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 1450
College Mathematics
UNITS: 3
This course explores financial and consumer math, the geometry of flat and 3-dimensional spaces, and the basics of statistical analysis. Integrating mathematical equations and concepts in the context of problem solving and discovery, students complete projects and assignments demonstrating the effective use of quantitative tools to support their conclusions.
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 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 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 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 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 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
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.
MRCH 1450
Concepts in Trend Forecasting
UNITS: 3
An introduction to the concepts behind professional trend forecasting. Students learn to understand the fundamentals of the trend forecasting research process through the analysis of current events, social and cultural influences, and industry observation. Emphasis is placed on interpreting research into viable macro trends. Prerequisites: MRCH 1420, MRCH 1750
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 2880
New Media Public Relations
UNITS: 3
Students use practical and hands on experience to develop an understanding of the role new media plays in current public relations. Students gain practical knowledge of these techniques by developing and presenting individual online campaigns in class. Prerequisite: SMED 1700
VCOM 1250
Survey of Visual Communications
UNITS: 3
A survey of the visual communications industry and how image and corporate identity run through all visual media.  Students examine and analyze visual marketing, graphic identity, e-commerce, fashion styling, event planning, exhibit design, trade show promotion, vendor manufacturing, retail store planning, retail theme environments, and visual merchandising.
VCOM 1480
Perspective Sketching
UNITS: 3
Students learn skills and techniques which enable them to use perspective to create dramatic and effective sketches, drawings, and computer images. Prerequisite: VCOM 1350
VCOM 2080
Environment Styling: Commercials to Lifestyle
UNITS: 3
An introduction to a variety of styling techniques needed for advertising, commercials, publishing or social media posting for lifestyle branding. Students learn the tools and tips needed with emphasis placed on product styling techniques and concepts. Students produce, art direct, and style photo shoots. Prerequisite: VCOM 2350
VCOM 2220
Materials & Props (6 hours)*
UNITS: 3
This class exposes students to a variety of materials, including plastic, wood, metals, and tile, and their application to the industry. Students explore methods, materials, and techniques for producing visuals for the industry. Includes a three (3) hour lab. Prerequisites: VCOM 1250, VCOM 1480
VCOM 2370
Design Strategies for E-Commerce & Visual Environments
UNITS: 3
Students will explore the future of merchandising and key innovations in the visual environment. Interpreting marketing promotions visually through window displays, in-store installations at various levels, store outposts, graphics and other collateral elements. Students research costs of elements, prepare budgets, ensure ease of installation and create different roll-out packages for various types of businesses based on store yearly volumes, sizes, locations, and staffing capabilities. Prerequisites: VCOM 2020
VCOM 2460
Design Installation (6 hours)*
UNITS: 3
An introduction to the crafts of visual presentation. Students receive hands-on experience in working with the tools and materials used to produce merchandise presentations and window displays. Standards of excellent craftsmanship are stressed as students design and install portfolio-quality visual presentations. Includes a three (3) hour lab. Prerequisite: VCOM 2220
VCOM 2710
3-D Studio
UNITS: 3
An in-depth approach to 3-D design. Students learn intermediate to advanced features using computer-generated 3-D imagery. Students demonstrate an understanding of elements typical in 3-D production including line, shape, color, texturing, composition, rendering, and digital enhancing techniques. Prerequisites: VCOM 2020, VCOM 2370
VCOM 2780
Portfolio Preparation & Presentation
UNITS: 3
This class assists students in preparing and developing a professional portfolio of their work. Students learn to deliver presentations with practical techniques on how to structure the material to be presented, create visual aids, and speak with confidence. Prerequisite: VCOM 2460
VCOM 2810
Experiential Techniques in the Visual World
UNITS: 3
This class emphasizes the importance of creating exciting experiences to engage customers in the way they interact with products, places, and environments. An emphasis is placed on the analysis of the use and effectiveness of existing as well as researching the direction of technologies to create customer experiences of the future. Blue Sky ideation allows students to think creatively in developing a future vision. Students visit technology companies, forward thinking retailers, and non-traditional retail spaces to explore the possibilities of new ways to engage the consumer. Prerequisites: VCOM 2370
VCOM 2820
Fashion Styling & Coordination
UNITS: 3
This course will focus on various styling techniques for photo shoots, runway shows to red carpet events. Students will learn and gain knowledge of professional styling and art direction through lecture and projects from styling for the internet, online blogs to editorial styling. The class culminates in a themed fashion shoot. Lab. Prerequisite: VCOM 2130
VCOM 2840
Entrepreneurship for Visual Presentation
UNITS: 3
Students understand the marketing and financial data essential to making informed business decisions. Basic financial statements and their interpretation, cost analysis, and relationship to the visual communications industry are included. Prerequisite: VCOM 2820
Total Units of Credit: 90

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