Bachelor of Design (Honours)

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Applying as a Canadian applicant

Domestic students should apply online or by phone at 1-888-892-2228.

Applying as an International applicant

International students should apply online. Note: not all start dates are available to international students.

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Admissions - September 2021

Admission requirements

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent, OR 19 years of age or older
  • A minimum of six (6) Grade 12 courses at the U or M level with a minimum cumulative average of 65%, one of which must be Grade 12 compulsory English (ENG4U) with a minimum grade of 70% (Higher averages are often required for admission due to competition for available spaces in the program.)
  • Applicants who meet the academic strength requirements must attend a program information session and present a portfolio of their creative work.

Note re: admission requirements

  • It is recommended that one of the six courses be any U level mathematics.
  • Applicants not meeting the admission requirements may pursue a variety of different pathways into the Bachelor of Design degree including Design Foundations and Media Foundations.
  • Graduates of three-year advanced graphic design diploma programs may be eligible for admission into third year after completing a bridge. Assessment will be done on a case-by-case basis. Contact Conestoga's Credit Transfer Office for information.
  • Applicants with transcripts from institutions where the language of instruction is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency with a minimum test score on one of the following language proficiency tests or equivalent scores from another internationally recognized English language test:
    • IELTS overall band of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0
    • TOEFL iBT 88
    • CAEL 70, no sub-test band score less than 60
    • PTE Academic 58
    • Conestoga English Language Test (CELT) Band 6
  • We offer a language program for students whose English language skills are below the standard required for admission but who have met all other admission criteria. You will be eligible for admission to the degree program after completion of level 4 of the General Arts and Science – English Language Studies (ELS) program with an overall grade average of 80% and no grade less than 75%. Your placement in the ELS program is determined by scores on an in-house English language test or TOEFL or IELTS.

Canadian admissions contact

International admissions contact

Admission procedures

  • Academic strength is calculated by averaging all submitted Grade 12 marks (or equivalent) of the required subjects. If more than one grade is received for required subjects, the highest grades will be used in the calculation.
  • Applicants meeting minimum academic requirements are invited to begin the selection process which requires them to attend a program information meeting where they will present a portfolio of their design-related work.
    • Out-of-province applicants, or distant applicants, may provide electronic portfolios and may have phone or InterviewStream/Skype portfolio presentations.
  • Presentation
    • The portfolio presentation provides the applicant with an opportunity to show and explain their work. Through the presentation, the program faculty assess the applicant's communication skills and aptitude for the program.
    • A portfolio consists of samples of the applicant's work. A maximum of 15 pieces of art and design-related work may be presented. Examples of portfolio work include: logos, symbols, lettering, paintings, sculptures, drawings and sketches, finished illustrations, graphic design, web design, and/or other applied graphics.
    • Applicants are encouraged to include a sketchbook that elaborates on their research, concept development, and refinement skills.
  • Final selection is made using a formula that combines academic strength with the portfolio’s design survey, creative, technical, and presentation scores.
  • A sound English background is important for success in this program and is considered during the admission selection process. Minimum cutoffs apply.
  • Graduates of an Ontario Graphic Design advanced diploma may be eligible for admission into third year with a modified timetable of courses. Applicants will be ranked based on an assessment of academic performance (grades), as well as a portfolio review and writing assessment. Please apply to level 5 of program 2336C.

Portfolio requirements

The portfolio submission is a mandatory component of the admission process for the Bachelor of Design program.

Portfolio review

Admissible applicants must attend an online information session and present a portfolio as part of the admission process.

Information meeting

During the virtual meeting, you will learn about the program, meet with students and present your portfolio to faculty.

Portfolio presentation

  • Provide access to your completed design survey you received with your letter of admissions for review during the portfolio presentation.
  • Presentations are 10 minutes.
  • Present your portfolio via Zoom to professors in the Bachelor of Design program.
  • Discuss your work in a professional manner (your creative and communication skills are important for the presentation).
  • Ensure that all digital work is accessible and available for review. Physical portfolio elements can be displayed on camera during your presentation.
  • It is advised that applicants photograph and/or scan their portfolio pieces and have them ready as a PDF in case of connectivity issues.

Portfolio contents

  • Portfolios should include a maximum of 15 diverse pieces of your best work.
  • Some examples include:
    • drawings (charcoal, pastel, pencil, pencil crayon, etc.),
    • computer artwork (digital photo manipulations),
    • layouts that combine text and images (posters, stationery, business cards, letterhead, year book layouts, etc.),
    • illustrations,
    • technical drawings (perspectives, diagrams, floor plans, elevations, etc.),
    • lettering and typeface samples,
    • photography, and
    • sculptures.
  • A sketchbook is not included in the total number of portfolio pieces - you may present 15 diverse pieces plus your sketchbook.
  • Sketchbooks can include concept or process work, cartoons, loose sketches, etc.
  • Sketchbooks can be presented on camera or select pages can be photographed and scanned and presented as a PDF.

Please note:

  • Acceptance to the program is based on an assessment of the portfolio in conjunction with your academic strength.
  • Internet access is required. Portfolio reviews will not be conducted in person.

Program requirements

  • This is a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program.
  • The academic requirements to be eligible for a co-op work term in a degree program are as follows:
    • Minimum 65% session weighted average in the eligibility term two academic semesters prior to any co-op work term
    • Maximum two failures or withdrawals during the academic semester that occurs in the eligibility term two academic semesters prior to any co-op work term
    • Must have successfully completed all but two core courses, according to the program design, by the eligibility term prior to any given work term (regardless of the level the student was placed in advanced standing)
    • Students (even those on special timetables) will not be permitted to complete a co-op work term until conditions above are met and all but two core course deficiencies, according to the program design, are cleared
    • Co-op work terms may need to be re-sequenced to allow academic deficiencies to be cleared or in the event a student changes cohorts (i.e. graduation is delayed by one year or more). Students may not repeat a passed work term
    • Should a student’s academic performance decline considerably during the term just prior to any work term, the college reserves the right to withdraw the student from the upcoming work term
    • In the case of back-to-back work terms eligibility to participate in consecutive work terms will be granted upon approval to participate in the initial work term
    • Where two or more work terms occur back-to-back, should a student fail to achieve academic eligibility for the first work term, their eligibility for the second work term will be based on the term that occurs two terms prior to the second work term
    • Students in degree programs may only fail/defer each work term in their program design once

Credit transfer

You might be eligible to enter a program at an advanced level, or be exempt from a course, if you have formal post-secondary education. Learn more about credit transfer opportunities.


Some Conestoga programs have pathways for current students, including certificate-to-diploma, diploma-to-diploma and diploma-to-degree opportunities. Learn more about pathways at Conestoga.

Articulation agreements

Conestoga partners with other post-secondary institutions, allowing students the opportunity to study elsewhere, usually in pursuit or an academic credential. Learn more about articulation agreements.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

Through PLAR, Conestoga may credit prior learning or skills acquired through employment, formal and informal education, or life experiences. Learn more about PLAR at Conestoga.

Ministry consent

Conestoga College has been granted a consent by the Minister of Colleges and Universities to offer this applied degree for a seven-year term commencing May 13, 2020. Conestoga shall ensure that all students admitted to the above-named program during the period of consent will have the opportunity to complete the program within a reasonable time frame. Application to the Ministry for renewal of the consent to deliver is a prescribed and cyclical requirement for all degree programs at all Ontario colleges.


The College reserves the right to alter information including requirements and fees and to cancel at any time a program, course, or program major or option; to change the location and/or term in which a program or course is offered; to change the program curriculum as necessary to meet current competencies in the job market or for budgetary reasons; or to withdraw an offer of admission both prior to and after its acceptance by an applicant or student because of insufficient applications or registrations, over-acceptance of offers of admission, budgetary constraints, or for other such reasons. In the event the College exercises such a right, the College’s sole liability will be the return of monies paid by the applicant or student to the College. Students actively registered in cohort delivered programs who take longer than the designed program length of time to complete their studies are accountable for completing any new or additional courses that may result due to changes in the program of study. Unless otherwise stated, students registered in non-cohort delivered programs must complete the program of study within seven years of being admitted to the program.