VCU Bulletins

Communication Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

Special requirements

A cumulative GPA of 2.5 in the major is expected for continuance in the program.

The curriculum in the sophomore year builds a strong foundation for communication arts majors, with courses in communication theory, visual communications history, the figure, traditional drawing and painting media, typography, and basic communication arts software. The junior year concentrates on the specifics of concept development, photography, sequencing and traditional and digital illustration projects. The senior year offers the opportunity for students to select from a variety of interest areas within the major, including imagery for children, art direction, image and movement, and webpage design. All senior students are required to take a course in business practice and ethics and complete a comprehensive portfolio project.

Communication arts student portfolios and GPAs are reviewed at the end of the sophomore and junior years to determine if the student may continue in the program. The student should present a portfolio that demonstrates, at a minimum, evidence of sufficient progress, competence and potential. In order to take a course, students must pass all required prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of a C.

Degree requirements for Communication Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

Learning outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate proficiency in drawing, including the figure.
  • Students will demonstrate conceptual and critical thinking.
  • Students will articulate conceptual and visual ideas to communicate content.
  • Students will demonstrate competence in the use of traditional media.
  • Students will demonstrate competence in the use of digital media and emerging technologies.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of the historical and current context of communication arts.
  • Students will demonstrate ethical and professional practices.
General Education requirements Credits
University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved humanities/fine arts 3
Approved natural/physical sciences 3-4
Approved quantitative literacy 3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences 3-4
Additional General Education requirements (9 credits)  
Humanities/fine arts, natural/physical sciences, social/behavioral sciences 6
Literature 3
Collateral requirements (26 credits)  
Art Foundation Program  
ARTF 131 Drawing Studio 3
ARTF 132 Surface Research 3
ARTF 133 Space Research 3
ARTF 134 Time Studio 3
ARTF 139 Project 2
Art history  
ARTH 103, 104 Survey of Western Art 6
Arts upper-division electives 6
Major requirements (57 credits)  
COAR 200 Visual Studies: Drawing 3
COAR 201 Drawing Studies: The Figure Observed 3
COAR 202 Drawing Studies: The Figure in Context 3
COAR 210 Visual Studies: Design 3
COAR 211 Fundamentals of Typography 3
COAR 231 Basic Communication Arts Software 3
COAR 300 Illustration: Drawing and Painting 3
COAR 320 Concept Drawing 3
COAR 321 Sequential Imaging 3
COAR 331 Photographic Principles in Visual Communications 3
COAR 332 Digital Drawing 3
COAR 352 History of Visual Communications I 3
COAR 353 History of Visual Communications II 3
COAR 450 Business of Communication Arts 3
COAR 464 Senior Portfolio 6
COAR upper-division electives 9
Open upper-division electives (7 credits) 7
Total minimum requirement 120

Click here to download a sample outline. [PDF]



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Last update: 3/21/2013

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