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School of Art + Art History

Graphic Design/Design & Visual Communications

Designers create experiences that shape our world. Our programs aim for you to develop your creative and critical abilities in a constructive and collaborative environment so, as designers, you may positively contribute to a dynamically changing world.

We are design thinkers, researchers, and makers with a focus on the future. For over 50 years, we have prepared students for a range of practices and careers in graphic design, design & visual communications, and beyond. Among critical design competencies, we value and emphasize community and shared learning experiences to prepare students for the collaborative work that is fundamental to design practice. Situated within a top-tier research university, both undergraduate and graduate programs emphasize the integration of design thinking, research, and process to inform a range of responses to problems, with an eye to solutions that are responsible, sustainable, and innovative. The program focuses on addressing problems that matter to Floridians and others in the world. 

Graduate degree (60 credits over 3 years): We offer the MFA in Design and Visual Communications—the MxD—engaging Florida as our laboratory as we work collaboratively and interdisciplinarily to research, identify, and co-design solutions to pressing problems. Our 2019–2020 focus is design for equity. Program duration is normally 3 years plus summer coursework, a 2-year option is available for self-funded students. Admission is only offered for the fall semester. The application deadline is February 1st to receive full consideration. 

Undergraduate degree (120 credits): In the BFA in Graphic Design, students learn how to be creative, conceptual, and process-oriented in addition to aesthetically and technologically sophisticated. Built around a core of design thinking, design process, and creative investigation, the graphic design program is grounded in exploration of research, concepts, critical thinking, and the contemporary discourse in the graphic/communication design discipline. We teach the skills and abilities you need to build a creative career in a dynamic and changing world. Graduates of our program are prepared to enter a competitive market and embark on careers in areas they choose, such as branding, experience, UX/UI and other areas of design. As a program, our core values focus on building community; fostering independent, critical, and design thinking; and empowering students to be leaders in design.Any undergraduate student may declare a graphic design major and pursue that track during their first two years at UF.

This program, like others in Florida and nationwide, is a limited access program. Admission to the junior year of study is by application, which includes a portfolio review. The application is made during the second semester of the sophomore year – please view this link for information on the application. Accepted students continue on to their junior year of study, where they are assigned dedicated studio space in order to build necessary competencies for graphic design practice. Students are also required to purchase a computer and Adobe Creative Cloud (full access) for use during the program – purchasing equipment as a first year student will allow you to use it through the duration of your program. We recommend students not accepted consider enrolling in the certificate program. 

Graphic Design Certificate (15 credits): This curriculum offers students a better understanding of design thinking and graphic design processes, methods, and practices in order to create effective graphic and communication design works in their areas of interest. It is not a substitute for major courses, but designed to engage students who have a range of interests with design culture and practice as a 21st century competency. (Certificate courswork typically requires 4 semesters.) 

Our Alumni are testaments to the launchpad that is our program, working in all areas of design in the US and abroad, at large and small firms, and their own design studios. You’ll recognize some of the companies where alumni work: Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Viacom, JetBlue, Facebook, Interbrand, Twitter, Tampa Bay Lightning, IDEO, Walt Disney Imagineering, Kate Spade, West Elm, R/GA, Electra, Fossil, Miami Heat, VerizonGrey, Gennsler, Viget and more. Specifically, MFA alumni are qualified to pursue both professional practice and academic careers. Recent MFA alumni are working at Apple, Google, L’Oréal, and teaching at University of Alabama at Birmingham, Auburn University, Ball State University, University of Colorado–Boulder, and the University of Florida. 

Alumni Interviews are available on our Vimeo Page

Application Deadlines
November 01, 2019
Application deadline for Fall 2020
Transfer Students
March 01, 2020
Application deadline for
Summer B or Fall 2020
Beginning December 1, 2020
Graduate application deadlines are program specific. Please review the admissions information for your intended program for clarification.

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