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Student snaps a picture of a design display with her phone


The following are the required courses for this major. Students who attend Orientation and meet with the Education Department can obtain personalized academic counseling to complete the program. Transfer credits, changes in curriculum, and other factors may affect the academic plan for individual students. The FIDM Education Department can provide additional information.


Associate of Arts degree from FIDM in one of the following majors: Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Textile Design, Visual Communications.

One-on-one advisement is available to students from other FIDM Majors to consider eligibility for special admissions to this program. Contact the appropriate department chairperson.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A)

BDSN 3100A
Advanced Practices in Color, Design & 3-D Form
This course is designed to further explore the relationship between color and three-dimensional form. Students explore and effectively communicate concept and meaning through the design elements of color, surface, pattern, three-dimensional form, and space.
BDSN 3100B
Advanced Theory in Color, Design & 3-D Form
In this course, students research the use and application of color, light, and three-dimensional form as used by artists and designers. Students effectively communicate concept and meaning through the design elements of color, surface, pattern, three-dimensional form and space.
BDSN 3200
Structural Drawing*
Students refine their abilities to create convincing volumetric images through perspective, matrix analysis, cross-contour, light, and shadow. They explore the application of structural drawing to their respective design disciplines and individual styles. Includes a three (3) hour lab.
BDSN 3400
Drawing the Figure in Context
This course addresses the structure and anatomy of the human figure as essential to developing a naturalistic approach to rendering the human form. The use of live models reinforces students understanding of the anatomical structure of the human body. Formal elements such as line, gesture, volume, proportion, and perspective are emphasized. Prerequisite: BDSN 3200
BDSN 3500
Human Dynamics
Students consider the physical and physiological link between design and the human body, individually and in shared environments. They analyze possible design alternatives to a variety of products in terms of function, comfort, movement, and social impact.
BDSN 3700
Digital Photographic Image
This course focuses on students ability to express their point of view creatively through photography. Students learn to see photographically by exploring the basic tools, techniques, and aesthetics of digital photography, with special attention to lighting, focus, color, contrast, formal effects, and intent.
BDSN 3780
Prototyping 3-D Forms
This course integrates both 3-D software and manual skills acquired in previous courses to explore and interpret a range of design inventions and their proliferation through rapid prototyping. Students explore special topics in virtual design, new modes of manufacture, and prototyping. (Graphic Design, Interior Design, and Visual Communications majors only)
BDSN 3800
Digital Asset Management
In this course, students practice the sophisticated digital asset management skills required for careers in the design industry. Topics include file formats, technologies and workflow, computer applications, and organizational systems that seek to define, identify, control, manage, and store digital images.
BDSN 3850
Theory & Context of Design
In this course, students formulate a personal creative research project relevant to their area of specialization, culminating in a written thesis proposal that they approach through various contexts in their senior year studio courses. Emphasis is on careful documentation of content, reference and source materials, and design research.
BDSN 4100
Visual Identity & Image
This multimedia course builds on prior drawing courses while focusing on the elements of image-making as communication. Students continue the development of drawing styles in both black and white and color, by hand and with the use of digital media. Techniques are applied to a variety of subjects as students explore the relationship between form and content. Prerequisite: BDSN 3700
BDSN 4250E
The Studio I Environment & Product
This is the first of a three quarter sequence in which the students focus on conceptualizing a collection of work and synthesizing the research compiled in Theory & Context of Design. In this phase students use an existing business model as a base to explore, identifying market and customer profiles to develop product parameters. (Interior Design and Visual Communications majors only).
BDSN 4500E
The Studio II Environment & Product
Course two in the Studio series considers the designer's influence in society. The students redefine and conceptualize the research they compiled in BDSN 3850 Theory & Context of Design into a new collection of work from the perspectives of contemporary societal issues, social needs, and civic and social responsibility. (Interior Design and Visual Communications majors only)
BDSN 4750E
The Studio III Environment & Product
The final studio course in this sequence is dedicated to the pursuit of individual expression of the design thesis. Expanding on previous studio courses, students synthesize design knowledge and skills to create a collection of work with a sharp design focus. Students are expected to demonstrate sophisticated design decisions and thoughtful design solutions that exemplify a high level of expertise and achievement. (Interior Design and Visual Communications majors only).
GNST 2530
Principles of Kinesiology+
The emphasis of this course is to scientifically examine the musculoskeletal and physiological systems of the body in motion and at rest. The principles of biochemical, pulmonary, and circulatory systems related to movement and exercise and the contemporary issues of neuromuscular health are investigated.
GNST 2530L
Principles of Kinesiology Lab+
This lab includes field excursions, observation journals, and interviews with practitioners in the field of kinesiology, including physical therapists, sports medicine physicians, and professional trainers.
GNST 2630
Principles of Chemistry+
Students study the fundamental principles of chemistry and their applications. The relationships between atomic particles and their effect on bonding, chemical reactions, and matter are explored.
GNST 3000
World Political History+
This global survey traces the quest for independence and prosperity on the part of emerging economies around the world after World War II. The course examines the varying fortunes of countries as they encountered the crucial questions of political organization, state control, and personal freedom from 1945 to the present. It also examines the issue of environmental sustainability in the face of pressures posed by population, industrialization, and consumerism.
GNST 3150
Research on Topics of Design History+
An in-depth exploration into the major design movements of the 20th and 21st centuries focusing on the importance of research and writing on topics of the applied arts. Emphasis is placed on contextualizing design movements and the designers within their historical framework and the changes in society they have inspired. Conversations consider the effects of form and function, technology, identity, corporate branding, globalization, and visual communication on the development of design and how it has shaped our environment.
GNST 3750
Mapping Your World: Introduction to Global Production
This geographical survey of the worlds major regions covers population distribution, natural resources, and relationships between different regions in reference to trade and environment, with a focus on current geo-political issues.
GNST 3800
Icons of Culture: The Context of Meaning
Students explore universal design concepts underlying the applied arts, the decorative arts, and architecture/architectural form. Using the language of aesthetic analysis, they relate formal elements of color and structure, pattern and motif, and icon and symbol to the origins, development, and diffusion of a wide range of designed objects from many cultures and historical periods. In the process, they gain insight into the durability, adaptability, and resonance of concepts and images that have achieved iconic status in the world of design.
GNST 3900
Issues in Contemporary Society+
A General Studies capstone course addressing current issues in social diversity, globalization, business ethics, and civic responsibility. Students combine critical analysis, scientific inquiry, and technological skill to research and prepare a clear written and oral presentation on a challenging, advanced question of their own choosing.
Total Units of Credit: 91

*Three (3)-hour lab included in 6 hours.

+ Available as an online (distance learning) course

++ Periodically offered as an online (distance learning) course