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.

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.