Visual Communication Design

General Planning Tips For Visual Communication Design 

  • Start planning for your study abroad experience early.  You can take KU Core, studio requirements, ADS courses and/or Vis Comm courses abroad and still stay on track for graduation.
  • Study abroad is a great way to satisfy your KU Core requirements.  Therefore, it is a good idea to reserve some of your KU Core classes to take abroad.  
  • Scholarships are available for study abroad both through KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement and national organizations.  Research your opportunities early.
  • Courses to take at KU: There may be certain courses within the Visual Communication Design curriculum that you should plan to take at KU. Meet with your academic advisor to learn more about any restrictions that may exist in your curriculum so that you can effectively plan for a study abroad experience.

When To Go

Freshman and Sophomore

  • Schedule a meeting with a design academic advisor during your first semester at KU to discuss your four year plan and identify specific courses as well as specific timing opportunities for your study abroad experience.
  • After you’ve met with your academic advisor, continue your program research by visiting the KU Study Abroad Info Center in Lippincott Hall. Study abroad peer advisors can help you to identify suitable study abroad options based upon the information you received from your advisor.
  • Studying abroad usually requires two letters of recommendation, so it’s good to start identifying individuals who can speak to your academic qualifications as well as your ability to be successful during an international experience.
  • Because you will be taking your foundation courses during freshman year, and you will have your Portfolio Review during sophomore year, it is not recommended to study abroad for a full semester during those times.
  • The summer after your freshman year would be a great time to take some of your KU Core or general elective courses abroad.  There are several design specific faculty-led programs that you can participate in the summer after your sophomore or junior year. Applications for these programs are usually due March 1st, so visit the Study Abroad Info Center early in the spring semester to learn more about your options.


  • The spring of your junior year is the best time to study abroad for a full semester.  Look for studio classes, history of art, KU Core, general electives and academic concentration requirements abroad. The deadline to apply for spring semester programs is October 1st.
  • Junior level design courses that are commonly offered abroad include VISC 414 and ADS 560.


  • Study abroad is not recommended for your senior year. If you plan to study abroad as a senior, you should first meet with an academic advisor prior to applying for a program to make sure that you are on track to complete all your degree requirements. 

Courses and Credit

  • A number of study abroad courses have already been pre-approved for KU credit.  To see available pre-approved courses, visit the Course Equivalencies Database.
  • If you want to take a class/classes that have not been pre-approved, complete the credit approval process.

Recommended Programs For Visual Communication Design

To help you get started on your search, here are some recommended programs for visual communication design. We also encourage you to visit the study abroad Info Center for drop-in advising to meet with a Peer Advisor to discuss your interests and learn more about available options.