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Design, BA

Explore the Design program at Seattle University. Develop cutting-edge concepts in graphic design, web design and more. Prepare for a rewarding design career.

About this Program

Develop Cutting-Edge Concepts with Forward-Looking Design Thinking

Apply to a design program that offers a uniquely holistic and interdisciplinary approach grounded in academic, creative and practical skills—and a commitment to sustainability and social justice.

Within our broadly informed curriculum, you will explore typography, digital imaging, digital layout, graphic design, web design, user experience (UI/UX) design, including motion graphics.

Both inside and outside of the classroom, you will combine theory and practice informed by readings, discussions and research as you hone your skills and abilities through internships, in-depth critiques and hands-on workshops within a sophisticated, creative, and inclusive studio environment.

This design degree is an intensive program in functional design, building on both traditional essentials and emerging concepts in visual applications and design thinking.

Design students graduate equipped with essential 21st-century visual literacy and interpretive skills. They emerge positioned to lead in the future with the ability to adapt, question the status quo and rethink themselves in relation to the world.

Design Degree at a Glance

Learn how this degree from the Department of Visual Art will contribute to your career goals. Then, explore course requirements and see how impactful a Seattle University degree can be.

If you’re interested in a design major, you should declare design program candidacy as a preparatory major. During this stage you will fulfill the prerequisite courses in preparation for the mid–career portfolio review to gain acceptance into the design program major.

The portfolio review is towards the end of sophomore year. Transfer students are invited to submit an equivalent portfolio at the same time or before the start of junior year.

The portfolio review reflects the program’s philosophies of excellence: A mid-career portfolio review accurately mirrors the competitive nature of the design field and in so doing will encourage students to strive towards superior design.

  • Articulate a personal creative vision in print and screen media through oral presentation
  • Integrate the theory of digital art and design into your studio work
  • Demonstrate proficiency in appropriate digital design software
  • Devise a design solution for a real-life local community organization
  • Produce a professional portfolio suitable for a chosen design career path

What You’ll Learn

Learn about the classes you’ll take as a student here.

Prepared for Success

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Studios & Galleries

The Department of Visual Art includes several studios and galleries that digital design students can benefit from. Explore the creative spaces that are dedicated to developing design students and showcasing student work.

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Creative Spaces for Artists

The Billodue Makerspace at Seattle University, located in the Jim and Janet Sinegal Center for Science and Innovation (Sinegal Center), provides creative spaces for artistic exploration. You will be able to participate in a variety of maker-related activities including sewing, fiber arts, 3D printing, laser cutting, electronics, vinyl cutting, and glass work.

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Pathways to Professional Formation

The College of Arts & Sciences is committed to helping you through your lifetime journey of professional formation and discernment. We offer opportunities to deepen and broaden your understanding of your professional identity.

Many Career Options for Design Majors

Seattle University design students graduate with a solid print and web portfolio, skills and hands on community-related experiences that prepare them to enter either the design industry or to pursue a graduate degree in art and design. 

Many have been hired at design companies or in-house design departments nationwide, mostly on the West Coast: Seattle, Redmond, Yakima, Portland, San Francisco, also Austin (TX) Washington DC and New York.

Examples of employment include: 

  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Walt Disney Company: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products
  • Nike
  • POP
  • Cheezburger
  • Weber Thompson
  • Substantial 
  • Fantagraphics Book Inc. 
  • Hearst
  • MakerBot Industries 
  • Theo Chocolate

Students also successfully complete graduate programs at national schools such as California College of Art and the San Francisco Art Academy.

Hear From Our Alumni

Headshot of Design SU Alumni Casey Horio

Casey Horio

“The design program allowed me to explore the different areas of digital design. It was helpful to have a lot of speakers come in and talk about their experience and how they found their careers,” says Horio. “Seattle U has prepared me in terms of realizing how much of a creative community there is.”


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