New Student Programs

Graphic Design

About the BA in Graphic Design

The Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design program prepares designers of tomorrow with a flexible set of skills and knowledge, preparing them to visually communicate ideas and information while expressing themselves creatively. Upon completion of the degree, students will produce, describe, analyze, and interpret visual designs within social, historical and theoretical contexts.

Students will understand software for print, web and new media and gain the ability to seek out new uses for emerging technologies. They will use research methods in the conceptualizing, developing and executing of design solutions. Program graduates will utilize advanced skills in typography, layout, information design, packaging design and other applications to create clear and dynamic results.

Additionally, program students are able to pursue a concentration in Web Design or Publication Design.


For Orientation


On Campus Freshmen Students

If you are attending New Student Orientation as a freshman you do not need to bring a portfolio.  We do not evaluate non-college level work for incoming freshmen. All AP credits will be evaluated by the Office of Degree Evaluation and do not require a portfolio review.


On Campus Transfer Students

No student is required to bring a portfolio, however, any students attempting to place into upper-level courses will need to complete a portfolio review.

Students who are attempting to transfer credits for upper-level classes in the following disciplines should plan to bring a portfolio, as well as syllabi and course descriptions for those transfer classes.  In addition, you may want to bring an additional copy of your transcripts:

  • • Advertising Art Direction
  • • Illustration
  • • Interior Architecture
  • • Fine Art
  • • Product Design
  • • Graphic Design

Students must bring a portfolio consisting of the following:

  • • 8-10 images from each course to be evaluated
  • • A course description/and or syllabus for each course being evaluated
  • • The format may be a hardcopy or digital

The following courses do not require a portfolio review and will be applied to a student’s degree after the transcripts have been evaluated by the Office of Degree Evaluation and the Art and Design department, unless the course is otherwise names, then clarification of course content may be needed.

  • • Art History I and II
  • • Beginning Drawing
  • • 2-D Design
  • • 3-D Design

On Campus 2nd BA Students

If you took art and design classes as part of your undergraduate degree you must bring a copy of your transcript and portfolio to be reviewed at Orientation.

We regret that we are unable to register any 2nd BA student for upper level courses without a portfolio review.

Students must bring a portfolio consisting of the following:

  • • 8-10 images from each course to be evaluated
  • • A course description/and or syllabus for each course being evaluated
  • • The format may be hardcopy or digital

2nd BA students cannot transfer credit to Columbia College Chicago, however they can be waived out of course work that they have previously completed.


Distance Freshmen Students

We do not evaluate non-college level work for incoming freshmen.  All AP credits will be evaluated by the Office of Degree Evaluation and do not require a portfolio review.


Distance Transfer Students

Students should expect to see the results of applying to transfer course credit in the following classes:

  • • Art History II
  • • Beginning Drawing
  • • 2-D Design & 3-D Design (unless course is otherwise named, then clarification of course content may be needed)

For more information regarding our transfer credit policies please review the Art & Design Transfer Credit Policies.


Recommended First-Semester Classes


We recommend that all students take following classes in their first semester as a Fine Arts major:

  • • 22-1105 Introduction to Visual Culture (3 credits)
  • • 22-1910 Making I (3 credits)
  • • 22-1930 Medium (1 credit)
  • • 22-1940 Methods (1 credit)
  • • 22-1950 Materials (1 credit)

Plus the following general education classes:

  • • 48-1100 First Year Seminar
  • • 52-1151 Writing and Rhetoric I

For more information about our exciting new Foundations program please visit our website.