May 28, 2022  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Art - Visual Communication Design - Major (BFA)

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The BFA in Visual Communication Design program is an interdisciplinary program with a blend of professional and fine art studio courses and a liberal arts curriculum. Specific objectives are centered on professional preparation including technical competency, effective visual communication, and development of a professional portfolio. The program prepares students for careers in advertising, publishing, illustration, and design for print and digital media, or for entry into graduate school.

The BFA program includes an in-depth focus on design studio courses for professional preparation.

Students develop technical competence, informed aesthetic judgment, and skills for collaborative visual production on creative teams. They develop an understanding of branding and marketing concepts, and how visual design supports them. Students learn to develop meaningful visual solutions for problems in a global, competitive marketplace using both print and digital media. The liberal arts core enables students to develop the critical thinking and communication skills necessary for professional preparation. A Sophomore Review is conducted at the end of the second year to ensure adequate progression of skills.

Strong connections to local firms, professional organizations, and alumni working in the industry provide students with various internship, networking, and employment opportunities.

The Visual Communication Design program requires a 3.0 GPA in the major.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

1.  Attain competency in studio practice / technical skills:

  • Attain competency in composing the elements of art with the principles of design
  • Develop technical skills in a range of mediums and design applications related to the visual communication design field

2.  Develop conceptual process in problem solving abilities for visual communication:

  • Acquire abilities to develop creative strategies to visual communication problems, understand message hierarchies, typography, aesthetics, composition and the construction of meaningful images
  • Understand and effectively use graphic design terminology
  • Develop an understanding of basic business practices, including the ability to organize design projects and to work productively as a member of teams

3.  Analyze design with regard to cultural context:

  • Achieve a broad understanding of diverse issues and contexts for design
  • Understand and apply knowledge of significant historical and contemporary achievements in graphic design

4.  Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Learning Outcomes

Students in the Art and Design Department will show respect for all forms of diversity, practice, inclusivity, and engage in a continual process of education and critical self-reflection & dialogue.  Students will be able to: 

  • Acknowledge that individuals of diverse racial & ethnic, gender & sexuality, religious, class & cultural backgrounds create art.
  • Recognize that artmaking is an expressive practice comprising not only individual perspectives, narratives and experiences but also cultural, social, economic and political issues.
  • Synthesize knowledge from multiple disciplines including diverse traditional and contemporary art movements with their own artistic and/or scholarly vision to create unique and meaningful works of art, design or scholarship.
  • Analyze, reflect upon, discuss and/or write about their own and others’ works of art and design using culturally sensitive and inclusive language.
  • Understand the ways in which traditional art associations (including collections, apprentice workshops, museums, galleries and academies) embody institutionally biased practices.
  • Assess the symbiotic dialogue between artists and their culture, recognizing that they both reflect and influence each other.


Core Curriculum Requirements

All Nazareth students complete Core Curriculum coursework as part of their degree requirements. The Core provides a foundation in the liberal arts and sciences while guiding students to pose and explore their own intellectual questions. See Academic Policies and Procedures  for specific core curriculum requirements. 

Art Core

The Art Core is designed to provide fundamental knowledge in preparation for more advanced coursework in Art.  6 Core Studio courses are required:

Required Courses for the BFA in Visual Communication Design Major

BFA in Visual Communication Design majors are required to take 14 upper level studio courses, in addition to the 5 core courses listed above. The requirements are as follows: 6 studio courses required at the 200 level, 6 studio courses required at the 300 level, 1 elective studio and 1 required design internship course at the 400 level.

The following six studio art courses are required at the 200 level:

Required Visual History Courses for the BFA in Visual Communication Design Major

BFA in Visual Communication Design majors are required to take 4 Visual History liberal arts courses. These may include courses in Design History or Art History, or in related Visual Histories.

One Perspectives (P-EQ) Design History Course is required at the 200 level:

Free Elective Courses for the BFA in Visual Communication Design Major

In addition to the credits listed above, BFA-VCD students select 1 “free” elective course that supports their major studies. Students may choose to take a free elective course in Studio courses or in other supportive areas (e.g. Art History, Communications, or Business), after discussing options with their academic advisor. Students with their advisor may choose an elective course from the list below or choose another course not listed here. (Note: the same course cannot count as both a requirement and an elective.)

Senior Experience Course for the BFA in Visual Communication Design Major

The senior capstone course in the BFA in Visual Communication Design major explores the intersection of contemporary design practice and contemporary culture through lectures, readings, writing, and discussion.

Sample Program

Fall Semester Spring Semester
ENGW 101 Exposition  (LA) 3 ENGW 102 Argument and Research  (LA) 3
ACS 101 Academic and College Success   1 PEQ (3) (LA) 3
PEQ (1) - FYS (LA) - AHI.F 120 (Visual Art History) recommended 3 ART 107 Drawing II   3
PEQ (2) (LA) 3 AVCD 154 Digital Imaging Foundation for Design /AVCD 154L    4
ART 101 2D Design      3 AVCD 252 Typography I   3
ART 106 Drawing I   3    
Total Semester Credits 16 Total Semester Credits 16
Fall Semester Spring Semester
ART 102 3D Design   3 ART 255 Digital Photography   3
ART 215 Professional Skills and Engagement   0 AVCD 251 Graphic Design II /AVCD 251L   4
AVCD 250 Graphic Design I /AVCD 250L   4 AVCD 261 Digital Illustration   3
AVCD 260 Illustration I   3 PEQ (5) (LA) 3
PEQ (4) (LA) 3 PEQ (6) (LA) 3
Visual/Art History (2) (LA) 3 Health & Wellness 0
Total Semester Credits 16 Total Semester Credits 16
Fall Semester Spring Semester
AVCD 350 Advertising Design     3 AVCD.Q 274 History of Graphic Design   3
AVCD 352 Typography II   3 AVCD 351 Advanced Advertising Design   3
AVCD 355 Web-Based Visual Design I /AVCD 355L  or CIS 260 Introduction to Web Design   4 or 3 PEQ (8) (LA) Science & Science Lab 4
Visual/Art History (3) (LA) 3 Major Area Free Elective 3
PEQ (7) (LA) 3 Integrative Studies 1 (LA) 3
Total Semester Credits 15-16 Total Semester Credits 16
Fall Semester Spring Semester
AVCD 360 Senior Portfolio and Presentation      3 AVCD 356 Web-Based Visual Design II (UX)   3
AVCD 365 Issues in Contemporary Design  (Integrative Studies 2) (LA) 3 AVCD 483 Visual Communication Design Internship I   3
Integrative Studies (3) (LA) 3 AVCD 499 Visual Communication Design Comprehensive   0
Liberal Arts Elective (1) (LA) 3 CME 050 Core Milestone Experience   0
Liberal Arts Elective (2) (LA) 3 Liberal Arts Elective (3) (LA) 3
    Liberal Arts Elective (4) (LA)  3
    Free Elective (LA or Studio)* optional 3
Total Semester Credits 15 Total Semester Credits 12-15

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