WWU BFA 2021

Western’s Design BFA program is a competitive degree option which allows designers to build and refine their future work portfolios while expanding their world view of design. The BFA, limited to a maximum of 12 students per year, allows designers to explore passion projects, develop stylistically, discover niche interests within the industry, as well as learn to work with a small creative team.

Courses in the BFA year focus on the integration of graphic, production and digital media design and the solution of visual communication problems. A specialty of the program is the seminar and workshop structure. Workshops are led by designers working in the industry, whereas seminars are faculty-led classes which change topics depending on the cohorts interests and strengths. The students have their own studio to work in, creating a unique work environment that mimics that of a real design firm. The high-intensity and quickly-paced learning environment provides the opportunity and space to experiment, play, and, most importantly, grow.


Typically every summer, the students are guaranteed an internship. providing professional experience before the school year starts. Internship locations can range from right here in Bellingham, to as far as California. Most commonly, students have spent their summers in Seattle, working at both freelance and in-house design firms.

Due to the unprecedented global pandemic, the 2020-21 BFA cohort has adapted their class structure to working remotely. This is the first time in BFA history where the 12 students have had their physical studio structure completely deconstructed. Instead, seminars and workshops are held completely virtually over zoom and discussions and files are shared via Slack. Despite all the hurdles that 2020 threw at us, this year’s cohort has opened a new door towards experiencing the future of designing remotely, collaborating virtually, and breaking free from convention.