BFA in Visual Communication - Emphasis in Art Direction

The emphasis in Art Direction prepares students for professional positions as creative team leaders who target specific market audiences, and produce client branding, single ads or campaigns in printed, broadcast and interactive media.  Courses in art direction and advertising emphasize the development of concepts from infancy through the finished product.  The Art Direction student gains proficiency in creating headlines, copy, layout and storyboarding, partnering with copywriting students, as well as in directing the work of designers, photographers, illustrators and other contributions.

The BFA in Visual Communication is an intensive baccalaureate degree that prepares students for professional opportunities in the fields of advertising and design.  Students pursuing the degree will choose from the following emphases, each of which has a specified sequence of courses: Art Direction, Design, or New Media.  Each emphasis requires the student to complete the 42-semester hour University Studies curriculum and a common core of freshman and sophomore-level art courses.  These courses may be taken at A&M-Commerce or any accredited two or four-year institution.  The BFA in Visual Communication does not require a minor area of concentration. 

All courses in Visual Communication above the sophomore level are taught at the Universities Center at Dallas (UCD), where students are educated in a state-of-the art facility in downtown Dallas and introduced to the dynamic design community of one of the nation’s most vibrant cities.  Shuttle service between the Commerce campus and UCD allows students to reside in Commerce while attending classes in Dallas.

Entry into the junior year of the Visual Communication program is by portfolio review.  Prior to the review, students must have completed all University Studies and core art courses as outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog.  At the time of the portfolio review, students must have an overall grade point average of at least 2.5 and an average of at least 3.0 in the core art classes.  For the specific requirements of the portfolio and annual deadlines for submission, please visit this web site:

The Visual Communication program has an assessment schedule that evaluates the progress of students as they advance in the BFA degree.  Students will undergo a basic assessment of their work in the third or fourth year and an assessment of their specialized work as they near graduation.  The purpose of the assessments is to correct deficiencies and to encourage consistent growth in a student’s portfolio, thus improving his or her opportunities for rewarding employment after graduation.  If a student’s progress is unsatisfactory, they may be advised by the faculty to repeat courses to strengthen and further develop their skills.  After the first year of the program, students will be required to enter competitive shows for the purpose of building professional experience and gaining a critical perspective of their work. In the final year of the BFA, students must pass an exit review in order to graduate.  As with all degree programs at A&M-Commerce, students must earn a C or higher in their major courses for them to count towards graduation.

Provided they are part of the common course numbering system recognized across the State of Texas, courses from other accredited institutions may be transferred to A&M-Commerce.  Courses that fall outside the numbering system may still be transferable, but they will be subject to a portfolio review.  Portfolio reviews for transfer students will generally occur late in the spring semester for students wishing to enter the Visual Communication program in the fall semester and in the late fall semester for entry in the spring semester.       

BFA in Visual Communication - Emphasis in Art Direction

Core Curriculum courses
See the Core Curriculum Requirements42
Required courses in the major
Core Studio
Art Core/Sophomore Studio
ART 110Drawing I3
ART 111Two-Dimensional Design and Color Theory3
ART 140Three-Dimensional Design & Color Theory3
ART 211Introduction to Visual Communication3
ART 213Figure Drawing3
PHO 112Basic Photography I3
Visual Communication Core
ART 300Typography4
ART 309Digital Imaging and Motion for Visual Communication4
ART 310Electronic Media and Methods4
ART 365Design Communications I4
ART 466Design Communications II4
ART 472Art Direction4
ART 475Visual Communication Senior Studio4
ART 497Special Topics2
Required/Emphasis Studio
ART 416Advanced Motion Graphics4
ART 473Advertising Art Concepts/Copywriting I4
ART 474Advertising Art Concepts/Copywriting II4
18 semester hours from the following:18
User Experience in Multimedia
Web and Mobile Development
2 -D Animation
Creative Thinking
Advanced User Experience in Multimedia
Video in Visual Communication
Visual Communication Professional Practice
Visual Communication Branding
Advanced Typography
Screen Printing for VisCom
Design Communications III
Design Communications IV
Advertising Art Concepts/Copywriting I
Advertising Art Concepts/Copywriting II
Special Topics
Required Support Courses
Art/Design History
GLB/History of Art I *
GLB/History of Art II (Will also satisfy University Studies) *
ART 408History of Advertising and Consumerism3
3 semester hours from any upper division Art History3
Total Hours126

 This course will satisfy the Core Curriculum requirement for Creative Arts or Degree Pathway.