Information for Applicants

This Instruction is for Transfer Students 

Welcome to the School of Art, Graphic Design Program submission guideline. The information below is for transfer students. Please read the instructions below carefully.


BFA Graphic Design Submission Criteria 

  • Transfer Admission Eligibility: Click here
  • Major Specific Requirements for Transfer Students: Click here

Note: In addition to the eight major-specific required courses (4 art courses and 4 GE courses), BFA Graphic Design applicants must complete courses equivalent to Art 181 – Foundation Drawing and Art 223 – Intro to Typography to be considered for BFA Graphic Design admission.


Applying to the BA Studio Art program vs. BFA programs 

We often recommend transfer students apply as a BA Studio Art major rather than a BFA major as the BA application does not require a portfolio.  If a transfer applicant applies to the BFA program and is not accepted, admission to CSULB and School of Art might be denied.  It should be noted that only two attempts to apply for the BFA program are allowedand transferring BFA applicants must compete against current CSULB students applying to the BFA program.  Not being accepted counts as one of these two attempts. 

Current students applying to BFA programs are taking upper-division courses in these program areas and are working with instructors here.  They subsequently have an advantage over transfer students.  Regardless of whether one transfers as a BA or BFA, the coursework for the first two semesters is nearly identical.  Furthermore, our advisors can inform current students of the best window of opportunity for applying to the BFA program. It is particularly helpful to enter as a BA Studio Art major if you are pursuing our BFA Graphic Design program. Our BFA Graphic Design portfolio review is very competitive, and it is helpful to take at least two upper-division Graphic Design courses before submitting your portfolio. 

If you have applied to the BFA program during the admission cycle, then you must submit a portfolio.  Again, we strongly recommend applying for a BA in Studio Art during the admission cycle.

BFA portfolio requirements 

  • Applying for the Bachelor of Fine Arts: Click here

Graphic Design at CSULB  

Graphic Design incorporates a broad approach to the transmission of ideas, information, and subjective impressions using print, film, video, and digital media. Students are trained to adapt to new trends and technologies, and move across disciplines with ease. The program prepares students for professional careers in design studios, advertising agencies, corporate design departments, motion graphics firms, web/mobile, and UX/UI design companies, and freelance consulting. Students may pursue Graphic Design coursework through our BA Studio Art program, BFA Graphic Design program (portfolio submitted for consideration), or through the Minor in Graphic Design.




  1. Eligible applicants are invited to submit a portfolio electronically. Program-specific directions regarding formatting images and/or videos, as well as your artistic statement, can be found at this link: Click here

  2. Submit your portfolio online via Slide Room by the deadline. Students will have a maximum of 15 slides to represent a minimum of 6 Graphic Design projects. 



The School of Art Faculty will review the BFA student portfolios in the weeks following your submission.



CSULB Admissions will notify you of your major status. If it says BFA you were accepted. If you were not accepted, you will receive an email from Admissions indicating you were denied from the School of Art for BFA admission.  Which might result in a denial of your entire application to CSULB. 

If you have questions or concerns regarding the BFA Portfolio Review process, please contact the School of Art Advising Center:


Submission Rules 

The Graphic Design committee highly recommends that students include only Graphic Design projects in their portfolios and no other specialization areas (Illustration, Drawing, Photography, etc.). If students want to showcase their Photography, Illustrations, etc. it is highly recommended that they incorporate them into a Graphic Design project; otherwise, they are not viewed favorably for acceptance. Approved Graphic Design solutions include poster design or series, book cover or book cover series, multi-page layout or editorial design, packaging design, branding design, ad or ad campaign, motion graphic design, UX/UI design, web design, screen-based design, and/or experimental project (with or without a process video). Applicants should photograph or videotape 3D work, such as packaging, to show the project's best light. Lastly, you must select one piece of work presented in your submission portfolio and write about its production process in the artist statement section. Explain your conceptual development and choice of images and the typefaces used and/or any unusual production process. Purely describing Photoshop or other software techniques is not what we are looking for as a unique statement. Instead, describe what makes this piece unique and how it challenged you as a designer.


BFA Graphic Design Resources  

Below you can find links to more CSULB BFA Graphic Design student work—the Instagram links relate to the respective semester’s BFA Graphic Design Senior Show. 

Visual Communication Design Association (Graphic Design student organization)