Academic Calendar 2023/24

Graphic and Digital Design

Graphic and Digital Design diploma

The Graphic and Digital Design diploma program introduces the creative industry and the fields of brand identity, graphic/communication design, dynamic media, and interactive design. With an emphasis on problem solving, students are immersed in real world projects, issues, and contexts. Students work in innovative studios using industry standard software and Apple computers. Upon completion of the two-year diploma, graduates can gain entry-level positions in the field or in-house, freelance, or continue their studies to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a major, extended minor, or minor in Graphic and Digital Design.

Program learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Graphic and Digital Design diploma, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the creative industry.
  • Utilize processes, tools, and technology for graphic design practice.
  • Analyze visual communication problems using critical thinking skills.
  • Demonstrate functional competence with principles of visual organization, visual language, typography, and theory as applied to visual communication problems.
  • Develop strategies for planning, producing, and disseminating visual communications.
  • Produce communication/graphic design, information design, brand identity, interactive design, illustration, and motion graphics projects.
  • Apply ethics and codes of conduct in professional practice.

Entrance requirements

  1. B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent, or minimum 19 years of age before the first day of classes.
  2. Prerequisites for CMNS 125 or ENGL 105.
  3. Applicants must meet the Degree/diploma level English language proficiency requirement. For details on how this requirement may be met, see the English language proficiency requirement section of the calendar.
  4. Students with university-level credit must have a GPA of 2.00 on all courses attempted.
  5. Portfolio of creative work with accompanying documentation. See the Graphic and Digital Design website for specific guidelines.
  6. Interview may be required based on portfolio submission of visual and written requirements.

Students who do not meet these requirements might consider Qualifying Studies.

When to apply

Applications are accepted for entrance to the Fall and Winter semesters. For application deadlines, see Specific intake application process.

How to apply

  1. Apply online at

    Additional documents required for a complete application:

    • Proof of B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent, if not 19 years of age or older by the first day of classes.
    • Official transcripts (or interim transcripts) from all post-secondary institutions attended (excluding UFV) showing grade/course achievement as per entrance requirements. To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly to UFV from the originating institution; see the Transfer Credit section for details. To retain their original application date, students should order early so transcripts arrive within two weeks of the date the application is mailed or submitted.
  2. When their application has been processed by the Office of the Registrar, applicants will receive information on program orientation and portfolio submission dates, and the portfolio requirements. Applicants must submit a portfolio of recently creative work and accompanying documentation, as directed in the portfolio requirements. Portfolio requirements are also available from the department or on the Graphic and Digital Design website. The portfolio is not due at the time of application, but must be submitted online as per the posted submission deadlines. Portfolios are reviewed and an official letter of acceptance will be sent from the Office of the Registrar.
  3. Upon admission to the program applicants will be provided with registration information. A deposit is required prior to registration (see the Fees and Other Costs section) and will be applied toward tuition fees. Any applicant who does not register by the end of June for the Fall intake, or November for the Winter intake, will be replaced by a waitlisted applicant.
  4. In cases where interim transcripts are submitted, an admission decision may be made conditional upon completion of academic requirements.

If this program is full, or applicants are waiting to find out about their admission to the program, they will be given an opportunity to register as a Qualifying Studies student. It is not necessary to submit a separate application form. If applicants meet the entrance requirements and a space becomes available later, they will be contacted.

For students under 19 years of age, Fall admission is conditional upon proof of B.C. secondary school graduation.

Basis for admission decision

Admission is on a competitive basis. Completed applications will be evaluated at the portfolio review. This will include the assessment of the visual portfolio, written reflections and submitted documents. Portfolios are assessed for creative ability, exploration and experimentation, and professionalism. The entire submission requires careful preparation and attention to detail. Meeting the minimal requirements does not guarantee admission. The purpose of the interview is to assess readiness for the expectations and demands of the program and the creative industry.

If the program is full, qualified applicants will be placed on a temporary waitlist. If applicants meet the entrance requirements and a space becomes available, they will be contacted. The waitlist is void after September 1 for the Fall intake, and after January 1 for the Winter intake.

Fees and additional costs

For general information on tuition and ancillary fees, see the Fees and Other Costs section. Please note that all GD designated courses have an alternate tuition rate, reflected in Program-specific fees. For more information on the tuition rates for GD courses, please check the Graphic Design webpage.

In addition to fees, students entering the diploma program are required to purchase an industry standard equipment package comprising of a MacBook Pro laptop at a cost of approximately $2,500 to $3,500. Details and specifications for the MacBook Pro will be provided 4 weeks before the program start date. Books and additional supplies cost approximately $300 per semester.

For information on financial assistance, students are encouraged to visit the Financial Aid and Awards office.

Program duration

The Graphic and Digital Design diploma is two years in duration and is completed in a full-time capacity.

Part-time and non-program students

The diploma program is not offered part-time. Students who attend UFV part-time, or who are enrolled in the BFA or other programs, may take any available graphic design courses for which they have the prerequisites. Those who later decide to complete the Graphic and Digital Design diploma are required to submit an application and portfolio, and should consult the BFA Academic Advisor.

Some graphic and digital design courses use tools and technology that adapt according to current industry practice. Students pursuing lengthy completion plans should be advised that tools may change over the course of their educational plan, and earlier technology and methodology may no longer be relevant prior to completion.


The program is located on the Abbotsford campus.

Program outline

The following courses will be included in the 60-credit diploma. The order of course offerings is at the discretion of the department, but required courses will be offered once for each cohort.


Core skills

Course Title Credits
GD 154 Typography I 3
GD 157 Digital Design Media I 3
GD 159 Digital Design Media II 3
VA 101 Figure Drawing 3
or VA 113 Introduction to Drawing  
GD 281 Applied Photography and Video 3
GD 316 Print and Digital Production 3

History and writing

Course Title Credits
AH 203 History of Posters: The Art of Persuasion 3
or GD 102 History of Graphic Design
CMNS 125 Communicating Professionally to Academic and Workplace Audiences 3
or ENGL 105 Academic Writing  

Creative practice

Course Title Credits
GD 101 Fundamentals of Design 3
GD 202 Interactive Design I: Foundations in Web Design 3
GD 203 Dynamic Media I: Motion Graphics 3
GD 204 Interactive Design II: Web Development for Designers 3
or CIS 145 Web Publishing  
GD 216 Illustration for Visual Communication 3
GD 260 Graphic and Digital Design I 3
GD 317 Graphic and Digital Design II 3
GD 358 Interactive Design for Portfolio 3
GD 361 Portfolio Development for Visual Communication 3
GD 374 Brand Identity I: Design 3
MEDA 222 Design Ethos and the Creative Practitioner 3
or BUS 120 Essentials of Marketing (see Note)  
One of: 3
GD 254 Typography II  
GD 303 Dynamic Media II: Storytelling  
GD 304 User Experience Design  
GD 375 Brand Identity II: Packaging  

Note: Students choosing BUS 120 require BUS 100 as a prerequisite.

Workload and studio expectations

Graphic and digital design courses are intensive with a minimum of four hours of homework per week for each course. Students are expected to participate and engage as they would in a professional studio environment. The curriculum emphasizes experiential learning with team-based project work and extensive studio hours. Participation in activities outside of class time is required. This includes field trips, professional events, and community projects. The diploma program is not compatible with full-time employment.

Undergraduate continuance

Students enrolled in undergraduate courses (courses numbered 100 or higher) must maintain an undergraduate Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of at least 2.00 to remain enrolled in Good Academic Standing at UFV. Students in Good Academic Standing will have no registration limits placed on them. Failure to meet the minimum CGPA requirement will result in restrictions on registration and may eventually lead to academic suspension from undergraduate studies at UFV. Students on Academic Warning or Academic Probation are limited to registering in 10 credits. For further details, see the Academic standing and undergraduate continuance section of the academic calendar. Academic standing is governed by UFV's Undergraduate Continuance policy (92).

Course repetition

Students may not register in a course more than twice, for credit or for audit, without permission of the appropriate dean or designate. Where a course has been repeated, only the higher grade is counted in the GPA calculation.


Students must complete at least 30 of the credits required for the Graphic and Digital Design diploma at UFV. Transfer credits and credits earned through prior learning assessment, including course challenge, may only be applied for up to 30 credits of the 60-credit diploma.

Graduation requirements

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure all program requirements are met. This should be done by regular consultation with the BFA Academic Advisor. To be eligible to graduate, students must achieve a program GPA of 2.00. Diploma candidates who qualify to receive a Graphic and Digital Design diploma must be approved by the UFV Arts division and the Senate.

Students must apply for graduation in the first month of their final semester. Visit the Graduation webpage for more information. The final deadline for students who wish to attend the June Convocation ceremony is April 1 of each year, with all program requirements completed by April 30.

Course listings

For complete details on courses see the course descriptions section.

Current Students