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For prospective design majors

The Department of Design holds admissions into the Design BFA Pre-Major once a year, beginning winter quarter. Each year, fifty-four students are selected to begin their design studies the following fall quarter. Pre-majors/minors have access to all 100 and 200-level courses offered in the program.

From this cohort, students can choose to pursue the Design BFA major by submitting a portfolio during the second quarter of their program or opt to complete the program with a Design minor. Thirty-six students will be admitted to the Design BFA major and will immediately start upper division courses in spring quarter. Those not admitted will receive a Design minor.

Design Major Curriculum Overview →

Faculty Friday Drop-In Advising Hours

Have questions about the program and want to meet with a faculty member of the department? Drop by the Design Office in person between 12:30–2:00pm on a Friday or schedule a Zoom appointment here.

Pre-Major/Design Minor Application

The portfolio requirements for admission to the Design Program include a combination of 7 specific assignments and 3 additional projects of your choice. These 3 projects can be created using various media, such as drawings, paintings, photography, graphics, printmaking, and more. Furthermore, the additional projects can also include documentation of your design process for any of the 7 assignments, highlighting your conceptual and visual abilities in the field of design. For instructions on how to submit the work, please follow the Application Requirements and Portfolio Assignments below.

Application Requirements →
Portfolio Assignments →
Online Application →

It is highly recommended that prospective majors consider declaring a second major or devising an alternative plan prior to applying to the Design program. This proactive approach will provide students with the flexibility to either pursue a double major or modify their academic path, should they gain admission into the program.

Second-year BFA Major Review

At the end of the 200-level series, minors/pre-majors can apply for the BFA major. If admitted, they start taking the upper division courses. If they are not admitted into the major or if they decide not to continue beyond the 200-level, they will be awarded a design minor. During the winter quarter, all current minors/pre-majors will be automatically enrolled in a BFA Portfolio Review Canvas course where they can upload their portfolios. For instructions on how to submit the work, please follow the Application Requirements below.

Application Requirements →

Illustration Certificate

Please contact the department for declaration requirements: design@wwu.edu


Scholarships are available for Design majors each Spring.

Scholarship Information and Form→

Grade Requirements

Majors must maintain a 2.50 GPA both overall and in design courses taken at Western. Students falling below the 2.50 average will be placed on probation; failure to bring the cumulative GPA up to 2.50 by the end of two subsequent quarters will result in removal from the major. A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.