Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication
Faculty of Fine & Applied Arts
IDEA School of Design
Want to be part of the next generation of creative professionals? Learn your craft and develop your skill in visual expression at CapU.
The world of visual communication moves fast. At CapU we make it our business to keep up with industry trends and innovations – and take you with us. The curriculum is rigorous, industry-focused and responsive to cultural change and technology advances. You'll learn a broad range of design specialties such as branding, illustration, and interactive design. You'll engage with instructors who are professionals with years of experience and broad networks across the industry. Bring your talent, passion and goals to a program with a reputation for industry-ready graduates.
- Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of current visual communication practice.
- Identify and solve communication problems using a strategic process, with an emphasis on design thinking, creativity, original solutions, and clarity of communication.
- Describe and respond to the audiences and contexts that communication solutions must address, including recognition of the physical, cognitive, economic, cultural, and social human factors that shape visual communication decisions.
- Demonstrate proficiency with the tools and technologies that support visual communication practice and apply concepts across a range of media platforms.
- Utilize professional development and industry work experience to enter the field as visual communication professionals.
- Apply visual communication expertise for societal and environmental benefit.
- Work collaboratively with other disciplines in business, industry, and the broader community.
- Recognize the importance of life-long learning and responsiveness to change.
Note: Fees are subject to change. Some programs have fees for supplies and equipment that aren’t included in the estimate. To get an idea of what you’ll pay to study at CapU, try out our Tuition & Fees Estimator.
Total program credits: 124.00
Students starting in their baccalaureate degree on or after Fall 2018 and graduating on or after June 2022 must meet Cap Core graduation requirements in addition to their program requirements.
Students may obtain a concentration by completing 24.00 credits in one of the following areas:
- Illustration Concentration: 9 lower-level credits: IDES 235, IDES 236 and IDES 237; 15 upper-level credits: IDES 361 and/or IDES 381, and DSGN 441.
- Branding Concentration: 9 lower-level credits: IDES 243, IDES 244 and IDES 249; 15 upper-level credits: IDES 362 and/or IDES 382, and DSGN 442.
- Interactive Design Concentration: 9 lower-level credits: IDES 243, IDES 244 and IDES 252; 15 upper-level credits: IDES 363 and/or IDES 383, and DSGN 443.
Note: Breadth elective credits must include a minimum of 3 credits designated as Quantitative/Analytical and a minimum of 6 credits at the 300/400 level.
Continuation Requirements: Year 2: Successful completion of all 100-level IDES/DSGN courses with a 2.67 GPA on these courses. Year 3: Successful completion of all 200-level IDES/DSGN courses with a 2.67 GPA on these courses. Year 4: Successful completion of all 300-level IDES/DSGN courses with a 2.67 GPA on these courses.
May 2, 2017 - May 1, 2018
Course Registration & Waitlisting Starts
Jul 9, 2018
Fee Payment Deadline
Aug 27, 2018 4 p.m.
May 1, 2018 - May 7, 2019
Note: Dates are subject to change.
BC Secondary School graduation (Grade 12) or equivalent; or Mature Student status
A minimum grade of C in either English 12 or English 12 First Peoples
Capilano English Language Requirement for students whose primary language is not English: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): paper=560, internet=83, or English Language Assessment (ELA)=145, or International English Language Testing System (Academic IELTS)=6.5 overall, and no one score less than 6, or Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)=70, or Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic)=56 or Capilano University EAP 100 and 101 with a minimum B+ grade in each course.
Interview required if portfolio review is successful
Two letters of reference, written submission documents, and an online portfolio. Portfolios are reviewed by an admissions committee on the basis of drawing, design, use of colour, creativity, media variety, skill and presentation. Applicants whose portfolios meet the standards of the program will be required to submit a sketchbook for review, attend an interview, and complete tests in drawing, written communication, and creative thinking.
For the official publication of programs, course descriptions and admission requirements please view the Capilano University 2018-2019 Calendar (pdf).
Please note that English 100 is a required course in the first term of the Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication program. In order to enroll in any English course, students must submit the results of the Capilano University Diagnostic Test (EDT) or the Language Proficiency Index Test (LPI) unless they meet the EDT/LPI exemptions listed in the Capilano University Calendar website.
Applicants must submit their portfolio and program applications through the online portal SlideRoom.
Please submit no fewer than 15 images of recent work.
We assess portfolios based on drawing, design, and creativity. We encourage work that uses a variety of mediums (e.g. acrylic, pastel, pen & ink, digital).
Mandatory items are a minimum of 5 drawings rendered directly from life, without using photographic reference. These can include the human form (faces/figures), still life, people sitting in a café, your dog sleeping, a tree in your yard, etc. For the human figure, you may find it useful to attend Life Drawing classes for a variety of models and poses. Our aim is to assess how you observe and respond to your living world.
The remaining images can be any combination of traditional or digital illustration, painting, or design. Up to 1 piece of photography or 2 videos/animations can also be included.
Please photograph your work straight-on, in clear daylight, to a size of at least 1024 pixels wide. Ensure your photos are clear, faithful to the original, and saved as jpegs.
In addition to uploading a portfolio, you will also be required to answer some questions that address your interests and reasons for applying to the Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication program, and to upload two letters of recommendation. Applicants may also have their letters of recommendation sent directly to the IDEA School of Design; have them emailed to email@example.com.
The SlideRoom portal for the Late Admission period is now open. Once you create your account, you can begin uploading your portfolio and other requirements. Take your time; you may edit your submission as much as you like but remember that we can review it only after you click the SUBMIT button! SlideRoom will charge you a small fee to submit your portfolio.
If your portfolio meets the standards of the program you will be invited to attend an interview conducted by a faculty panel. In addition to the interview, you will take part in timed tests of drawing, creativity, and communication skills. You will also be required to bring a current sketchbook for review. Please be prepared to spend up to four hours at the University on interview day.
Important Dates and Deadlines
Early Admission (recommended):
- Apply to the University before you submit your portfolio online.
- Complete your SlideRoom submission on or before Wednesday, January 24, 2018. Note: submissions received after this date will be considered in the Late Admission Period.
- Interview and testing dates will take place the week of February 12, 2018. Exact date(s) TBA. Applicants will be notified by telephone if their submission meets the standards of the program.
- Waitlisted applicants will be notified after the Late Admission period if space becomes available.
- Apply to the University before you submit your portfolio online.
- Complete your SlideRoom submission on or before Wednesday, April 18, 2018.
- Interviews and testing will take place the week of April 30, 2018. Exact date(s) TBA. Applicants will be notified by telephone if their submission meets the standards of the program.
- Waitlisted applicants will be notified if space becomes available.