BFA in Visual Communication - Emphasis in Photography

The emphasis in Photography prepares students to author client driven solutions for advertising agencies, editorial projects, print, and video media in commercial photography. Courses include editorial, food portraiture, architectural, on-location, still life, publication and collaborative opportunities with design and art direction students. Curriculum provides students a foundation in strong conceptual thinking while receiving intensive technical instruction in both photography and design. 

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; New Media; or Photography.  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 Photography

Core Curriculum Courses
See the Core Curriculum Requirements42
Required courses in the major
Studio Art Core
ART 1103
ART 1113
ART 1403
ART 2113
ART 2133
Photo Core
PHO 1113
PHO 1123
PHO 209Introduction to Video3
PHO 210Introduction to Studio Lighting3
PHO 450Photography Seminar4
Visual Communication Core
ART 300Typography4
ART 3094
ART 310Electronic Media and Methods4
ART 365Design Communications I4
ART 472Art Direction4
ART 475Visual Communication Senior Studio4
ART 497Special Topics1
Photography Emphasis
22 semester hours from the following:22
PHO 339
Commercial Photography
PHO 351
PHO 352
PHO 357
PHO 358
Business Practices in Photography
Creative Thinking
Video in Visual Communication
Motion Graphics
Required Support Courses
Art/Design History
GLB/History of Art I *
GLB/History of Art II *
ART 333GLB/History of Photography3
3 hours from any upper division Art History3
Total Hours126

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