Design Department

BFA - Graphic Design

The BFA Graphic Design program prepares students for intellectually and aesthetically challenging careers in Graphic Design. Preparation involves both theoretical and practical study with emphasis on typography, form and image, information architecture, experience design and interactive design. Admission to the BFA Graphic Design program is by portfolio review, which takes place after completing preliminary course work. After admission, passage of portfolio reviews conducted at the end of each semester are required to continue to advance through the BFA GD program. All students are required to complete a professional internship. In addition to the regular curriculum, students have the opportunity to attend special classes and workshops led by studio professionals and faculty members.

Students must pass a milestone portfolio review to remain in the BFA program. Students who do not pass the review will be changed to the BA Design Studies.

University Graduation Requirements

Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, and GPA requirements as outlined in the Graduation Requirements section of the Policies and Procedures.

4-Year Program Roadmap

Students may find a roadmap for this program here. Roadmaps should be used in consultation with the catalog and your advisor to identify additional requirements for completing the major (for example, course grade minimums). Associate Transfer Degrees (ADT) pathway roadmaps can be found here.

Course Requirements

University Graduation Requirements47
Core Lower Division General Education27
Of the 39 units required by the university, 12 units may be satisfied by coursework outlined below. Courses that meet GE Areas A1, A2, A3 or B4 must be passed with a "C-" or better to meet the requirement. Consult with major advisor for details.
Upper Division General Education9
Of the 9 units required by the university, 0 units may be satisfied by coursework outlined below. Consult with major advisor for details.
American Institutions6
The 6 units of American Institutions (US123) coursework shown below also fulfills GE Areas D2 and D3. Other courses meet the American Institutions requirement, but may not include additional GE areas. The American Studies (AMS 1A/B) and Humanities Honors (HUM 1A/B, 2A/B) programs both offer larger integrated packages that meet this requirement. Consult with major advisor for details.
Complete one sequence from:
African American Studies6
AFAM 002A. African Americans and the Development of America's History and GovernmentD23
AFAM 002B. African Americans and the Development of America's History and GovernmentD3+US1233
Asian American Studies6
AAS 033A. Asian Americans in U.S. History ID23
AAS 033B. Asian Americans in U.S. History IID3+US1233
U.S. History and Government6
HIST 015. Essentials of U.S. HistoryD2+US13
POLS 015. Essentials of U.S. & California GovernmentD3+US233
Chicana and Chicano Studies6
CCS 010A. Mexican Americans and the Development of U.S. History and GovernmentD23
CCS 010B. Mexican Americans and the Development of U.S. History and GovernmentD3+US1233
Physical Education2
Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement3
At SJSU, students must pass both the SJSU Writing Skills Test (WST) and a 100W course. For additional information on the WST, please see Exceptions to the GWAR may be found at
A grade of C or better (C- not accepted) is required to meet graduation requirement.
DSGN 100W. Writing Workshop: DesignZ3
Preparation for the Major21
Preparation Courses6
Complete one course from:
ANI 011. Illustration Fundamentals I3
ART 024 will also be accepted for transfer students
DSIT 010. Sketching, Drawing + Modeling3
Complete one course from:
ARTH 070A. Art History, Prehistoric to MedievalC13
ARTH 070B. Art History, Renaissance to ModernC13
ARTH 070C. Arts of AsiaC13
Highly Recommend Students take ARTH 070B
Additional Support Courses15
ANI 031. 2D Animation I3
ARTH 072. Design in SocietyC13
ARTH 176A. Graphic Design History and Theory3
DSGD 063. Fundamental Graphic Visualization3
DSGD 083. Digital Applications: Basics3
Requirements of the Major49
DSGD 099. Introduction to Typography3
DSGD 100. Visual Communication & Process3
DSGD 102. Intermediate Typography3
DSGD 103A. Advanced Typography I3
DSGD 104. Introduction to Graphic Design3
DSGD 105. Intermediate Graphic Design3
DSGD 106. Advanced Graphic Design3
DSGD 108. Graphic Design Portfolio3
DSGD 110. Visual Literacy: Image Making3
DSGD 120. Exhibition Design & Info Graphics3
DSGD 150. Degree Project: Senior Studio4
DSGD 186. Digital Applications: Methodology3
Complete one course from:
DSGD 127. Design Practicum3
DSGN 127. Internship3
Complete three courses from:
DSGD 103B. Advanced Typography II3
DSGD 107A. Special Topics in Graphic Design3
DSGD 107B. Special Topics in Experience Design3
DSGD 131. Motion Graphics3
DSGD 132. User Interface & Interaction Design3
DSGD 141. 3D Branding & Promotion Design3
University Electives3

Total Units:120