Dec 17, 2018  
2016-2017 University Catalog 
2016-2017 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Visual Communications Design, BFA

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About the Program

Visual Communications Design (VCD) develops students as problem seekers with the capacity to plan communication strategies and form effective visual products. The curriculum is structured to prepare students for a profession that is evolving rapidly influences by computer technology advances. Students are encouraged to master the technical skills involved in typography, image generation, visual structure, and composition, as well as to think conceptually, articulate ideas, and critically evaluate the form making process. Students interested in VCD combine words, ideas and images in original ways to convey information and promote ideas to targeted audiences.

Special note regarding portfolio review: An art portfolio is not required to begin this major. However, students are required to pass a selective portfolio review in the spring of their sophomore year at Purdue to advance to upper-level design and complete this major. Selection is competitive and is based on the student’s work in Purdue art and design courses and development as a designer. Students not selected for upper-level VCD work with their academic advisor to change to their second choice major.

Please visit Visual Communication and Design for more information.

Degree Requirements and Supplemental Information

The full Program Requirements for 2016-17 Visual Communications Design (BFA)  include all Supplemental Information and selective lists of those categories which a student must fulfill in order to earn their degree. These are intended to be printer-friendly, but include less descriptive course detail.
Please see below for program requirements and the necessary degree fulfillments.

Visual Arts - BFA
126 Credits

Liberal Arts Core Curriculum

Each liberal arts major is designed as a four-year plan of study and includes three types of courses: Major, Core, and Elective. Most students take five courses per semester, with some of each type.

Professional academic advisors meet individually with each of our students on a regular basis to help with course selection, academic planning, and career development, as well as to help students find additional resources on campus.

For the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum click here .

Departmental/Program Major Courses (78 credits)

(F) Offered fall semester only (S) Offered spring semester only.

A. Art & Design Core (12 credits)

E. Other Program Requirements (Required, No Credit)

Sophomore Portfolio Review

All Visual Communications Design students must participate in a mandatory portfolio review during the second half of the spring semester in the sophomore year. Students individually present their work to the collective VCD faculty on specified days by appointment. Work to be included in the portfolio is identified prior to the review period, but usually consists of projects from AD 10500 , AD 10600 , AD 11300 , AD 20500 , AD 20600 , AD 22800  and AD 22900 . Students should prepare for this review by preserving work as it is completed in these courses. Students must pass the portfolio review in order to enroll in AD 33200  and all subsequent courses in the VCD concentration.

Any VCD student who has passed the sophomore review but has not been enrolled and/or completed a 30000- or 40000- level VCD course for more than two consecutive academic years must retake and pass the sophomore review to enroll in 30000- or 40000- level VCD courses.

Senior Portfolio Presentation

A senior portfolio presentation is staged at the end of the senior year. Participation in the presentation, which is open to faculty, students, and selected guests from the professional community, is a program requirement in the VCD concentration.

Other Departmental/Program Course Requirements (51 credits)

University Core Requirements

  • Human Cultures Humanities
  • Human Cultures Behavioral/Social Science
  • Information Literacy
  • Science #1
  • Science #2
  • Science, Technology, and Society
  • Written Communication
  • Oral Communication
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • For a complete listing of course selectives, visit the Provost’s Website or click here .

Program Requirements

15 Credits

15 Credits

16 Credits

Spring 2nd Year

15 Credits

Fall 3rd Year

15 Credits

Spring 3rd Year

18 Credits

Fall 4th Year

17 Credits

Spring 4th Year

15 Credits


126 semester credits required for Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

2.0 Graduation GPA required for Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

32 credit hours at 30000 level or higher required for Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Degree Requirements

The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements.

The myPurduePlan powered by DegreeWorks is the knowledge source for specific requirements and completion.

Foreign Language Courses

Foreign Language proficiency requirements vary by program.  For acceptable languages and proficiency levels, see your advisor:

American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, (ancient) Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish

Critical Course

The ♦ course is considered critical. A Critical Course is one that a student must be able to pass to persist and succeed in a particular major.

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