New Student Applicant Instructions

Thank you for your interest in the Department of Design!

Acceptance to the Department of Design does not guarantee acceptance to the University. Application to the Department is separate for and different than applying to the University. Students may apply concurrently to Brigham Young University and the Department of Design. However, students must be admitted to Brigham Young University in order to be accepted into the Department of Design.

New Student Applications are accepted twice a year, April 1st and August 1st. You must have taken or be enrolled in the Pre-requisite classes before you apply.

  • Animation:
  • DESAN 131
  • DESAN 160
  • CSANM 150
  • Graphic Design:
  • DES 111
  • DES 114
  • DES 115
  • DES 117
  • Illustration:
  • DES 111
  • DES 114
  • DES 115
  • DESIL 131
  • Photography:
  • DES 111
  • DES 114
  • DESPH 116

New students will click on the "Apply Online" to create a SlideRoom account (if you do not have one yet). You will get an email form them to activate your account please check your email as soon as you can.

Once you have activated your SlideRoom account you can log in and begin to fill out the Application.

  • 1. Answer all the questions;
  • 2. Download your portfolio;
  • 3. Submit your application and pay your $10.00 process fee. (Once things are submitted your application you can no longer make changes to your application please be sure all changes are made before submitting your final application. Also do not fill in payment information until you are sure you are checking out. If you partially fill out payment information and then go back to change things it can charge you twice.)

Area Information:

All incoming students are required to submit no more than10 pieces of work (11 pieces for GD, ILL to accommodate for creative activity) which represent their best work. Transfer students will need to call or come into the office to get the application. Below is a brief statement of what each area expects to see in an incoming student online portfolio. This is not meant to be comprehensive. If you have any other questions on the portfolio requirements please check with the department secretaries in E-509 Harris Fine Arts Center.

Graphic Design

Continuing and new incoming students please consider the following guidelines. Students are not required to submit work that is graphic design in nature. What is important is to submit the student's best work in whatever medium you choose, whether painting/drawing, printmaking, illustration, or other traditional mediums of art. Faculties look for broad ranges of talent and assume that this can be transposed to the discipline of Graphic Design. Faculty is looking for students with a strong technical ability and who demonstrate high levels of creativity. Generally, students accepted seem to have a strong point of view and a sense of maturity in the selection of content for their work. It is better not to submit work which includes content themes such as cute animals, adorable babies and children, inspirational quotes superimposed over corresponding images, super-hero characters, scrapbook pages or designs, sentimental scenes - wedding portraiture, or drawings copied from photos of famous celebrities (religious leaders included). It is better to submit work that is drawn from life or from your own life experiences. Please be aware that although the computer is the tool of graphic design, it is not the focus of the program. It is suggested the students not submit work which includes computer gimmickry and cliché of any type, work from high school yearbooks or logo/stationary previously created during high school or for business/t-shirt design. Success in the program depends on the student's ability to think and solve visual problems, not demonstrations of computer "gymnastics" and expertise. If the students have professional work, submitted to show they have printed work and experience, this does not necessarily enhance the student's chances of acceptance.


Portfolios are judged on drawing skill, design, and creativity. The Area prefers applicants with strong figure drawing skills (at least 5). Drawings from life, that is, directly from the subject (people, animals, buildings, trees, still-life, etc.) rather than from photographs, are the best representation of the applicant's potential talent and level of preparation, and therefore are given more weight than drawings from cartoons, comics, or photographs in magazines. The Area is also interested in the applicant's creativity, which may be shown in personal paintings or illustrations that tell stories or develop conceptual ideas.

Illustration requires a physical sketchbook to turn in with this application. Please check with E509 HFAC where those sketchbooks should be taken each application period.


Submit only you best photography for the talent award application. All students must do so via an electronic application (to fill out personal information). New students and some sophomores will also submit their photography electronically in the same application process. Juniors and seniors will apply electronically, but submit work in traditional print portfolio form.

Vision, creativity, originality, technical competence and presentation are expected from all applicants. Videos may be submitted, but are supplementary and secondary to your still photography.

There are three ways to submit work for a talent award; (1) electronically, (2) in traditional print portfolio form (with quality presentation - book or box), or (3) some combination thereof (including video, uploaded or iPad).

Sophomores may choose electronic or print. Those who have taken DESPH 120 and 275 by the end of Fall semester may want to submit a traditional print portfolio using work from those courses (and others, and outside work if they want), whereas those in these same courses in the Winter should submit an electronic portfolio, as they will most likely not have sufficient quality print work yet. Remember to also apply electronically if you submit print work.

Juniors and seniors must submit their photography for review using a traditional print portfolio (like the BFA application), and may add a video to this if they so choose. The video may be uploaded on the electronic submission website, or included upon an iPad with your print portfolio. All will be returned. Remember to also apply electronically.

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BYU Department of Design
Provo, Utah 84602
Phone: (801) 422-7321

Faculty access to SlideRoom