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Bachelor of Design in Communication Design Major

Emily Carr University of Art + Design
4 years
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
Inquire for more information

Program description

Bachelor of Design: Communication Design Major

A major in Communication Design will empower you to express ideas, brands, and storylines clearly and creatively.

All our majors commence upon completion of our Foundation Year requirements.

In our complex world, effective, clear communication through visual design is always in demand. Learn to design strong solutions and solve communication challenges with our Communication Design Major. Studies combine theory and practice, exploring cultural, historical, technical, ecological, and theoretical issues. With this knowledge, you will be ready to develop an engaging and sought after visual design practice.

Communication Design offers progressively challenging experiences over the final three years of study in your four-year degree program. The focus is on developing comprehensible design of messages and experiences. You begin with a required mix of core studio and critical studies courses, then move toward flexible electives that allow you to customize your design education. Electives include print design, interactivity, and motion graphics. Within these areas of specialization, choose to focus on illustration, typography, wayfinding, information design and other opportunities. The program emphasizes 2D design - in print or on screen - plus opportunities to investigate overlapping areas in 3D design

After first year Foundation studies at Emily Carr, you will apply to enter the Communications Design Major in your second year.

Admission requirements

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements

The minimum academic requirement for admission to Emily Carr University undergraduate programs is graduation from grade 12 secondary school, with five grade 12 subjects, including English 12 with a minimum grade of 'C', two other grade 12 academic courses and two grade 12 elective courses. The minimum overall grade point average required for admission is 2.5 or C+ or 67%. All elective courses must be grade 12 and can be Ministry Approved, Board Approved or Locally Developed. Requirement vary depending on your location. Visit our website to ensure your application satisfies the minimum requirements, and look for “First Year Academic Requirements”.

If English is not your first language you will need to submit an English Proficiency test. We are also pleased to offer a Creative Art Pathway (CAP) program for potential Emily Carr Students who do not meet the English Language proficiency requirements. Learn more on the English Proficiency page on our website.

Whether you are applying for first year Foundation or as a transfer student, all applicants to Emily Carr University must submit a portfolio online through SlideRoom as part of the admission process. Your portfolio requirements may include examples of your work, responses to prompts using a variety of media/materials, and written responses. Find detailed portfolio requirements on our website.

Graduate Admissions Requirements

As a graduate applicant you must apply online using the EducationPlannerBC Application Service. You will only be able to select Emily Carr from the list of BC institutions when applications open. A non-refundable application fee is required for all graduate applications.

If your first language is not English you must submit an official English language proficiency test score.

Lastly, you must prepare and submit your portfolio and supporting documents.

Applicants must submit a portfolio and supporting documents online. Supporting documents include:

• Statement of Intent

• Recommendation Letters

• Curriculum Vitae/Resume

• Video Question

We will contact you with a decision about your application via email. We will also mail you the selection process results. For detailed admissions requirements and application information, please visit our website.

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Program content



  • FNDT 108 Creative Processes
  • FNDT 165 Core Interdisc  Studio
  • Foundation Studio Elective

Choose ONE of:

  • FNDT 160 Core Media Studio I
  • FNDT 161 Core Design Studio I
  • FNDT 164 Core Visual Arts Studio I
  • HUMN 100 Academic Core I
  • HUMN 101 Academic Core II



  • COMD 200 Core Studio in COMD
  • COMD204 Typographic Comm
  • COMD 210 Core Studio in COMD
  • Elective, any subject/level
  • DHS 201 Design Culture II
  • SOCS 202 Eco Perspective in Design
  • Critical Studies Elective 200 level



  • COMD 300 Core Studio in COMD
  • COMD 310 Core Studio in COMD
  • SOCS 309 Design Research
  • Critical Studies Elective 300 level



  • COMD 400 Core Studio in COMD
  • COMD 410 Core Studio in COMD
  • Studio Elective 200/300/400 level
  • Elective, any subject/level
  • SOCS 411 Professional Practice
  • DHIS 400 Design Futures

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the institute website for more information.


Your studies will focus steadily in this field over the last three years of your four year degree. Upon completion you will achieve the undergraduate degree and designation, Bachelor Design, Majoring in Communications Design (BDes, CommD). See the Admissions section about application information for undergraduate, international, transfer, and aboriginal students.

The program aims are to:

  • equip you with theoretical and practical tools of communication design;
  • prepare you to develop a relevant design practice with sensitivity to global, ethical, environmental and technological challenges;
  • cover principles and methods of typography, verbal and graphic language, and critical problem-solving in advanced levels of design practice; fostering an understanding of the design process as problem-solving with a focus on the audience or user, and intuitive thinking, making, and applied research;
  • support your learning through real-world, collaborative projects including internships, co-op placements or work experiences in studios, agencies, and workplaces in industry-related sectors;
  • foster a vibrant design community within Vancouver, British Columbia, and Canada to strengthen the status of communication design in the private and public sectors regionally as well as globally.

Continuing studies

We offer flexible continuing studies programs for anyone that wants to learn new creative skills, build their portfolio, and advance their career path. Choose from dozens of individual courses and workshops, or sign up for one of our full or part-time certificate programs. 

Undergraduate students are also welcomed to expand their breadth of learning by taking Continuing Studies courses outside their degree program. To get started, browse our available programs online today. 

Career opportunities

Inspiring job titles of our graduates

Communication Design Officer, Principal Designer, Social Media Strategist, Interface Designer, Graphic Designer, Creative Director, Global Head, Employee Communications, Visual Designer, Creative Strategist

Dynamic employers that have recruited our graduates

SAP, Hootsuite, Facebook,POP, 10Four Design Group, Visier Inc., Ruby on Rails, BC Children's Hospital Foundation, Capcom Game Studio

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About this institute

Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU)

Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU) is a world-class university dedicated to art, design and media education. ECU was ranked the top art and design university in Canada, and among the top 50 universities world-wide by QS Rankings...

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Why study at Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Emily Carr University of Art + Design is a school of students, teachers, thinkers and makers unlike any other – at once laser-focused and infinite by practice and nature. Established in 1925, we are the only specialized, accredited, public, post-secondary university in British Columbia solely devoted to education and research in the creative sector and its associated knowledge economy. We merge research, critical theory and studio practice in an interdisciplinary environment, strengthening our work by the integration of our personal and professional practices. Our strategy, facilities, partnerships and resources are intentionally student-centred to foster dialogue, expression and open connections in support of the next generation of creative and cultural leaders.

Our home base in Vancouver – a young, vibrant city, known for its verve, beauty and unparalleled livability – reflects our core belief: Creativity will always be our greatest natural resource, individually and collectively. Inspired by this belief, our programs offer undergraduate, graduate degrees, and applied research in the fields of visual arts, media arts, and design, as well as professional certificates, pre-university, and lifelong learning in these areas.

Contact info

Emily Carr University of Art + Design

520 East 1st Ave
V5T 0H2 Vancover, BH British Columbia

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