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, Professional Designation (A.A.)

GNST 1230
Color & Design Theory
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.
GRPH 2780
Introduction to Digital Photography
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
SMED 1100
Introduction to Social Media
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
VCOM 1250
Survey of Visual Communications
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 1350
Ideation Sketching
An introductory course in which students learn how to execute loose, quick, freehand sketches beginning with observed, existing spaces, simple elevations and plan views without perspective and to advanced invented visuals, illustrating solutions to various design and visual merchandising problems. Emphasis is placed on speed, confidence, clear communication, use of notation, credible scale, and research. In class and homework assignments consist of many small sketches as students communicate and use appropriate methodology to develop and express ideas. Prerequisite: GNST 1230
VCOM 1480
Perspective Sketching
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 1550
Critical Concepts for Visual Communications
This course is designed to teach students basic problem-solving methodology in visual communications, from definition and clarification of the essential problem, through exploration of multiple solution concepts, to selection and adoption of a single appropriate solution. Prerequisites: VCOM 1480, VCOM 2180
VCOM 1850
Trends: Past, Present & Future
This course introduces students to the methodology behind tracking and forecasting trends for the fashion and design industries. Students analyze key movements in design and the wider cultural events influencing them from the late 19th century through the 21st to develop an understanding of what drives consumer behavior and how design professionals track trends.
VCOM 1900
Drafting Techniques for Visual Presentation
An introduction to basic architectural drafting techniques and skills as they relate to store planning. Prerequisite: VCOM 1350
VCOM 2020
Layout & Design
This course introduces the formal elements of line, shape, color, texture, and composition as well as the principles of design balance, scale, emphasis, repetition, and unity. This course integrates image and type use to communicate meaningful concepts for visual presentation. Prerequisites: VCOM 2180, VCOM 2350
VCOM 2180
Computer Rendering
An introduction to Adobe Illustrator as a design and rendering tool. This course provides students with hands-on experience using the computer to create graphic collateral, fixture diagrams, and store layouts.
VCOM 2220
Materials & Props (6 hours)*
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 1900
VCOM 2350
Computer Graphics
An introductory computer graphics course in which students learn PC applications of Adobe Photoshop, analyze problems of visual thinking, design, and graphics, and present creative solutions. Prerequisite: VCOM 2180
VCOM 2380
Advanced Digital Imaging
Students learn intermediate-to-advanced features of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and enhance their software skills to digitally create professional quality pieces to include in their visual communications portfolio Prerequisites: VCOM 2420
VCOM 2460
Design Installation (6 hours)*
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 2510
E-Commerce & Visual Merchandising
Students will explore the future of visual merchandising and key innovations in areas of virtual and augmented reality, creating an experience for the consumer. Students will also explore through case studies the importance of understanding customer needs and look at the changing demands in visual merchandising for retail brick and mortar and e-commerce businesses. Prerequisite: VCOM 2020
VCOM 2640
Public Relations for Entertainment & Fashion
An introduction to public relations, marketing and event planning. Students will learn the basic skills used to create a full marketing and public relations campaign and put together a successful event. The course will incorporate the creative and strategic thinking involved in a full-fledged communications plan. Students will examine how marketing, including events, and public relations can increase exposure and media attention for a company, organization, product, individual or program. Through case studies, guest speakers, hands-on projects, workshops and discussions, students will learn how to plan and execute effective public relations and marketing campaigns and plan and produce events. Prerequisite: MMKT 1550 Marketing & Brand Development
VCOM 2780
Portfolio Preparation & Presentation
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 2820
Fashion Styling & Coordination
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
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.
Total Units of Credit: 60

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

Some programs offered may require completion of a second year at the Los Angeles or San Francisco campus. Please contact the campus for details.