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Communication Arts

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Arts

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student modeling in drawing class

About the Program

Students in Communication Arts explore the powerful and timeless relationship between art and narrative through drawing. If you’d like to be a character designer for film or video games, an illustrator for print or digital publishing, a comic book artist, or a scientific illustrator – this could be the major for you.

As a sophomore, you’ll broaden your artistic skills and conceptual understandings with courses in figure drawing, 3D modeling, visual studies of design, typography and the history of visual communication.

As a junior, you’ll explore and expand your interests with courses in digital drawing, concept drawing, sequential imaging, advanced 3D imaging and mixed-media illustration. And as a senior, you’ll refine your personal studio methods, develop expertise in your focus area, organize a portfolio and prepare for professional opportunities.

During your time in the program, you can explore your artistic interests with electives on comic book design, imagery for children, color theory, video game design, advanced 3D modeling, and advanced observational drawing.

Some classes you might take in this major:

  • Imagery for Children
  • 3D Modeling for Concept Design
  • Color Theory
  • Game Design, Theory and Practice
  • Imagery for Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • The Figure in Illustration

Our alumni are:

  • Editorial illustrators
  • 3D modelers and animators
  • Game designers
  • Interactive media designers
  • Fine artists
Communication Arts student in shop

Requirements

Program course level descriptions

Sophomore / first year

The Sophomore year is focused on orientation and experimentation to/within design practice. It introduces and develops processes of making and meaning building and critical engagement with ideas related to form, medium, materials and tools. Through criticality a student can build clear-thinking. Project based work allows students to craft an understanding of the implications of traditional practices and established conventions as a foundation to their own explorations and experiences. This year provides a critical framework to begin to evaluate their own practice. Through presentations and discussions students will develop a vocabulary allowing them to begin to discuss ideas around information hierarchies, meaning making as well as legibility and translation.

Junior / second year

The Junior year is focused on experimentation and construction of/with narrative structures, argument, advocacy, and rhetoric (text, text+image, sequence…) in a variety of formats and media. It emphasizes the underlying social, political and pluralistic demands of graphic design. It situates the student and their work/practice within a context and community and introduces methods to facilitate collaboration with those directly and indirectly impacted by the end results of the design process. Course content includes an emphasis on ethical and cultural impacts of distribution and exchange.

Senior / third year

The Senior year is focused on deepening, refining and situating individuated experiences; formulating and synthesizing learning by teaching others through participatory engagement; and building a situated design practice, while understand that design is inseparable from the culture at large.

art foundation

The Art Foundation program (AFO) is the required first year for all undergraduate programs in the visual art and design departments. It provides you with an intellectually rigorous, studio-based experience in the fundamental issues of art and design. AFO is designed to help you foster an enthusiasm for your work and the means to reflect analytically and critically. Completion of the Art Foundation Program is a prerequisite for entry into all visual arts and design departments: Art Education, Communication Arts, Craft/Material Studies, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Kinetic Imaging, Painting + Printmaking, Photography + Film, and Sculpture + Extended Media.

More about AFO