BFA in Visual Communication - Concentration in Art Direction

The concentration 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 concentrations, each of which has a specified sequence of courses: Art Direction, Design, or New Media.  Each concentration 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 emphasis. 

All courses in Visual Communication above the sophomore level are taught at El Centro College in a state-of-the art facility in downtown Dallas where students are introduced to the dynamic design community of one of the nation’s most vibrant cities.  Shuttle service between the Commerce campus and El Centro College 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 - Concentration in Art Direction

Core Curriculum courses
See the Core Curriculum Requirements42
Required courses in the major
Core Studio
Art Core/Sophomore Studio
ART 1316Drawing I 3
ART 1311Two-Dimensional Design and Color Theory 3
ART 2313Visual Communication I3
ART 2323Figure Drawing 3
PHO 209Introduction to Video3
PHO 2357Basic Photography3
Visual Communication Core
ART 300Typography3
ART 311Introduction to User Experience3
ART 310Electronic Media and Methods3
ART 360Creative Thinking3
ART 365Design Communications I3
ART 463Advanced Typography3
ART 458Visual Communication Professional Practice3
ART 466Design Communications II3
ART 402Storyboarding3
ART 413Copywriting3
ART 412Video in Visual Communication3
ART 472Art Direction3
ART 473Advertising Concepts3
ART 474Campaign Concepts3
Advanced electives: Choose 9 semester hours from below9
ART 414Motion Graphics3
ART 418Cross Cultural Design3
ART 462Visual Communication Branding3
ART 464Screen Printing for Visual Communication3
ART 465Letterpress 3
ART 467Design Communications III3
ART 468Design Communications IV3
ART 473Advertising Concepts3
ART 474Campaign Concepts3
ART 495Internship1-4
ART 497Special Topics1-4
Required Support Courses
Art/Design History
History of Art I *
ART 1304History of Art II3
ART 407History of 20th Century Graphic Design3
ART 408History of American Typography3
Total Hours120

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

 A grade of “C” or higher must be earned in all courses in this Major.

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