The Visual Communication Design department's undergraduate curriculum is structured to encourage the development of both generalized and specialized activities, as well as hybrids of both. Students acquire a thorough intellectual understanding of the implications, strategies, and roles of visual messages as well as the visual abilities necessary for conceptualization and creation and the technical tools and business skills required in professional practice.    

Focus Areas

The major areas of focus are physical media (print, objects, and environments) and virtual media (interactive and time-based media) and include:


Portfolio Review

Students must pass a Visual Communication Design department portfolio review in order to enroll in intermediate courses in the department. The following Visual Communication Design courses are required in order to submit a portfolio to the department Portfolio Review.

Please refer to the Visual Communications Design Undergraduate Curriculum‌ [PDF].

AIGA / CIPB

The department has an active AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) student chapter. Led by a faculty member, the chapter holds regular meetings, hosts the department’s noon hour lectures in which professionals from the city and faculty from the department present their work, conducts tours of Chicago studios, holds an annual Town Hall AIGA event at the school, oversees a biannual portfolio preparation seminar for all students preparing their work for submission to the department portfolio review.

The department also has a relationship with the CIPB (Chicago International Poster Biennial), an international competition representing leading designers from throughout the world. Every two years, together with CIPB, the department holds a series of events including juror-led student workshops, entry jurying, and jurors’ lectures. 

Interested in learning more?

Learn more about undergraduate degree program requirements by visiting our undergraduate degree programs web page to get detailed information regarding our undergraduate degree program offerings.

Interested in learning more about how you can apply?

Visit the undergraduate admissions website or contact the undergraduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or ugadmiss@saic.edu.