Graphic Design

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Applying as a Canadian applicant

Domestic students should apply online or by phone at 1-888-892-2228. For more information, visit Applying to Conestoga.

Applying as an International applicant

International students should apply online. Note: not all programs are open to international students.

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Admissions - January 2023

Admission requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent, or 19 years of age or older with mature student status (See Mature Student definition for details.)
  • Grade 12 compulsory English, C (70%) or U (60%), or equivalent, OR Conestoga College Preparatory Communications (COMM1250), or equivalent
  • All applicants who meet the academic strength requirements (70%) must attend a program information session and present a portfolio of their creative work.
  • For more information on preparatory programs, visit Academic Upgrading

Note re: admission requirements

  • Applicants possessing degrees/diplomas from institutions where the language of instruction was not English will be required to provide test scores as evidence of their English language proficiency. Test scores, if required, would be a minimum of TOEFL iBT 80; IELTS 6.0 with no bands less than 5.5; CAEL 70 with no sub-test band scores less than 60; PTE Academic 51; Conestoga English Language Test (CELT) Band 5; or equivalent scores in other recognized standard tests of English. Duolingo English Test with a minimum score of 105.
  • We offer a language program for students whose English language skills are below the standard required for admission but all other admission criteria have been met. An applicant will be eligible for admission to the program after completion of level 4 of the General Arts and Science - English Language Studies (ELS) program with an overall grade average of 70%. Placement in the ELS program is determined by scores on an in-house English language test or TOEFL or IELTS.

Canadian admissions contact

International admissions contact

Admission procedures

  • An academic strength is calculated by averaging the submitted marks of required subjects. If more than one mark is received for a required subject, the highest mark will be used in the calculation.
  • Ten (10) additional marks are added to each Advanced level, OAC, U, U/C, and post-secondary course used in the calculation of academic strength.
  • Applicants meeting minimum academic requirements are invited to begin the selection process which requires them to attend a program information meeting where they will present a portfolio of their design-related work.
    • Out-of-province applicants, or distant applicants, may provide electronic portfolios and may have phone or InterviewStream/Skype portfolio presentations.
  • Presentation
    • The portfolio presentation provides the applicant with an opportunity to show and explain their work. Through the presentation, the program faculty assess the applicant's communication skills and aptitude for the program.
    • A portfolio consists of samples of the applicant's work. Portfolios should include a maximum of 15 diverse pieces of your creative work plus one sketchbook. Pieces may include art and design-related work such as: symbols, lettering, paintings, sculptures, drawings, finished illustrations, graphic design and web design, and/or other applied graphics.
  • Final selection is made using a formula that combines academic strength with the portfolio creative, technical, survey and presentation scores.
  • A sound English background is important for success in this program and is considered during the admission selection process. Minimum cutoffs apply.

Portfolio requirements

The portfolio submission is a mandatory component of the admission process for the Graphic Design program.

When do I submit my portfolio?

Selected applicants will receive an invitation to attend a program information session which involves portfolio review. Through the presentation, the program faculty assess the applicant's attitudes, communication skills and aptitude for the program.

What should my portfolio include?

  • Portfolios should include a maximum of 15 diverse pieces of your best creative work, plus 1 sketchbook. Some examples include:
    • advertisements
    • animations
    • computer artwork (digital photo manipulations)
    • drawings (charcoal, pastel, pencil, pencil crayon, etc.)
    • illustrations
    • layouts that combine text and images (posters, magazine covers/interior pages, year book layouts, etc.)
    • lettering and typeface samples
    • logos and identities
    • paintings (oil, acrylic, watercolour)
    • photography
    • prints (block, etching, screen, lithography)
    • sculptures
    • technical drawings (perspectives, diagrams, floor plans, elevations, etc.)
    • websites
  • When possible, faculty prefer to review original pieces and not reproductions or photographs of work.
  • Sketchbooks typically contain your concept or process work, research, inspiration, loose sketches, etc.

Program requirements

  • Students will be required to purchase a design kit. Details about this requirement will be communicated upon confirmation of enrolment.

Pathways and credit transfer

Conestoga pathways enable students to build on their academic achievements in order to earn a degree or additional credential. Pathways are formed through agreements between Conestoga programs or partner institutions. View transfer agreement opportunities for this program.

Often applicants have earned credits from another college or university that may allow a student to be granted advanced standing or exemption. Learn more about credit transfer opportunities at Conestoga.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

Conestoga recognizes prior learning of skills, knowledge or competencies that have been acquired through employment, formal and informal education, non-formal learning or other life experiences. Prior learning must be measurable at the required academic level and meet Conestoga standards of achievement. Challenge exams and portfolio development are the primary methods of assessment. Other methods of assessment may be available depending upon the nature of the course objectives. PLAR cannot be used by registered Conestoga students for the clearance of academic deficiencies, to improve grades or to obtain admission into a program.

Learn more about PLAR.


The College reserves the right to alter information including requirements and fees and to cancel at any time a program, course, or program major or option; to change the location and/or term in which a program or course is offered; to change the program curriculum as necessary to meet current competencies in the job market or for budgetary reasons; or to withdraw an offer of admission both prior to and after its acceptance by an applicant or student because of insufficient applications or registrations, over-acceptance of offers of admission, budgetary constraints, or for other such reasons. In the event the College exercises such a right, the College’s sole liability will be the return of monies paid by the applicant or student to the College. Students actively registered in cohort delivered programs who take longer than the designed program length of time to complete their studies are accountable for completing any new or additional courses that may result due to changes in the program of study. Unless otherwise stated, students registered in non-cohort delivered programs must complete the program of study within seven years of being admitted to the program.