Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Application Info

The Department of Art offers a competitive graphic design program focusing on visual communication. 

The Department of Art encourages students to consider application to the graphic design concentration. Due to increasing student demand for the program, portfolio review is mandatory for acceptance and to be able to enroll in the concentration’s courses. Through this program, the department will provide a highly rewarding education in visual communication to qualified and motivated students who wish to enter the graphic design profession.


To apply to the graphic design concentration you must be admitted to the University of Maryland, and be a declared Studio Art Major. The Graphic Design Concentration is only open to rising juniors and seniors; you may not apply to the Graphic Design Concentration as an incoming freshman, and you must have completed or currently be enrolled in the following courses (or their equivalent from other institutions):

ARTT100, ARTT110, ARTT150, ARTT200, ARTT210, & ARTT255

You must also have a 3.0 GPA or higher.

The application process begins in early March. Look for due dates to be posted each year as the semester schedule fluctuates. 

  • This year the application information session will be held virtually on Thursday, Feb. 5th, 2024, at 6 p.m. The virtual meeting link can be obtained by emailing
  • The application portal link will be activated on Feb 19, 2024
  • Applications for the Fall 2024 semester are due no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, March 6th, 2024.

We look forward to having you in our classes.


  1. You must be an art studio major.
  2. You must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0.
  3. You must have completed (or currently be enrolled in) the art foundation courses—ARTT100: “Two-Dimensional Design Fundamentals,” ARTT110: “Elements of Drawing I,” ARTT150: “Introduction to Art Theory,” ARTT200: “Three-Dimensional Art Fundamentals,” ARTT210: “Elements of Drawing II,” and ARTT255: “Digital Art and Design Processes” (formerly ARTT354: “Elements of Computer Graphics”)—or, in special cases, have received permission from the design faculty to apply.

The Application Process

Each applicant must submit a portfolio, the expressive typography assignment, an essay and transcripts. Applications that do not include all of these components are incomplete and will not be considered.

We highly recommend that you attend the application information session prior to applying to the program. This year the application information session will be will be held virtually on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, at 6 p.m. The virtual meeting link can be obtained by emailing

To apply to the design concentration, complete the online application process, found here:

The application portal link will be activated March 1, 2023, unless notified otherwise.

About the Portfolio Requirement

Each applicant must upload 10-12 single image files that evidence studio art foundation skills. Choose your submissions carefully and critically. These works can be from coursework as well as independent and client-based projects. Presentation, focus and selection are extremely important.

Successful portfolio submissions will evidence a high degree of craftsmanship and the following:

  • Ability to draw the figure
  • Ability to render form three-dimensionally
  • Ability to draw in proportion and scale
  • Ability to draw in proper perspective
  • Competence in design and composition
  • Competence in the attributes of color

Applicants may also include works of photography, typography, image and layout, computer graphics, illustrations and design. However, prioritize the competencies listed above before including these types of works.

Upload images as .jpg files. They should be clear, in-focus, color-corrected and of ample resolution. Crop out any extraneous background. If submitting time-based or interactive work, upload one representative still image and include a YouTube, Vimeo or other link to its online presence.

Each image should not exceed 2 MB.

Include the following information for each work: one-sentence description, medium, dimensions or running time and date of completion.

Expressive Typography Assignment

This year we are adding a new application requirement called expressive typography. Carefully read the directions in

Downloadable PDF

Upload five separate concept sketches of the same word, chosen from this year’s assignment. We are specifically requesting sketches rather than final versions. We are looking for in-concepts rather than polished designs. Strive to represent the widest range of expression possibilities.

Each sketch should be in black and white only. Draw these forms in black ink on white paper. Do not upload pencil sketches. Each image should not exceed 2 MB.

In the text field, write 3-5 sentences that describe which one or two of these sketches you find most promising and why. Clearly identify the sketch or sketches to which you are referring.

Note: The assigned words will change each year.

About the Essay

Each applicant must submit a concise essay (450-500 words) that addresses the following: “Graphic design, also known as communication design, is the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content.” (

Given the above definition, describe a specific example of how graphic design has influenced you or someone you know. Describe the changes it made and the aspects of the design that prompted them.


Submit an official or unofficial transcript from your college courses. If you have attended more than one academic institution, submit a transcript from each.

Note: Screen grabs of unofficial transcripts are often too low-resolution for clear viewing. Our preferred method for documenting your unofficial transcript is to print to .pdf (save as a .pdf rather than actually printing) and then upload that .pdf file.

Application Review Process

All applications will be reviewed in a timely manner. Candidates who advance to the second round of the application process will be invited to attend an in-person interview with the design faculty.

All candidates will be notified of their application’s status as promptly as possible.

Students whose initial applications are not accepted into the graphic design concentration may reapply during future application rounds.