Graphic Design and Digital Arts: Illustration Degrees FAQ’s

Graphic Design and Digital Arts: Illustration Degrees FAQ’s


Our challenging and rigorous degree programs for Graphic Design and Digital Arts are meant to get you hands-on from the very first day of class - because we believe our designers need to be creating to learn the most. Our thoroughly modern curriculum will keep you on the leading edge of design technique, theory, and execution - and you’ll have a portfolio worth bragging about before you know it!

Graphic Design and Digital Arts: Illustration Degrees FAQ’s

Is a digital arts or graphic design degree worth it?

Yes, and at SFUAD, our Digital Arts program is what industry professionals call “the program they wish they had.” Start honing your creative skills from the first day of class, while also learning the ins and outs of the industry, participating in professional opportunities, and creating a dynamic portfolio – our internships are required, so industry experience is a guarantee!

“For college, I considered RISD and all of these other design schools. The reason I came here was the faculty. The professors here are from Yale, Cal Arts, all of these great schools. It’s top people in one place… At SFUAD, I’ve learned things about graphic design that I didn’t even know about. Being exposed to different things makes you a better designer, and that’s important in today’s industry. It’s great exposure, because it has broadened my sense of design and aesthetics. I have matured so much as a designer in Santa Fe.” Rufino, Sophomore, Graphic Design

“I realized I wanted to go to art school. I was like, Wow, I can actually do this for a living. I want to do this for the rest of my life! I looked at SCAD and CalArts, but I liked SFUAD a lot better. You have the room to experiment here. You can combine all the things that you love, and the things that you learn in school, into your future…Aside from the amazing friends and the environment of being here at SFUAD, the biggest reason that I’m here is because of the faculty. My professors are still working in the field, so they bring in tons of examples of projects they’re working on or situations they’ve had with clients. That makes me more comfortable as I get closer to graduation and my career.” Ronnie (‘17), Digital Arts

Darnell says, “We were sitting in design class one day, and Mariah was like, ‘It would be cool to start a digital fashion magazine.’ I was like, ‘Yay, let’s do it!’ That’s how we founded 1905. SFUAD is really big on collaboration between students. You can just dip your hand into anything you want to. We’ve created so many relationships with different artists, and learned so much about design by being editorsinchief.” Darnell, Senior, Graphic Design

“It’s one thing to ask someone to come up with an idea, and another thing to teach them how you develop a great idea.” Jack Sprague, Chair, Communication Design and Digital Arts

What can you do with a digital arts or graphic design degree?

Students who have a Graphic Design or Digital Arts: Illustration degree learn the skills necessary to work across the industry, finding jobs in areas such as: Illustrator, Art Director, Multimedia Designer, Publishing Designer, Web Designer, Animator, Video Game Designer, Storyboard / Concept Artists and Comic Book designer to name just a few. Learn more about the careers that will be available to you here!

What the difference between a digital arts and graphic design degree?

The Graphic Design program is steeped in the idea of communication design, using both visuals and language to guide an outcome. Our designers learn how to create and deliver meaningful concepts and content across print and digital platforms.

The Digital Arts: Illustration program is designed to get you ready to become the most important person in any creative process. Whether you’re creating a storyboard for a feature film or working on concept design for illustration, animation, or other digital media, the moving parts can’t work until your art comes to life.

What types of digital arts and graphic design degrees are available?

BFA in Digital Arts: Get ready to become the most important person in any creative process: digital artists take concepts and turn them into physical realities. Whether you’re creating a storyboard for a feature film or working on concept designs for gaming environments or animated characters, the moving parts can’t work until your art comes to life. We can give you the tools you need to look at the world in a perfect balance of form and function.

BFA in Graphic Design: In the Graphic Design program at SFUAD, design students discover the power and meaning of ideas. We believe our designers should graduate with a portfolio of work that showcases the depth and variety of their
abilities as creators. Designers have opportunities to cover:

  • Fundamental principles of 2D, 3D, and 4D design
  • Typography and design history
  • Creative concepts for experimental and client-based work
  • Creative methodologies and processes
  • Print media and interactive/on-screen media
  • Personal visual style
  • Contemporary digital image-making tools
  • Web/interactive design
  • Motion graphics

BA vs BFA in graphic design and digital arts: What’s the difference between them?

SFUAD only offers a BFA track in Graphic Desing and Digital Arts: Illustration and that is on purpose. In fact, all of our students start studying their majors as Freshman.

A BA degree track will provide you a general overview and typically requires more electives.

The BFA track has less electives, but is a professional track degree designed to give you a stronger concentration and prepares you for the career you want and need!

What are the requirements for digital arts or graphic design degrees?

Click below to see detailed major requirements outlining your degree track as a student at SFUAD!

How do I apply to the Graphic Design or Digital Arts: Illustration program?

Students who apply to the program will be required to submit an online application, send transcripts, and upload a portfolio and a personal statement in order to be considered for admissions.