Communication Design Entry-Portfolio 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 | Now Closed

The UNT Communication Design Entry-Portfolio Review is a two-stage review for currently-enrolled students. The first stage is a digital 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 SlideRoom app by Date is TBA

Selected students will be assigned a time to participate in an interview via Zoom on Date TBA.

Digital Application Requirements

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

*Allowed media types: images (up to 5MB each), video (up to 250MB each), PDFs (up to 10MB each), other types (.website each) (up to 10MB each), external media from YouTube and Vimeo. 

In-Person Application Requirements

Personal sketchbook of process work
Drawing utensils and drawing pad (approximately 9" x 12”)
Transcripts (unofficial is preferred)

Digital Portfolio Review

Due by Date to TBA

Required Materials

Six Examples of Work
Sketchbook Slide Presentation
Design-Centered Worksheets

Six Examples of Work

Each applicant must upload six examples of work that best represents their skill set and potential as a communication design student. The work can be produced in any medium of your choosing (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 at SlideRoom. The application costs $10. Students are encouraged to present work that shows a broad range of interests and abilities. Work should exhibit your ability to draw, create, and conceptualize compelling designs or images that utilize design principles and color theory effectively. Work may come from your art foundation core classes, high school coursework, or work done outside of the classroom. More than 100 students typically apply for our program, so consider how your work might stand out. Also, be aware that reviewers will not know the criteria/parameters that you were attempting to satisfy in certain examples of the work you’ll 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.

Sketchbook Slide Presentation

A personal sketchbook of your process work and daily reflections is required for the in-person review. The sketchbook should/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 sketchbook and a minimum of 10 spreads to a maximum of 20 spreads. Arrange these spreads in a slide presentation using Adobe PDF, MS PowerPoint, MS Word, or some other program. Save the final version as a PDF to upload with your submission packet. The sketchbook should capture your process and convey your commitment to the discipline of design through deep exploration and refinement of ideas. The sketches need not be polished sketches but should effectively capture 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 Entry-Portfolio submission through SlideRoom.


Applicants will be notified via email by [Date is TBA]. Those selected will be invited to participate in the interview via Zoom on [Date is TBA]

In-Person Review

TBA: December 2022

Required Materials

Drawing utensils and drawing pad (approximately 9" x 12")

Group 1

8:30 a.m.

Ignition and Interviews

8:30–11 a.m.

Group 2

2 p.m.

Ignition and Interviews

2–4:30 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 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 Communication Design consists of the remaining art foundations core. Any student accepted into the Communication Design program through the Entry-Portfolio 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 2021 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” tracing or marker paper is 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 talk about their design approach and background.


Applicants will be notified of the final results via email by the Date is TBA

Final Notification

Notification Delivery

All notifications will come via email. The notification will be delivered to the email you use when you create your Slideroom account. If you are a current UNT student, create your SlideRoom account with your official UNT account, as your acceptance email will arrive via your official UNT email account. 


Students who are not selected should schedule a meeting with their CVAD academic advisor to develop an alternative degree plan and a schedule for the next semester — do this immediately after you receive your program acceptance or non-acceptance email. 


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

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 semester. This class is a prerequisite for the Fall Communication Design coursework (ADES 1510: Typography 1, and ADES 2515: Image Making & Color Theory). If you will be unable to take ADES 1540 in the spring semester, then you are advised to wait until the next Entry Review. More information on ADES 1540 can be found through the UNT Registrar’s Office schedule of classes and the UNT Course Catalog. 

Computer Requirements

All students accepted will be required to have a laptop — please refer to our computer requirements — and the appropriate software by the beginning week of the spring semester. See the Computer Laptop requirement on this page.   

Technology Requirements

While the purchase of a 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 these specifications. Laptops are required for this program and tablets or at-home desktop computers will not be considered an acceptable substitute.


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

16-inch MacBook Pro

  • Apple M1 Pro chip
  • 10-Core CPU
  • 16-Core GPU
  • 16GB Unified Memory
  • TB SSD Storage**
  • 16-core Neural Engine
  • 16-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
  • Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, MagSafe 3 port
  • Magic Keyboard with Touch ID
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • 140W USB-C Power Adapter


13-inch MacBook Pro

  • Chip: M2
  • 8-Core CPU
  • 10-Core GPU
  • 8GB Unified Memory (16GB preferred)
  • 256GB SSD Storage¹
  • 16-core Neural Engine
  • 13-inch Retina display with True Tone
  • Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
  • Magic Keyboard
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Force Touch trackpad

*Apple Stores offer a buy-back program with credit toward the purchase of a new computer. Apple 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 the UNT College of Visual Arts and Design.

Adobe Creative Cloud Membership: $55.55 per academic year
Visit the UNT-Student Discount web page.

Microsoft Office for Mac
Free for currently enrolled students: Office 356 Apps web page.

** Student discounts are available through the following sources.

» FontBase: free font management software
» AIGA website, the professional organization for design. Note: Apple and Adobe discounts are available with membership. CVAD has an active design student group in the Communication Design program. UNT AIGA Instagram: aiga.unt


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.