Graphic design book Kinsthetic movement done by Megan Barnum

Megan Barnum

Graphic Design


The information on this page is provided to help you with your application to the AAS Graphic Design program. This includes eligibility requirements, portfolio guidelines, portfolio tips, deadlines, and an outline of the review process. The buttons at the end of the Eligibility and Review Process sections are both linked to the first page of the AAS Graphic Design application system where you can verify your eligibility at any time during the year and, during specific application periods, get started with your application. The dates of these application periods are noted in the Application Periods and Deadlines section.


To be eligible to apply to the AAS Graphic Design program, you must have completed the following four required courses with a grade of C- or better:

  • ART 1120 2D Design
  • ART 1400 Graphic Computer Applications
  • ART 1410 Typography I
  • ART 1420 Graphic Design I

You may verify your eligibility at any time during the year by reviewing the course, grade, and application attempt information on the first page of the AAS Graphic Design application system. The information on that page is linked directly to your UVU academic records. If you believe there are any discrepancies with the course or grade information, please contact the Registrar’s Office.

Please note that earning good grades in any of the four required courses does not guarantee acceptance into the AAS Graphic Design program.

Portfolio Guidelines

Your portfolio MUST include all six of the following standardized assignments completed in ART 1410 Typography I and ART 1420 Graphic Design I:

  • Experimental Typography
  • Expressive Typography
  • Page Layout Design
  • Pictogram Series
  • Cover Design
  • Personal Poster

Transfer students may include work completed in other courses at their former school(s).

Do NOT include personal, professional, or internship projects. Exclusion of any of the six standardized assignments or inclusion of personal, professional, or internship work in your portfolio may result in a score reduction.

You may optionally choose to include work you deem as exceptional from other ART classes you’ve taken such as drawing, photography, and sculpture. If you decide to do so, please place those projects at the end of your portfolio.

Portfolio Tips

For each of your projects:

  • Write a short description that explains the underlying concept.
  • Consider using digital mockups to enhance the presentation of your work instead of submitting flat artwork exported directly from your layout files. This is not a requirement and may not apply to some of your projects, but it is recommended for most projects.
  • Consider uploading more than one image up to a maximum of eight images per project. This could include different views or close-ups of the project design or different parts of the project such as a record sleeve and a vinyl disc label.
  • Make sure the resolution of your images is sufficiently high to allow your work to appear clearly.
  • Acceptable file formats include .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .gif, and .pdf.

Please see example images below:

Pictogram Series

Ideogram image 1
Ideogram image 2
Ideogram image 3

Ben Caldwell

Page Layout Design

Kinesthetic Movement book image 1
Kinesthetic Movement book image 2
Kinesthetic Movement book image 3

Megan Barnum

Expressive Type

Marilyn Cosmetics image 1
Marilyn Cosmetics image 2
Marilyn Cosmetics image 3

Sarah Utley

Application Periods and Deadlines

The spring application period is open from January 1 to March 1. Applications must be submitted before 11:59 p.m. on March 1 if you’re aiming to register for courses offered during the following fall semester.

The fall application period is open from August 1 to October 1. Applications must be submitted before 11:59 p.m. on October 1 if you’re aiming to register for courses offered during the following spring semester.

Review Process

After you have submitted your application:

  • An email will be sent to your UVU email address confirming receipt of your application.
  • You may return to your application and make changes at any time before the submission deadline.

After the application deadline has passed, the AAS Graphic Design Portfolio Review Committee will evaluate your portfolio based on the five criteria shown below:

  • Concept & Communication—Effective concept development and communication of information.
  • Typography—Effective typeface selection, typesetting, and creation of customized letterforms.
  • Image—Effective selection, creation, modification, and implementation of high-quality images.
  • Design—Effective use of hierarchy, space, pacing, and graphic elements such as line, shape, and color.
  • Presentation—Effective presentation of design work in high-quality images.

Within approximately 1–2 weeks, you will be notified whether or not you have been accepted into the AAS program.

If you are accepted into the AAS program, registration blocks will be removed and you will be able to register for AAS-only courses. If you are not accepted into the AAS program, you may reapply once during a future spring or fall application period. Students are limited to applying to the AAS Graphic Design program a total of two times.

If you decide to reapply, we encourage you to make improvements to your portfolio within the framework of the original class assignments. If you decide not to reapply, we encourage you to meet with your academic advisor to discuss alternative degree options.

Illustration by Chad Hardin


Photos from UTopia art book