Department of Design
Department Information: 
E-509 HFAC
Advisement Center: 
D-444 HFAC

Admission to Degree Program

Admission to the Department of Design is obtained by application after the successful completion of the prerequisite core and a portfolio review. Students have two opportunities to apply to their program of choice—April 1 and August 1. Please see General Information below for more details, or refer to

The Discipline

The Department of Design prepares visual communicators to serve in a broad range of creative disciplines including Animation, Graphic Design, Illustration, and Photography. Solving complex visual problems requires an understanding of design thinking, the aesthetics of visual communication, and an ability to communicate narratives across a wide array of mediums and technologies.

Career Opportunities

Graduates from the Department of Design are fully prepared for careers in the following disciplines—

Animation: Animation majors work in various disciplines that include feature animation studios, visual and special effect studios, entertainment, gaming, and scientific data visualization.

Graphic Design: Graphic Design majors work in a wide array of design-related disciplines including branding, product design, publishing, interaction design, web design, mobile app development, experience design, service design, motion graphics, and data visualization. Designers often work in traditional design studios, interactive agencies, advertising agencies, and corporate design positions as well as design entrepreneurs or freelancers.

Illustration: Illustration majors work in diverse publishing markets and genres including children's books, young adult fiction, genre fiction, graphic novels, ebooks, editorial, advertising, design, and corporate and institutional publications. Many illustrators work as concept designers, creating characters, environments, vehicles, and other digital artwork for entertainment productions. Other opportunities include licensed products, toys and collectibles, art galleries, festivals, conventions, online exhibitions, and private commissions. Illustrators often work in-house for production companies, in design studios, or on a freelance or project basis.

Photography: Photography majors work in many venues and genres, including portraiture, advertising, fashion, architectural photography, journalism, editorial publishing, stock photography, conservation and photographic finishing. Other opportunities are available in fine art, educational, medical, travel, and marketing photography. Photographers typically work in-house, on a contract basis, freelance, or as entrepreneurs in their own studio.

Design Education: BA or BFA candidates in Design may also become licensed as K-12 art and design educators through the Art Education licensure program in the Department of Art. There are many opportunities for teachers with a design background. The licensure program prepares students for these opportunities through a series of courses including student teaching.

Design Education Licensure

Licensure as a Design educator is available in conjunction with all Design BFA and BA majors.

Department Probationary Status

Students can be placed on probationary status for the following:

  1. Inadequate academic performance.
  2. Unprofessional attitude and lack of commitment.
  3. BYU Honor Code violations.

General Information

Application Procedures

Animation, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography. High school students wishing to be admitted to animation, graphic design, illustration or photography for Fall semester may apply for acceptance to the Department of Design before the talent awards deadline of January 15th. If accepted into the program, students are expected to enroll in the Freshman core during Fall semester and complete the core classes prior to taking sophomore Design Department courses. Open enrollment sections of the prerequisite courses are also available for current BYU students who wish to apply to the department.

Sophomore-Through-Senior BFA Degree Program Enrollment. Permission to enroll for sophomore-through-senior level BFA programs is granted through a portfolio review process conducted by faculty members from the respective area of study. Through work completed during the Freshman core, accepted students must demonstrate a high level of conceptual and aesthetic ability. Successful applicants are then invited to continue in the area of study and enroll in courses at the next academic level.

Transfer Students. Transfer students applying for admittance to the Department of Design are asked to submit an application and a portfolio on Transfer applications for the Department of Design are reviewed year round by the program areas. Upon acceptance into the department and at the discretion of the area faculty, students are placed at the appropriate level of study. Transfer applications are contingent upon acceptance into BYU, a separate application process. Admission to the department does not guarantee admission to Brigham Young University. BYU deadlines are February 1st for Spring, Summer, and Fall enrollment, and October 1st for Winter enrollment.

Note: Students may apply to the BFA program no more than twice. Transfer students not accepted into BFA degree programs may elect to enroll in one of the Bachelor of Arts programs in design.

Talent Awards

All students are encouraged to apply for department Talent Awards by the January 15th deadline. Talent Award applications will open on November 15th. Apply at

Graduation Requirements

To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:

  • The University Core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education. (For a complete listing of courses that meet university core requirements, see here.)
  • At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • Be in good standing with the Honor Code Office

Students should see their college advisement center for help or information concerning the undergraduate programs.