BFA Program in Visual Communication

Our B.F.A. degree program in Visual Communication offers a well- rounded experience in the arts designed to prepare our students for entry-level practice as a creative professional. NCAD’s double major policy allows flexibility for students to specialize and develop a unique style within the area of visual communications. This concentrated study focuses on technical skills, creative logic and the development of original concepts. Students implement experimentation and communicate ideas through professional quality projects with the final goal of a presentation portfolio. Majors (elective specializations) include Graphic Design, Illustration, Interactive Design, Motion Design, and Entertainment Art.

B.F.A. degree IN visual communication Educational Objectives
Primary Educational Objectives:

NCAD has set its educational objectives for the B.F.A. degree in Visual Communication Art as follows:

  1. Fundamental Knowledge: Graduates of the program will be skilled in the fundamental concepts of design necessary for success in professional creative industry.
  2. Specialization: Graduates of the program will be prepared to pursue career choices in Concept Art or related fields that benefits from a strong background in applied design.
  3. Design Skills: Graduates of the program will be prepared with problem solving skills, laboratory skills, and design skills for technical careers.
  4. Professional Skills: Graduates of the program will be prepared with communication and teamwork skills as well as an appreciation for ethical behavior necessary to thrive in their careers.
  5. Self Learning: Graduates of the program will be prepared to continue their professional development through continuing education and personal experiences.

Knowledge/Skills Expected to be Demonstrated in B.F.A. in Visual Communication Graduate Portfolio

  1. Demonstrate in their portfolio both the resourcefulness and flexibility of critical thinking, creative thinking, and problem solving skills necessary to conceive effective visual communication solutions.
  2. Demonstrate in their portfolio their ability to develop visual communication solutions for specific problems.
  3. Demonstrate in their portfolio their ability to create visual communications that are audience appropriate and that function within a defined context.
  4. Demonstrate in their portfolio their ability to create visual communications utilizing formal design skills based upon established design principles.
  5. Demonstrate in their portfolio their ability to create visual communications demonstrating formal design skills based upon aesthetics.
  6. Demonstrate in their portfolio their ability to utilize appropriate traditional and/or digital media, materials, tools, technology, platforms, and techniques to create effective, successful visual communication solutions.
  7. Demonstrate in their portfolio a basic understanding of the nature of professional work in the field of Visual Communication through the development, selection, and presentation of a relevant body of visual work.
  8. Demonstrate in their portfolio the skills necessary to assist in the development and advancement of their careers, normally including the development of competencies in communication, presentation, and business skills necessary to engage in professional practice in the field of Visual Communication.

Program Majors in Visual Communication

The foundation courses (semester 1–4) for all students in the Visual Communication program are identical.

Upper division courses (semester 5–9) include classes that are specific to individual majors.

Students will complete two majors in the Visual Communications program.

For specific courses included in each program, please refer to the appropriate program grid. Visual Communications major declaration will occur during the 4th semester after the student has met and discussed their goals with the Director of Education.

Double Majors at NCAD

A double major requires that our students concentrate in two related areas of Visual Communication.

At NCAD, we believe that there are several powerful benefits of getting a double major, which we require of all our students. The single greatest benefit is it gives our students career options.

Our double major requirement permits and even encourages flexibility after college as our students build a career that they truly enjoy and find fulfilling. If for some reason, once our students get out into the workforce utilizing the skills developed in one major and find that they don’t like it as much as they thought they would, our double major allows for some flexibility and the ability to change their course.

Program Length

The B.F.A. degree program is 134 credits, 4.5 academic years (9 semesters), typically completed in 36 months. The program length is not guaranteed and may be lengthened for various reasons including, but not limited to: course failure, suspension, program changes, course reduction or withdrawal. The program may not exceed 201 credits. The program is considered a full time program.

NCAD is a year round college with three 15-week semesters per 12 months.


Students who interrupt the program at any time will be considered to have withdrawn from the program and must reapply. The program must be completed within 201 credits to comply with the satisfactory progress policy. The program grid is intended to give you an ideal schedule and broad overview of the curriculum. Course names, titles, sequencing, prerequisites, credit value, content, instructor assignment, and/or scheduling is subject to change.

NCAD’s accelerated and highly structured BFA program does not lend itself to flexibility in terms of alternative scheduling due to students failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Students who fail coursees may be required to extend the length of their program in order to meet graduation requirements.

Credit Information

Semester Credit Hour

The semester credit hour is the basic unit of credit awarded at NCAD. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement.

A semester credit hour varies according to the content of the course. One semester credit hour of academic credit is given for at least 15 hours of classroom contact, at least 30 hours of supervised laboratory time, at least 30 hours of documented independent study activities, or at least 45 hours of internship experience.

Students will typically be expected to work two hours outside of class for each hour of lecture. Additional outside work may be required for specific technical/ occupational classes.

Clock Hour Definition

One “clock hour” is defined as a period of one hour comprising no less than 50 minutes of class time with a 10 minute break.