University of South Florida

School of Art & Art History

USF College of The Arts

Graphic Arts Admission Process

Submission deadline for Fall 2023: March 19, 2023 at 5 pm (Eastern Time)

For questions regarding admissions please email the Graphic Arts Advisor: Heather Van Allen at


  • The BFA Degree in Graphic Arts is a limited access, upper-level program of study. Each fall, a select number of students are admitted to the program. These students then follow a sequential course schedule to successfully graduate from the program.
  • No students are admitted to the program in spring semesters.
  • Only admitted graphic design students may enroll in program courses, with the exception of History of Graphic Design and other art history classes.
  • Students who are not accepted into the program may apply again in a year.


  • Apply to the university prior to submitting a portfolio. For the complete requirements for the BFA Degree in Graphic Arts, program prerequisites, and course descriptions please refer to the USF Undergraduate Catalog.
  • Have a 2.5 or higher overall GPA.
  • Have a 3.25 GPA or higher for all art courses.
  • Successfully fulfill all sections of the CLAS requirement.
  • Submit a formal application and portfolio to the Graphic Arts Program by the listed March deadline.
  • Demonstrate the completion of all art prerequisites with a 3.25 or higher GPA prior to the first semester of the graphic design track (fall).
  • Demonstrate the completion of all general education requirements as published in the university catalog, or completion of an AA degree from a Florida public university or community college. An AS degree will not satisfy this requirement.
  • Have satisfied the state foreign language requirement of 2 years of sequential high school foreign language or 8 semester hours of college foreign language.
  • Be admitted and have an active USF identification number by time of application to program. Students not yet admitted to USF must apply to USF. USF accepts applicants up to one year in advance. Students must have admission for Fall 2020 or earlier to begin the program.


Submit the following materials electronically via SlideRoom.  There is a cost of $10 to submit your materials, including your portfolio. You will pay this fee electronically when you submit your materials on SlideRoom.

  • Statement:  “What has most influenced your interest in the study of graphic design and why do you want to pursue graphic design as a career?  (250 words maximum)
  • Portfolio: Please submit the following (note supported file formats):
    Images (up to 5MB each):   .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .gif, .tif, .tiff
    Videos/Installation/Performance (up to 250MB each):   .m4v, .mov, .mp4, .wmv, .mpeg, .mpg, .mkv

Please contact David Watts or John Stanko for program and application information.  For assistance with Slideroom, please contact Maureen Slossen.


Art Foundations 24 hours

ART 2201C Concepts and Practices I (3)
ART 2203C Concepts and Practices II (3)
ART 2344 Beginning Drawing for Graphic Arts (3)
ART 2301C Beginning Drawing (3)
ART 2345 Intermediate Drawing for Graphic Arts (3)
ART 2602 Digital Imaging (3)
GRA 2190 Graphic Design (3)
GRA 2206C Typography (3)

Art History 6 hours

ARH 2050 History of Visual Arts I* (3)
ARH 2051 History of Visual Arts II* (3)

Art Studio 9 hours

ART 2251 Illustration I (3)
ART 2400C Beginning Printmaking (3)


ART 2500C Painting 1 (3)
ART 2430 Silkscreen (3)

Total Number of Credit Hours: 39

Students must meet all prerequisites with a minimum grade point average of 3.25 or above, and each individual course with at least a C minus.

*History of Visual Arts I and II must be used to satisfy the General Education humanities and elective requirement if the student is to remain within 120 hours for the degree.


Complete the applicant information form online. Portfolios must consist of 10 visual art pieces that show a range of media and conceptual thought. Note that any self-portraits should not be identified as self-portraits, but simply as a portrait.

All works submitted must be labeled with a number from 1-10, in order. Applicants must include a short description underneath each image represented. State the work’s dimensions, media used, if the piece was completed as an assignment or for your own enjoyment — tell us why the piece was created (i.e. for a college art class or for work, etc.) — and the year it was created; no work completed in high school will be accepted. Applicants who show stills of websites or multimedia pieces should direct the viewer to visit the related URL for the web site or to view the associated files (QuickTime movies, AVI, etc.), links included in the portfolio. Each image in the portfolio must be sized to 1024×768 at 72dpi.

Student competency will be individually evaluated and according to the stated admissions requirements, the applicant’s written expression, and a portfolio of work based upon:

  • Concept, execution and the presentation of artwork.
  • Conceptual understanding of art and design principles.
  • The application of art and design principles to critically evaluate and solve assigned projects.
  • Examples of drawing methods and the evidence of ease with a variety of image–making materials.
  • A knowledge of art and design influences and history.

Neither faculty nor review committee members are able to grant individual reviews of portfolios prior to submission. Due to the high number of applicants, the review committee will not be able to give individualized feedback on portfolios once submitted.


In addition to the above visual portfolio requirements, samples of your writing are also required. The following question should be answered in a brief but clearly stated way. 250 words maximum. The question will need to be copy/pasted into the designated text box when uploading your portfolio and filling out the online application. Please ensure that your response is proof read. Portfolios without a writing sample will not be considered.

Please answer and submit the following question:

What has most influenced your interest in the study of graphic design and why do you want to pursue graphic design as a career?


The Graphic Arts Program at USF St. Petersburg integrates the computer into its studio–based courses. Knowledge of the computer and design software is necessary for a successful career in the graphic design profession. If you are accepted into the program, an Apple MacBook Pro laptop will be required along with the necessary design software and font packages. Students can purchase equipment at special pricing through the USF Computer Store. A complete list of specific hardware and software requirements will be sent to accepted applicants in the summer prior to the fall semester.


Applicants to the program will be ranked on the quality, creativity and presentation of submitted artwork and the writing sample.

Notification of the committee’s decisions will be sent to each student’s USF email address no later than March 28th. Students offered placement in the program must confirm their intention to pursue the major by March 30th. Failure to confirm acceptance will automatically result in the placement being offered to another applicant.


You must include current contact information, including home address, email address, and telephone number in order to receive notification. Please use the form included in this application.