Elisava School of Design
Graphic Design Master's Degree
One Year

The Elisava Master’s Degree in Graphic Design focuses on teaching contemporary design and communication techniques, while offering students the opportunity to specialize in editorial design and/or in environmental graphic design. Students are encouraged to create and produce unique projects in order to develop their own visual language. This program also emphasizes the role of the graphic designer in contemporary society as an agent of cultural transformation

Degree Length
One year; Fall Intake.

Application Requirements
Complete online application
Portfolio (4 pages / 2MB size max; PDF)
Letter of motivation (1 page; PDF)
Curriculum Vitae (2 pages; PDF)
Official Bachelor’s Degree transcript
Passport scan (photo page; PDF)
EU privacy consent form

Application Deadline
Fall Intake: May 1
Apps accepted after deadline as space permits

Program Dates
Fall Intake: Early September – Early August

Eligibility Requirements

Age: 18+

Academic: Completed Bachelor’s degree

*contact SAI if you don’t meet requirements

Undergraduate GPA:* 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)

English Language:* Non-native English language speakers must submit IELTS: 5+, or proof of attending school in English for 3+ years.

Coming soon

Program Description
The Master’s degree in Graphic Design is designed to deliver content through problem-solving dynamics that simulate professional world experience. The degree is split into two semester segments:

Graphic Design Applied to Communication equips the designer with a holistic and multi-disciplinary vision. It is structured around 9 to 12 practical projects exploring the versatility of the contemporary designer faced with different needs, environments, processes and languages. It also includes three intensive workshops.

Graphic Design and Publishing Projects offers specialization, tackling one of the most complex disciplines in the profession. The emergence of digital technology has exponentially grown the potential of publishing projects. Students delve into the subject through three major projects that are worked on in parallel. In addition to the projects, and in a more intense and short format, students engage in workshops with the aim of increasing awareness of how content affects the publication. The course is rounded out with modules on publishing and other complementary disciplines (illustration, photography, etc.).

Typographic consulting is offered throughout the course to help students with typographic issues during project implementation.

Goals and Competencies
The degree adheres to the following objectives, focused on strengthening students’ individual abilities:

  • Give designers the ability to understand and respond to the multifaceted reality of design.
  • Make designers feel comfortable and prepared to tackle diverse yet complementary projects, which form the profession’s current spectrum.
  • Encourage designers to have an attitude that enables them to strategically choose the paths less travelled, which are more innovative and outstanding.
  • Provide an overview of the current outlook from the main players in the profession.
  • Acquire in-depth knowledge of the various kinds of projects in the publishing world for different kinds of content.
  • Know who the main players in the publishing world are: recognize their potential and how they complement one another.
  • Learn the tools and the specific working process of the publishing world.

Student Profile
This degree is aimed at graduates in Design, Communication, Advertising, Fine Arts and professionals with proven experience in this field.

Due After Acceptance
After acceptance, students must submit an Apostille-Certified Bachelor’s Degree of University Diploma. The Hague Apostille (Apostille Convention) is a method of validating a public document for use outside of its origin country. In the United States the Competent Authorities designated to issue Apostilles are the Secretaries of States. Students wishing to enroll in graduate level coursework at Elisava must receive an Apostille on their degree from the state of the degree’s issuance.

The Graphic Design Master’s Degree is composed of two semesters of study taught in block style. As part of the problem-solving dynamics mirroring the professional world, the course is centered around practical projects led by top professionals, which explore the versatility contemporary designers need to tackle the various requirements, environments, processes and languages.

Graphic Design Applied to Communication

  1. Naming, identity, graphics systems, and corporate typography: Providing sound wide-ranging experience of identity programs as a conceptual basis to address the majority of the typical problems arising in visual communication.
  1. Publishing, packaging, signage, data display: Planning and designing information as a mechanism to anticipate and satisfy users’ various needs. Development of effective, understandable and easy-to-use mediums of communication.
  1. Advertising graphics, motion graphics, website, interaction: Understanding new digital media as additional and necessary tools when tackling increasingly global and hybrid communication projects in which new parameters such as time, movement, sound, interactivity, immediateness, new media, portability, etc., are added to the parameters of conceptualization and development involved in graphics projects.
  1. Typography consultancy: Throughout the course, well-known typography professionals answer questions about the subject which have arisen whilst producing the projects.
  1. Conferences and case studies: Conferences and/or case studies are scheduled throughout the course with prestigious national and international speakers who provide new views, reflections and references which further knowledge of the exercise of the profession based on their own experiences.
  1. Transversal studies: design management: There are single-subject sessions throughout the course to impart knowledge on design management, system optimization and work resources.
  1. Transversal studies: constellation of collaborators: There are single-subject sessions throughout the course to learn about the professionals who work alongside designers: strategists, programmers, exhibition organizers and architects, etc.

Graphic Design and Publishing Projects

  1. Publishing design and project – Content service: We will study the characteristics of publishing projects based on parameters we will have to establish as bases for the periodic publication of information and/or pre-established contents (magazines, press, etc.). Detecting the complexity involved in limiting structure, typography, editing, rhythm, etc., in which the versatility of the decisions taken will dictate whether the browsing, reading and understanding of the information published will come naturally to the recipient.
  1. The content-based design of the publishing project: It takes the nature of the content as a starting point, and is constructed specifically for this content. Monographs, thematic books, catalogues and even collections, in which designers must perform an immersion exercise and extract conclusions which then have to be reflected in the project. The decision-making involved in any publishing project becomes more complex when the medium, format, finishes, etc., become an added communication element.
  1. The digital publishing project: New formats, new media, new requirements in a world where access to information and contents is immediate. Devising new media, in which recipients sift the information and decide which type they want and when they want it. Designers must anticipate new forms of publishing products adapted to new digital media in which the complexity not only lies in the correct choice of typography, color, image, structure, etc., but also in anticipating the limits or non-limits of extending, consulting and researching the contents, aiming for innovative and intuitive usability which seduces users.
  1. Workshops with case studies and project workshops: There will be four workshops running in parallel to the projects with a more concise format. Becoming aware of how content determines publication. Ranging from the trend magazine in the self-produced fanzine and including the importance of image and desktop publishing in the publishing sector. Real cases will be used to produce immediate and surprising proposals in the workshops.
  1. Typography consultancy: Throughout the course, well-known typography professionals answer questions about the subject which have arisen whilst producing the projects.
  1. Conferences and case studies: Conferences and/or case studies are scheduled throughout the course with prestigious national and international speakers who provide new views, reflections and references which further knowledge of the exercise of the graphic designer profession in the publishing sector based on their own experiences.
  1. Publishing production: We will study the production side of projects at the same time as their development. Formats, paper, printing type, bindings, finishes, handling, etc. Monitoring of the entire production process, studying all the professions involved, with theoretical classes and visits.
SAI Program Fees* USD
Application Fee $140
Program Fee:
Includes tuition, Master’s degree and SAI Select Services (see What’s Included).
Contact SAI
Optional / Additional Fees:  
International Mailing Supplement
When applicable, students are charged an international mailing supplement to ensure visa paperwork arrives in a timely manner.

*prices are subject to change

Budget Low Est. High Est.
Airfare to/from Barcelona
$900 $1,500
Cost depends on travel to Consulate.
$160 $360
Books, Supplies & Course Fees $300 $500
Includes groceries and eating out.
$400 / month $800 / month
SAI can provide recommendations.
$1,000 / month $1,300 / month
Personal Expenses $350 / month $450 / month
Transportation within Barcelona
Public transportation with some taxi rides.
$100 / month $150 / month
Weekend Travel
Cost varies greatly by student.
$300 / month $1,000 / month

This is an SAI Select Services Program; it includes the important on-site services!

  • Master’s Degree awarded by Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and Elisava Barcelona School of Design and Engineering
  • Program tuition
  • Student health insurance providing full coverage and medical emergency evacuation
  • SAI orientation to the host city and school
  • SAI staff on-site providing assistance as needed and 24-hour emergency support

Pre-departure and Re-entry services

  • US-based admissions counselor assigned to you, providing friendly assistance
  • Helpful pre-departure tools and resources
  • Assistance with student visa application
  • Paid registration fees for national re-entry conferences
  • SAI alumni network

Housing is not included in SAI Select Services Programs. However, your SAI Admissions Counselor will be happy to provide you with information and recommendations for housing agencies, dormitories, and rentals in Barcelona. Students who do not have prior housing arrangements should begin speaking with their Admissions Counselor as soon as possible. All students are required to submit to SAI information regarding their housing arrangements prior to program start

Passports should be valid for 6 months after planned departure from Spain.

Student Visas
In accordance with Spanish law students studying in Spain for 6 months or more are required to obtain a long stay student visa. Those with Spanish/EU citizenship are exempted. Non-US nationals should consult their local Consulate for details on student visa requirements.