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Parent Information

Welcome, parents! We invite you to watch the following videos for an Introduction to FIDM. We’ve also compiled answers to frequently asked questions from parents, below.

Orientation Videos for Parents

Part 1: What Makes FIDM Different

Hear from Sheryl Rabinovich, Dean of Education and Chairperson of General Studies, as she discusses what distinguishes an education at FIDM from other colleges, and what we expect from our students. Watch the video.

Part 2: Personal Counseling at FIDM

Hear from Jessica Cattani, Personal Counselor at FIDM, as she goes over services such as personal and emotional crisis as well as academic support for FIDM Students. Watch the video.

Parent FAQ

Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions from Parents about FIDM.

What resources are available for parents?

FIDM provides a Parent Orientation Guide to the parents of all incoming FIDM Students upon their start. Designed to coincide with the on-campus Parent Orientation sessions, the Parent Orientation Guide covers the topics that we have found are of special interest to parents.

What is Parent Orientation? When does it take place?

Parent Orientation is a program designed to welcome parents to the FIDM community. Orientation takes place on-campus prior to the start of the quarter and offers information as well as a brief introduction to FIDM, accreditation, academic expectations and rigor, college policies, and campus safety. Contact your Admissions Advisor for specific dates and details.

Parent Orientation Guide

What is New Student Orientation?

All new students are strongly encouraged to attend on-campus orientation, during which they will be informed about college facilities and general policies, including scheduling of classes, attendance, grading, transfer in of coursework, finances, and job placement.

What is the Success Seminar program? Who is required to attend? When does it take place?

Success Seminar is a program that provides information and activities that will help students be successful during their first quarter. First-time college students are required to participate. Students with college experience are also invited but are not required to attend. Contact your Admissions Advisor for specific dates and details.

Does FIDM have any recommendations for what computer a student should purchase?

Please contact the Digital Media/Cinema department for specific computer specs.

If your major is not listed, students can purchase either a PC or a Mac with the minimum requirements outlined below.

Software (free or via educational discount)

  • Adobe Creative Cloud 2021 - All enrolled students receive a subscription to the latest version of the Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Office 365 Online - view and edit Office documents for free in your web browser or download the apps to your device (full version - up to two computers) with your Office 365 Outlook student email. MS Office 2019 (one-time purchase) can be purchased at an education discount rate.
  • SketchUp Make (Design, Interior Design, Visual Communications, Entertainment Set Design & Decoration majors)
  • Rhino 7 (Design major) — 90 Day free trial
  • Revit 2021 (Interior Design majors)
  • Autodesk software (AutoCAD, 3ds Max, Revit, & more) -
  • Vectorworks (Visual Communications and Entertainment Set Design & Decoration majors)

NOTE: Apparel Industry Management, Apparel Technical Design, Fashion Design, and Menswear majors are required to purchase a PC computer (with Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 32 or 64 bit OR Enterprise edition).

Interior Design, Merchandise Product Development, and Merchandising & Marketing majors are required to purchase a PC computer.

Windows PC Laptop/Desktop (e.g., HP, Lenovo, Dell, etc.)

  • Microsoft® Windows® 10 64-bit OS is required
  • 8 GB RAM (16 GB recommended)
  • Intel® i7 processor (recommended)
  • At least a 15" display, capable of 1920x1080 resolution
  • Dedicated graphics card with at least 2 GB of VRAM memory (e.g. NVIDIA)
  • 500GB (7200 rpm) hard drive and/or solid-state hard drive, with an additional external drive - 2 TB for back-up and storage

Apple MacBook Pro laptop or desktop (iMac, Mac Pro, or Mac Mini)

  • 15-16" MacBook Pro (recommended) or 13" MacBook Pro (minimum)
  • macOS Mojave 10.14 (minimum)
  • 8 GB RAM (16 GB recommended)
  • Intel Core i5 processor (minimum); Intel Core i7 or i9 processor (recommended)
  • AMD Radeon 5500M (for MacBook Pro) recommended - (most MacBooks have an Intel integrated graphics card)
  • 256 GB (512 GB recommended) SSD hard drive, with an additional external drive - 2 TB for Time Machine/back-up storage

Please note that tablets (i.e.: iPads or Android tablets) or Chromebooks are not suitable replacements for recommended computers.


  • Antivirus, Anti-spyware, Anti-malware software (e.g. Sophos Home or McAfee)
  • Broadband internet connection (cable, fiber, or DSL) highly recommended for accessing the FIDM eLearning System and online services
  • Webcam
  • Computer mouse (USB or wireless)

Additional Peripherals (Recommended)

  • Microphone/headset
  • WACOM Tablet (recommended for Textile Design and Graphic Design)
  • Printer
  • USB Flash Drive (64 GB recommended)

Discounts for Hardware/Software/Products

What is the FIDM Portal? What resources are available to FIDM Students?

The FIDM Portal (https://myfidm.fidm.edu) is for new students, current students, and alumni. The FIDM Portal is a place for students to easily and securely access information regarding their FIDM college experience. Students register, check grades, conduct research for a project, search for a job, review upcoming events, and obtain financial information through the FIDM Portal.

When is FIDM's Graduation?

Graduation dates are listed on the Academic Calendar. In addition, general graduation information is available to all FIDM Students year-round on the FIDM Portal, under the link titled "Graduation Ceremony" and the heading "Academics." Specific information such as dates, times, and contact information is available in the campus newsletters and on the graduation page.

We've got a family vacation planned which overlaps with the first day of class. What is FIDM's attendance policy?

In order to hold an enrolled place in class, students must be present at the start of the first class session. Attendance must be taken at the first class session to determine class enrollment for the Registrar's Office. Any student missing the first meeting of a class when roll is called will have given up his/her space in that class. This will allow instructors to add students who otherwise might have had to wait until the second class meeting. If the student who missed the first meeting shows up in the second week, an instructor may allow him/her to remain if there is still room.

My student is having trouble reaching his/her instructor. What should he/she do?

If the student is having a problem contacting the instructor by FIDM e-mail he/she can include their Department Advisor or the Education Department on messages to the instructor to help track the communication cycle and have a record of attempts. The Department Advisor/Education Department can also forward the correspondence to the personal faculty email address to expedite the process. Please note that the instructor may not respond over break times when school is not in session.

My student is concerned about their grade in a course. What can he/she do?

The first step is for the student to schedule a meeting with the instructor during their scheduled office hours to discuss their progress and grade, and receive assistance. Studios, workshops, and tutoring sessions are offered to assist students with their assignments and projects. The IDEA Center provides students with additional educational assistance to supplement classroom instruction in the areas of writing, mathematics, computer competency, study skills, time management, research skills, and reading comprehension. For specific days, times, and topics, students may see the campus newsletter, FIDM Portal, or the Education Department.

How can my student find out about the student activities available on campus?

The campus newsletter, published weekly, is available on the FIDM Portal and on campus. It provides information not only about activities, but also important information regarding registration, graduation, guest speakers, service opportunities, tutoring assistance, and more. Please click on the campus of your choice to read the most recent campus newsletter.

My student has received a grade that he/she feels is incorrect. Where can I direct him/her?

Students may appeal a final grade during the subsequent quarter. The student schedules a meeting with the instructor to discuss the final grade which is determined by the total points earned versus the total points possible. If no resolution is achieved, the student is to go to his/her Department or Academic Advisor in the Education Department to fill out the Grade Appeal Petition form. The student's request will be reviewed and he/she will be notified of the petition results within weeks.