Curriculum

Curriculum

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 (A.A.)

GNST 1040
English Composition
UNITS: 3
In this process-oriented course, students combine deep, disciplined research with careful writing and revision to produce a thoughtful, creative, and personally meaningful research essay. They learn to formulate focused research questions, identify and investigate credible sources, and synthesize expert opinion with their own insight in support of a clearly defined, complex thesis. The emphasis is on curiosity, exploration, and discovery. As part of the process, students also gain confidence and competency in two primary areas of written expression: organization and mechanics.
GNST 1230
Color & Design Theory
UNITS: 3
An introductory study of the principles and elements of color and design theory. Students critique aspects of a visual representation by analyzing the components of design and the use of color by the artist.
GNST 1600
Effective Speaking
UNITS: 3
A course in oral communication designed to give students poise, speaking confidence, and the ability to develop and produce a focused, well-organized speech that holds the audiences attention through effective delivery methods. Presentational skills and audience-centered communication are emphasized. Prerequisite: GNST 1040
GNST 1650
Critical Thinking
UNITS: 3
Designed to foster independent thinking, this course strengthens students capacity to reason clearly, critically, and creatively, including the ability (1) to analyze the arguments of others, (2) to synthesize effective arguments of their own, and (3) to solve problems skillfully. Students also gain experience in reading closely and conducting purposeful, imaginative research skills essential to the examination of demanding social, moral, political, and personal issues.
GNST 1900
Professional Skills
UNITS: 0
This course facilitates a comprehensive understanding of the tools and techniques necessary to effectively navigate the complexities of the job market. Students explore critical components of employment in order to prepare for their job search; the ultimate result is placement in their desired career. Students learn how to build a meaningful resume, navigate career sites, including FIDM Career Network and LinkedIn, effectively research desired industry and organizations, and perfect interviewing techniques and skills. This is a Pass/Fail class necessary for FIDM graduation. In addition to nine (9) hours of class workcomprised of three consecutive classes, three (3) hours eachstudents should be prepared for an additional three (3) hours of homework for each of the three weeks.
GNST 2020
Survey of Western Art I
UNITS: 3
A survey of art, architecture, and design from the Prehistoric Period through the Middle Ages. Included are the social, economic, cultural, political, and religious influences which have prompted or affected the art of each period. Students examine works of art and their iconography, stylistic techniques, and different media, with the goal of being able to recognize, understand, and discuss various art forms in their broader contexts.
GNST 2220
History of Design
UNITS: 3
An exploration of important developments from the Industrial Revolution to the digital age in the history of decorative arts, architecture and ornaments, interiors and furniture, textiles, products, and graphic design.
GNST 2370
Applied Statistics+
UNITS: 3
This course emphasizes the understanding and application of statistical methodology. Major topics include descriptive statistics, probability, sampling, inferences of sampling, means and proportions,measures of central tendency, correlation, regression,hypothesis testing, and methods for displaying,describing, and producing data. Technology applications facilitate in-class activities.
GNST 2420
Survey of Western Art II
UNITS: 3
A survey of art, architecture, and design from the Renaissance through the 20th century. Art movements such as Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Abstraction, and Surrealism are studied. Particular emphasis is placed on the artist's role in society and the effect of society on art.
GNST 2430
Perspectives in Diversity
UNITS: 3
This course examines the subtle and overt ways in which society marginalizes and discriminates against groups of people including, but not limited to, racial, cultural and ethnic groups, religious groups, women, the elderly, persons with disabilities (including physical and mental challenges), gender fluidity and LGBTQIA+. Students will not only study the historical realities, institutions, and a legal system that have enabled discrimination to continue, they will delve into the roots of hatred, fear and bias, the very foundations of prejudice and discrimination, in order to become conscious of and active in their own contributions to a more just and inclusive society.
GNST 2960
American Political & Economic History
UNITS: 3
A survey of American history from 1930-2000. Emphasis is on the political and economic features, both domestic and foreign, that contributed to the emergence of the welfare state and the nations rise to global leadership after World War II. The course provides an understanding of the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Cold War, Americas eventual emergence as the worlds only superpower, and the interrelation of all these factors.
GRPH 1000
Beginning Adobe
UNITS: 3
This course inspires and push beginning designers to learn the fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Through hands-on projects, students learn the digital tools to bring their visions to life. In practical application, students understand the difference between a vector and raster image as well as the proper workflows and digital hygiene within the Adobe Creative Suite.
GRPH 1050
Digital Imaging
UNITS: 3
Students dive deep into the use of Adobe Photoshop to create high-quality image enhancements and photo composites. Students learn additional toolsets and explore more advanced features and improve their imaging skills. Prerequisite: TECH 1100
GRPH 1150
Type & Layout
UNITS: 3
This course introduces students to document layout using Adobe InDesign. Students learn the tools, menu bar, and palettes as they begin designing single and multi-page layouts. Through design exercises, students examine how the use of grids serve as a structure for combining type and image.
GRPH 1300
Computer Illustration
UNITS: 3
In this course students continue to build on their illustration skills with vector drawing techniques. From tracing artwork to creating entertaining infographics, more advanced uses of Adobe Illustrator are explored including the use of Libraries and custom palettes. Prerequisite: TECH 1100
GRPH 1420
2-D Design
UNITS: 3
This course introduces the formal elements of line, shape, color, texture, and composition as well as the graphic principles of balance, scale, emphasis, repetition, and unity. Students also explore all aspects of two-dimensional design and imagery, which is essential to achieve a solid design. Prerequisites: GNST 1230, GRPH 1150, GRPH 1300
GRPH 1720
Typography
UNITS: 3
This course explores the fundamental traditions of typography combined with computer technology. It provides the foundation from which the students can develop both an understanding of typography and a personal aesthetic.
GRPH 2050
Brand X
UNITS: 3
Students investigate the visual and physical personality of a current brand and develop an effective visual identity for it, utilizing all applicable marketing materials. Prerequisites: GRPH 1450, GRPH 1720
GRPH 2120
Publication Design
UNITS: 3
This course helps students craft a variety of image and text-based content into a harmonious and legible design in catalogue and magazine formats for both print and digital delivery. Prerequisites: GRPH 1150, GRPH 1720, GRPH 2780
GRPH 2230
UX Design
UNITS: 3
This course offers a practical introduction to UX (user experience) design emphasizing the importance of research in the design process. Inspired by this research, students develop solutions for a variety of applications centered around a specific set of users. Wire-framing is used to illustrate design concepts and students learn how to create a clickable prototype.
GRPH 2400
Graphics/Licensing (6 hours)*
UNITS: 3
This course introduces students to product licensing through the development of original characters and their related products. The students create their own intellectual property and present it as a Style Guide. Includes a three (3) hour lab. Prerequisites: GRPH 2050, GRPH 2120, GRPH 2300
GRPH 2470
Motion Graphic Design
UNITS: 3
Students solve graphic design problems using creative brainstorming, storyboarding, and the integration of media including images, illustrations, text, audio, and video. A hands-on course focused on the design of motion graphics, students learn basic motion graphics principles using Adobe After Effects. The final project demonstrates an understanding of 3-D design, timing, and composition to create an impactful motion graphic. Prerequisite: GRPH 2230
GRPH 2500
Logo/Symbol Design
UNITS: 3
Students create a logo for a company or product using the elements of design and the psychology of color.  They demonstrate understanding through application and usage of identity to create a brand and public awareness.  Thumbnails, participation, class critiques.  Prerequisites: GRPH 1420, GRPH 1720
GRPH 2630
Website Design
UNITS: 3
Students build on their experience with UX design as they develop web and mobile applications. Students begin using HTML and CSS to design their sites while continuing to emphasize research, design, and functionality. Prerequisite: GRPH 2230
GRPH 2680
Graphic Design Portfolio
UNITS: 3
This is an advanced class in portfolio development. Students design, produce, and gain experience presenting their work in a professional working environment. They also write a comprehensive resume and present their portfolios before the class. Prerequisites: GRPH 2250, GRPH 2400, GRPH 2500, GRPH 2540
GRPH 2780
Introduction to Digital Photography
UNITS: 3
This course enhances students appreciation of the skill and creativity of photography by challenging them to produce their own photographic art. Course discussions include terminology, innovations in digital photography, and various experimental processes.  The course illustrates the practice of buying commercial photography for fashion, graphic design, and general marketing purposes, including negotiating with art reps, buyout of stock photography, and coordinating photo shoots. Prerequisite: GRPH 1050
GRPH 2810
Data Visualization
UNITS: 3
In this course, students learn to find the story in data and represent it in a clear, compelling and most of all visual way. Data is complex, overwhelming and doesnt tell a story without the work of a designer. They look at the history of data visualization while also practicing their own ability to visualize increasingly complex information. Special emphasis is paid to using the principles of design to craft a unified, exciting, persuasive data visualization. Prerequisite: GNST 2370
GRPH 2930
Advanced Website Design
UNITS: 3
This course focuses on responsive web design in order to create sites that work on a variety of devices. Students create a complete interactive site from concept to final development. Prerequisite: GRPH 2630
GRPH 2940
Packaging & Prepress Production
UNITS: 3
Creative packaging solutions include product market fit and elegant details. Students learn to incorporate 3-D form, materials, typography, color, and graphics to generate packages for a variety of design challenges. Emphasis is placed on preparing art files for print reproduction including printing techniques (conventional and digital), paper, color, inks, imposition folding, and finishing. Prerequisite: GRPH 2500
MMKT 1550
Marketing & Brand Development
UNITS: 3
This course introduces and highlights the basic marketing principles which provide the framework for understanding the importance, value, and impact of marketing and brand management.
SMED 1100
Introduction to Social Media
UNITS: 3
This course introduces students to the history, theory, and technology of social media. Students explore the different social media outlets and have hands-on experience with social media technology. Students learn how to use this new media productively, and have a framework for understanding and evaluating social media platforms
SMED 1700
Writing for New Media
UNITS: 3
This course examines practices of writing in digital environments such as social media, blogging, advertising, journalism, and public relations. Students learn to write in persuasive and impactful language while honing in on organization, grammar, and syntax. Prerequisites: MMKT 1550, SMED 1100
Total Units of Credit: 90

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

+ Available as an online (distance learning) course