Visual Communication Design Major (B.F.A.)

Program Overview

The Visual Communication Design Major is a rigorous, pre-professional program stressing concept development and visual communication skills necessary to prepare content and imagery for print, interactive media and the Web. Students gain a comprehensive understanding of the discipline and build a portfolio of work to begin a career in the graphic design profession. The program is based in the Department of Art and Design. For further information, go to: Visual Communication Design (BFA).

Program Requirements Overview

General Education Requirements19
World Languages and Cultures Requirements6-9
Major Requirements84
Free Electives11-8
Total Credits120

Major Requirements

Core Requirements
ARFD 101Surface3
or PRDN 100 Design Visualization I - Concept Sketching
ARFD 103Color and Light3
VIST 102Visual Culture3
VIST 105Global Foundations in Art and Visual Culture3
VIST 262See What I Mean: A History of Visual Communication Design3
VIST 306Critical Design Studies3
Core Elective
Complete one course from the following:3
Perceptual Drawing
Drawing as Research
Digital Literacy
Anatomical Drawing for Product Designers
Special Topics in Global Art Cultures
Studio Requirements
VCDS 120Typography I3
VCDS 201Visual Communication Design Studio I3
VCDS 220Typography II3
VCDS 225Creative Coding3
VCDS 301Visual Communication Design Studio II3
VCDS 311Visual Communication Design Studio III3
VCDS 320User Interface Design3
VCDS 401Visual Communication Design Studio IV Thesis3
VCDS 411Visual Communication Design Studio V Portfolio/Thesis Exhibition3
VCDS 465Motion Design3
Collateral Courses
CMST 110Introduction to Communication and Media3
ENTR 260Introduction to Innovation and 3D Printing3
ENTR 360Advanced Innovation and Digitally Mediated Making3
ENTR 460Applied Digital Innovation Design, and Lean Fabrication3
MKTG 240Introduction to Marketing3
Major Electives
Complete six courses from the list below.18
Total Credits84

Major Electives

ARGS 260Special Topics in Art and Design1-12
ANTH 100Cultural Anthropology3
ARIL 101Introduction to Illustration3
ARIL 200Digital Painting Methods3
ARIL 225Art of the Visual Narrative3
ARPH 201Digital Photo and Imaging I3
ARPM 262Screen Printing3
ARST 205Photography3
ARST 206Printmaking3
ARTX 120Introduction to Apparel Construction3
ARTX 201Culture and Appearance3
ARTX 220Textile and Apparel Colloquium3
ARTX 230Fashion Illustration3
BUGN 280Strategic Business Communications3
CMST 200Going Viral3
CMST 225New Media and Participatory Culture3
FMTV 201Digital Filmmaking I3
FMTV 252Fundamentals of Film and Television3
MKTG 250Professional Selling3
MUTC 101Music and Computer Technology I3
MUGN 109Introduction to Jazz3
MUGN 120Rap and Rock as Cultural Phenomena3
MUGN 152Music in Film3
POLS 100Introduction to Politics3
PRDN 201Design Visualization III - Digital Sketching3
PSYC 101Introduction to Psychology3
VCDS 335Visual Communication Design Co‐op3
VIST 203Modern Philosophies of Art3

General Education Requirements

Click here for a list of courses that fulfill General Education categories.

A. New Student Seminar
Complete a 1 credit New Student Seminar course.1
C. Communication
1. Writing 3
2. Literature3
3. Communication 3
F. Humanities
1. Great Works and Their Influences
Fulfilled in the major.
Global Foundations in Art and Visual Culture
Modern Visions 1400-1945
2. Philosophical and Religious Perspectives 3
G. Computer Science
Complete a 3 credit Computer Science course.3
K. Social Science
1. American and European History 3
Total Credits19

World Languages and Cultures Requirements

Click here for a list of courses that fulfill World Languages and Cultures categories.

World Languages
Based on language placement exam, complete one or two sequential courses in the same language.3-6
World Cultures
Requirement may be fulfilled by course selected in General Education - Social Science: Global Cultural Perspectives.0-3
Total Credits3-9

Recommended Roadmap to Degree Completion

This recommended four-year plan is provided as an outline for students to follow in order to complete their degree requirements within four years.  This plan is a recommendation and students should only use it in consultation with their academic advisor.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
GENERAL EDUCATION: (A) New Student Seminar 1
World Cultures 3
ARFD 101
or Design Visualization I - Concept Sketching
VCDS 120 Typography I 3
VIST 102 Visual Culture 3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (C2) Literature 3
GENERAL EDUCATION: (C3) Communication 3
ARFD 103 Color and Light 3
CMST 110 Introduction to Communication and Media 3
Core Elective 3
Second Year
GENERAL EDUCATION: (G) Computer Science 3
World Language 1 3
VCDS 201 Visual Communication Design Studio I 3
VCDS 225 Creative Coding 3
VIST 105 Global Foundations in Art and Visual Culture 3
World Language 2 3
VIST 262 See What I Mean: A History of Visual Communication Design 3
MKTG 240 Introduction to Marketing 3
VCDS 220 Typography II 3
VCDS 301 Visual Communication Design Studio II 3
Third Year
GENERAL EDUCATION: (K1) Social Science – American and European History 3
ENTR 260 Introduction to Innovation and 3D Printing 3
VCDS 311 Visual Communication Design Studio III 3
VCDS 320 User Interface Design 3
VIST 306 Critical Design Studies 3
ENTR 360 Advanced Innovation and Digitally Mediated Making 3
ENTR 460 Applied Digital Innovation Design, and Lean Fabrication 3
VCDS 465 Motion Design 3
Major Elective 3
Free Elective 3
Fourth Year
VCDS 401 Visual Communication Design Studio IV Thesis 3
Major Elective 3
Major Elective 3
Major Elective 3
Free Elective 2
GENERAL EDUCATION: (F2) Humanities – Philosophical and Religious Perspectives 3
VCDS 411 Visual Communication Design Studio V Portfolio/Thesis Exhibition 3
Major Elective 3
Major Elective 3
Free Elective 3
 Total Credits120