Cover page: Name, email address, current school, and application year
- Table of contents: Name of the project, project circumstance (which design class, art class, client)
- Project introduction: One page for a text introduction per project which includes title of project, class or client, semester and year, software or materials used, dimensions, and a brief description up to 150 words—describe the project requirements, concept, and your design choices. (Links such as YouTube and Vimeo may be added.)
- Project images: Two pages to display the project through images—maximum of three images on a page, maximum of five images for each project
- Export portfolio: PDF must be a single, multi-page document, 20MB maximum
- Portfolio naming convention: PDF must be named as: YourLastName-YourFirstName-BFAPortfolio-Year XXXX.pdf
Digital Portfolio Submission
- Email your PDF portfolio to GraphicDesign@IllinoisState.edu
- The subject heading of your email must be: BFA Graphic Design Portfolio Review Year XXXX.
Digital Portfolio Submission Deadline