Skip to main content
KPU Surrey Campus

You are here

Frequently Asked Questions

One of the high tec iMacs used by the GDMA program.

What kinds of careers are available to me with a Graphic Design for Marketing degree?

Our graduates work in a wide range of graphic design, communications, marketing and public relations roles. To learn more, view our Career Options page or learn about our Alumni.

What kind of educational background do I need to apply for the Graphic Design for Marketing program? One of the best parts of our program is the diversity of our students. Many of our students have taken high school art or design courses, while others may have some experience with Adobe software, communications, marketing, or public relations. Don’t worry if your experience is limited – our program will teach you the skills you need. Our Application Info page will tell you more about the type of students who apply to our program.

What are the entrance requirements for the Graphic Design for Marketing program?

In addition to meeting KPU’s general admission requirements, successful applicants will be asked to submit a portfolio of work, demonstrate their abilities through a small design challenge, and participate in a short, informal interview with faculty. It’s our chance to get to know you, and your chance to get to know us. Learn more about our application process and portfolio requirements.

How do I apply to the program?

We accept applications from November 1st to March 1st. Learn more about our application process.

What is a selective entry program?

Selective entry means that we accept only 20 – 25 students per year and place other qualified students on a waitlist. This allows us to build a small, supportive community of students who have great potential to succeed.

What should I put in my portfolio?

Please visit our Portfolio Requirements page for more information. You can also attend one of our information sessions or other workshops.

When should I submit my portfolio?

When you are admitted into KPU you will be given a portfolio submission date. You can submit your portfolio in person, by mail or digitally by email. Click here for more information.

What happens after I submit my portfolio?

Your portfolio will be reviewed by our faculty. You will receive an email that will tell you if you’ve been invited to take the small design challenge and attend the interview. If you submitted a physical portfolio, the program assistant will give you information about the pickup dates and location.

What should I expect in my interview?

The interview will take approximately two hours. Upon arrival, you will fill out some forms and complete a design challenge. The interview is informal and will take 30-40 minutes. You will discuss your portfolio, your educational goals, and your career plans, as well as ask any questions you may have about the program.

I didn’t get in this year. Do I have a chance next year?

Absolutely! You are welcome to continue to develop your skills and your portfolio and reapply next year. However, if you want to get a head start, you can begin your studies by taking courses at KPU such as English 1100, Marketing 1199, or courses from the Graphic Design for Marketing program that are open to all KPU students such as GDMA 1140/1240 Design History and Society, in addition to taking six credits of liberal education courses. Another option for you to consider is the Foundations in Design program. This one-year certificate program will introduce you to design basics while helping you create a great portfolio. 

How much will my tuition cost?

The Graphic Design for Marketing degree is a four-year, 120-credit program. Please visit our KPU tuition and fees page for more details.

How much should I budget to spend on classroom materials?

Students will spend between $600 and $1000 on supplies and books.

What about a laptop? Should I buy one?

We are have an optional student laptop leasing program to ensure that students have access to the hardware and software they need to be successful. The Graphic Design for Marketing program is delivered in an e-mobile environment that uses laptop computers and specific software. Students are advised NOT to purchase a personal laptop computer until specifications and requirements have been provided to successful applicants. Options to purchase or lease laptop computers with the requisite course software will be provided by KPU.

Are students eligible for student loans?

Graphic Design for Marketing students may be eligible for student loans. To obtain a BC Student Assistance Application, contact the Student Awards and Financial Assistance Office.

Where is the program offered?

The Graphic Design for Marketing program is offered in our beautiful new building, on the Richmond campus, which is just steps from the Lansdowne Skytrain station. 

I work in the graphic design industry. Can I get credit for my work experience?
You may be eligible for a Prior Learning Assessment if your industry experience is similar to what is taught in GDMA courses. Please see this page for more information.

I have more questions. Who should I contact?

We love talking to prospective students! Please contact us.

I would like to recruit graphic design students for a design contest or spec work. How should I do this?

While we thank you for your interest in our students’ creative talents, we do not accept invitations for our students to participate in design contests or calls for spec work (unpaid design work). The Graphic Design for Marketing program functions in accordance with the Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) Code of Ethics.

If you would like to hire one of our students for contract work, a part-time job, or a paid internship, or if you are a registered non-profit company looking for a student volunteer, please contact us