WSU Design Program


Join our design family and ignite your creativity







Applying to the Program

Students in their second semester in the program need to formally apply to be admitted into the Design Program. Students are required to display 8–10 pieces of their best work. Upon this, they must write a statement of their passions and goals, and fill out an application form. Semester and dates may vary for transfer students. Please reach out to your Design Academic Advisor for guidance during regular advising sessions. 

  • Apply Online  at Winona State University. (For incoming Freshmen and Transfer Students)
  • Declare yourself as a I–Design or Graphic Design major.
  • Complete required courses:
    • ART 150 Digital Design Fundamentals, 243 Typography and Layout Design, and ART 118 Foundational Drawing with a grade A or B.
    • Have a cumulative GPA of a 2.5 or above.
    • Knowledge of basic graphic software skill such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign. (Knowledge comes from taking required courses above)
  • Fill out a program application form.
  • Submit portfolio of diverse creative work.
  • Submit copies of the most recent college transcripts. (Unofficial copies are accepted for this purpose)
  • 800–1,200 words personal statement.
    • Describe how your past experiences, interests, and concerns relate to: your college choice, reason for choosing design as a major, and your career goals. Applicant is encouraged to write an extensive personal statement.
  • Two confidential skill & performance assessment.
    • Preferably from instructors familiar with the student’s creative work and/ or academic ability. Instructors should submit the forms in sealed envelopes directly to WSU Art & Design Department (please write on the envelope: Attention to Design Program Application) The letter will remain confidential and the property of WSU. The Skill & Performance Assessment form is provided in the Design Program Application packet.
    • Submit the application to the Art & Design Department or mail it to :
      • Design Program Application
        Winona State University
        Watkins Hall 204, Art & Design Department
        175 West Mark Street
        Winona, MN 55987
Warrior Game Day Experience 2019


Attend the AIGA Winona Student Group’s workshop put on by Design Senior Students in the Design Program to receive advice and ask questions about their experiences. Usually, there will be two workshops in advance of the Application start date. Keep an eye on social media announcements. 


Display a variety of work to showcase your creative skills and technical profieceny. Try not to concentrate on one strong skill. Show different areas of experimentation such as layout, typography, color, print, publication, 3D, video, painting, drawing, and digital. 


All digital work should be mounted on foam core and cut-down. Please use the same type of foam core boards for visual consistency. Work can be flush mounted or with a border. This way you will properly present and displays your creative work. Include 3D work, but if too large in nature photo-document it. 


All work should have a label. In your label include at least information regarding the title, medium, class, and year. Display your labels consistently in a visual system. For example, always place it in the left, bottom corner of the piece. 

Common Mistakes

Improper Alignment

Unintended misalignment will be viewed as a design choice even if it was not intended during placement. If the work does not need to be displayed together they should be mounted separately.

Not Mounting Work

Mounted work is easier to hang and handle and looks professional.

Improper Trim

Please trim all work evenly so that there is no fraying or jagged edges. Both the mounting board and work should be trimmed to the correct size leaving a small margin of mounting board around the final work.

Incorrect Book Sizes

All work placed in portfolio books should fit correctly inside the plastic sleeves. The mounting board should be trimmed to be sized to the edges inside the sleeve without sticking out of it.

Unmounted Loose Prints

Work should not be loose inside the sleeves of your portfolio book. This could end up causing damage to the work or allow it to fall out of the sleeve.

Not Reprinting Graded Work

Fresh copies should be prepared for submission. Correction marks, grades, and other markings that are not a part of the art will distract from the professionalism of your portfolio.