Communication Design Candidacy Review:
Graphic Design Track

The Communication Design Program at the University of North Texas has two tracks for students: Graphic Design and User-Experience Design. This web page describes the application process for students interested in the Graphic Design track.

Application Process Overview

The UNT Communication Design Candidacy Review has two stages. The first stage is the digital portfolio review of each candidate’s portfolio. Selected candidates will then participate in the second stage, an in-person review. Interested students will need to submit the required materials online through the UNT SlideRoom app by Nov. 21, 2022, 11:59 p.m. CST.  Extended to Nov. 28, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Link to SlideRoom: Fall 2022 Candidacy Reviews for Graphic Design.

Selected students will be assigned a time to participate in an in-person interview on Dec. 9, 2022.

Digital Application Requirements

  • Six to 10 examples of your best work*
  • Sketchbook slide presentation*
  • Completed Graphic-Centered Design worksheets* 

In-Person Application Requirements

  • Personal sketchbook of process work
  • Drawing utensils and drawing pad, approximately 9 x 12 inches
  • Transcripts — unofficial is preferred

*Allowed media types: images up to 5MB each, video up to 250MB each, PDFs up to 10MB each, and other media such as websites and external media from YouTube and Vimeo.

Digital Portfolio Review

Due no later than Nov. 21, 2022, 11:59 p.m. CST.  Extended to Nov. 28, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.

Required Materials

  • Six to 10 examples of work
  • Sketchbook slide presentation
  • Graphic-centered worksheets

Examples of Work

Applicants must upload six to 10 examples of work that best represent their skill set and potential as a Communication Design student. The work can be produced in any medium of your choice — traditional or digital. Physical projects should be photographed or scanned. Please provide active links to online projects, such as websites, videos, etc.

All projects must be submitted through SlideRoom. The application cost is $10. 

Students are encouraged to present work that shows a broad range of interests and abilities. Work should exhibit your abilities to draw, create, and conceptualize compelling designs or images using design principles and color theory effectively. Work may come from your art foundation core classes, high school coursework, or work completed outside the classroom. More than 180 students typically apply for this program, so consider how your work might stand out. Also, be aware that reviewers will not know the criteria or parameters that you were attempting to satisfy in certain examples of the work you submit. With this in mind, evaluate the likelihood of these examples being effectively understood by the reviewers and make decisions to include or not include specific examples accordingly.


A personal sketchbook of your process work and daily reflections is required for the in-person review. The sketchbook should or may include process work for drawing and design courses, personal sketches, and process work for projects outside of courses.

You will need to photograph the front cover of the sketchbook and have a minimum of 20 spreads to a maximum of 30 spreads. Arrange these spreads in a slide presentation using Adobe Acrobat, MS PowerPoint, MS Word, or some other program. Save the final version as a portable document format file, PDF, to upload with your submission packet.

The sketchbook should capture your process and convey your commitment to the discipline of design through deep processes and your ability to explore a broad range of ideas. The sketches need not be polished sketches but should effectively depict your thinking and exploration. This must be completed and uploaded with your complete entry portfolio submission through SlideRoom.

Design-Centered Worksheets

A series of supplied worksheets guide applicants through the research and design process for a hypothetical client.

Worksheets can be requested from Communication Design Program Coordinator Whitney Holden,

These worksheets must be completed and uploaded with your complete submission through UNT SlideRoom.


Applicants will be notified via email by Dec. 1, 2022, through their current UNT student account. Those selected will be invited to participate in face-to-face interviews on Dec. 9.

In-Person Review

Dec. 9, 2022

Required Materials

Drawing utensils and drawing pad — approximately 9 x 12 inches

Group 1: A, B and C

8:30 a.m.

Ignition Assignment and Interviews

8:30–11 a.m.

Group 2: D and E

2 p.m.

Ignition Assignment and Interviews

2–4 p.m.


You are required to have completed, with a grade of ‘C’ or better, or be currently enrolled in at least two of the courses that comprise the CVAD art core program – ART 1600, ART 1700, Art 1800 and Art 1900, or their accepted equivalents from other institutions of higher education.

The balance of the art core for the Communication Design program consists of the remaining art foundations core. Any student accepted into the Communication Design program through the Candidacy Review who has not yet completed the art core courses must complete them with a grade of ‘C’ or better before the beginning of the Fall 2023 semester.

Ignition Assignment

The ignition assignment is given at the beginning of each review session. Participants will be given a design challenge to work on individually. Using the required writing utensils — one fine-point and one medium-point marker are recommended, and a drawing pad — 9 x 12-inch tracing or marker paper are recommended, each student will sketch solutions to the challenge. After 30 minutes, participants will gather in small groups with design faculty to present and discuss the concepts and solutions they developed. This discussion will last approximately 90 minutes, and participants should come prepared to discuss their design approach and background.


Applicants will be notified of the final results via their official UNT email by Dec. 12, 2022

Final Notification: Dec. 12, 2022

Notification Delivery

All notifications will come via email. The notification will be delivered to the email you use when you create your SlideRoom account, or if you are a current UNT student, it will arrive via your official UNT email account.

Academic Advising

On Dec. 13, 2022, students who are not selected should schedule a meeting with Academic Advising to develop an alternative degree plan and a schedule for the next semester. 


Students may reapply for the program the following year but should develop a secondary degree plan to pursue in the meantime. It is also important to note that the Communication Design curriculum cannot be expedited, so reapplying to the program will delay graduation by a year.

Foundations Course for Communication Design

All students who are accepted into the Communication Design: Graphic Design program are required to take ADES 1540: Foundations for Communication Design, in the Spring 2023 semester.

At the end of ADES 1540 in the spring semester of 2023, there will be an Entry-Portfolio Review by which students gain final admittance to major status in the Communication Design Graphic Design Track.

Those selected to become majors will continue their Fall 2023 Communication Design coursework with ADES 1510: Typography 1, and ADES 2515: Image Making & Color Theory. If you cannot take ADES 1540 in the spring of 2023, you are advised to wait until the next Communication Design Candidacy Review. More information about ADES 1540 can be found in the UNT Registrar’s Office schedule of classes and the UNT Course Catalog.

Advising & ADES 1540 Enrollment

Planning your Spring 2023 schedule can be made difficult by not knowing yet who will be selected for admission to the graphic design track in Communication Design through the Candidacy Review. Following are steps you should take to make this easier.   

Academic Advising Considerations

Spring registration opens in October before the candidacy review, so students are encouraged to meet with their CVAD academic advisor to discuss scheduling and alternative degree plan options before the review. ADES 1540 sections will be viewable for planning purposes.

  • Students should enroll in spring classes before the review process except for ADES 1540: Foundations for Communication Design.
  • All students who are accepted into the Communication Design: Graphic Design program are required to take ADES 1540: Foundations for Communication Design in the Spring 2023 semester.
  • Accepted students should plan to self-enroll in ADES 1540 through myUNT once notified on Dec. 12, 2022. Students are not guaranteed enrollment in a specific section of ADES 1540. Students who enroll in ADES 1540 without acceptance into the Graphics Design track will be administratively dropped from the course.
  • ADES 1540 is a prerequisite for the Fall 2023 Communication Design coursework — ADES 1510: Typography 1, and ADES 2515: Image Making & Color Theory. If you cannot take ADES 1540 in Spring 2023, you are advised to wait until the next candidacy review.
  • More information on ADES 1540 can be found in the UNT Registrar’s Office schedule of classes and the UNT Course Catalog. 

Technology Requirements

While purchasing an Apple Mac is not required, all Communication Design majors at the UNT College of Visual Arts and Design must purchase or have hardware and software that meets the following specifications. 


The following Mac computer* configuration is recommended for purchase for Communication Design majors enrolled in UNT College of Visual Arts and Design.

  • Laptop: 14-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
    • If a 16-inch MacBook Pro is affordable for you, then you are encouraged to purchase that size.
  • Processor: Apple M2 Chip**
    Memory: 16GB** — minimum
    Storage: 512GB SSD storage — minimum**
  • Extended Warranty: AppleCare Protection Plan***

*The Apple Macintosh is the computer most often used in the graphic design and advertising professions. It's possible, though not recommended, to use a similarly configured PC.

** If you can afford to add a larger hard drive, more memory, or a larger processor, it may be advantageous.

*** AppleCare extends the warranty and may be able to cover your computer for most of your time at UNT.



Stated prices are based on the included URL links. Lower prices may be available. The following software** should be configured to run on any computer regularly used by Communication Design majors enrolled in UNT College of Visual Arts and Design.

Adobe Creative Cloud Membership: $55.55 per academic year
Visit the Adobe Creative Cloud UNT-Student Discount information page on the CVAD News and Views website for more information. With the one-year UNT-student discount, students receive a one-year membership to all Adobe Creative Cloud software applications. 

Microsoft 365 for Mac
Microsoft Office for Mac for currently enrolled students is available at no additional cost through the UNT DSI-AITS web page: Office 356 Apps.

Suitcase Fusion 8: $59.95
Available through the Journey Ed Tech Store.

** Student discounts also are available through the following websites.



Note: Should you need a reasonable accommodation due to a disability to fully participate in a CVAD event, please contact the CVAD Dean's Office,, 940-565-4001. For voice access, dial 1-800-RELAYTX (735-2989). Please make the request as soon as possible to allow sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.

UNT is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, VA 20190-5248, phone: (703) 437-0700; fax: (703) 437-6312; email: In 2020, UNT achieved designation from the Department of Education as a Title III & Title V Minority-Serving Institution and as a Hispanic Serving Institution.