At a Glance

(BFA) Bachelor of Fine Arts
121 Total Credits
General Education Credits 39
Art & Science Credits 9
Program Credits 64
Elective Credits 9

As technology develops and its potential applications in the workplace increase, the need for Visual Communications graduates continues to grow. The Visual Communications program has a proven record of producing graduates ready to meet this ever-evolving demand.

If you are looking for a major that will prepare you for professional success in a creative field, the NASAD-accredited Visual Communications program at Cazenovia College is the place for you. The program leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts and offers concentrations in Graphic Design, Illustration, Animation, and Interactive Design. Student may wish to pursue more than one concentration within the program.

The Illustration concentration within the Visual Communications program provides students with broad and personalized instruction on the technical skills, design strategies, and professional practices they need to solve client-based visual communications problems. Particular emphasis will be on the skills and knowledge needed to create illustration that documents, references, instructs, comments, tells a story, or persuades a targeted audience. Courses in this BFA program help students develop their traditional and digital drawing skills to create still print images as well as sequential imagery for comic books, graphic novels, narrative fiction and non-fiction for young audiences.

Graduates are prepared for employment in creative careers as illustrators or to pursue advanced degrees in a range of similar disciplines.

Cazenovia College is accredited by the prestigious National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Meeting NASAD standards confirms that Cazenovia’s curricula, faculty, facilities and student work are among the best in the U.S. 

  • GOAL 1: SKILLS - Master formal visual communication skills by the time students graduate.
  • GOAL 2: RESEARCH & IDEAS - Understand and apply design history and theory to generating ideas and visual problem solving.
  • GOAL 3: EXECUTION - Develop the skills to execute visual solutions across a range of traditional and digital media.
  • GOAL 4: PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE - Fully prepared for professional employment in creative careers or further studies.
Our Visual Communications programs are housed on the main and lower floor of Reisman Hall. The facility includes everything you need to produce high-quality graphics and animations, including:
  • State-of-the-art digital lab with MAC workstations loaded with the latest Adobe and other graphics and animations software
  • Cameras and photoshoot set up
  • 3D Printer
  • T-shirt transfer printer
  • Digital drawing tables
  • Light boxes
  • Button makers
  • Wire bending machine
  • Large format printers
  • Scanners
  • Matt cutters and spray booths
  • Students are required to take two career electives that offer a broad experience within the Visual Communications degree to maximize their professional experience in the field.
  • In their final year, Visual Communications students complete a comprehensive senior project in their area of concentration and in collaboration with a professional contact within the field. These projects and their portfolios are showcased in the College Art Gallery in April. The exhibition is curated by the students, and offers the opportunity for friends, family, and industry professionals to view their creative efforts on a large scale.
  • Students and graduates of the Visual Communications program routinely win regional and national awards for their real-world design work.
  • The VC Club, now a student chapter of AIGA, takes annual trips to NYC during which students have the opportunity to tour advertising and design related businesses and visit with authorities in the field.
  • Internships are an integral part of the program because they provide students with valuable professional experience as well as all-important opportunities for networking. Internship students are placed nationally in corporate or educational art departments, advertising agencies, design and animation studios, and publishing houses.
  • Students spend their entire senior year building print and online portfolios while conducting successful job searches with mentors in the field. These portfolios are widely acknowledged by local industry professionals as the best in the region, making graduates competitive on the job market regionally as well as nationally.
  • Classes are small and taught in seminar/discussion/studio format by well-qualified, experienced faculty members in Reisman Hall, with state-of-the art dual boot computer studio labs.
After graduation students pursue degrees in higher education, go into business as freelancers, or find employment in corporate art departments, advertising agencies, design studios, publishing houses, newspapers, magazines, multi-media and web design businesses, or printing firms.

Students with a BFA in Visual Communications enter a growing job market with many career options. Typical employers would include advertising agencies, multimedia production companies, publishers, design groups and consultancies, magazines, local government, education, television, charities, commerce and local industry.

Positions graduates may seek include:
Freelance Designer Owner, partner, principal of a design business, Illustrator (book, magazine, advertising, editorial, greeting card, etc.), Visual image developer Game designer, Animator Cartoonist, Digital Artist, Visual Effects Artist/Designer, Digital Imaging Specialist Visual journalist, Broadcast Designer for film or, TV Motion Graphics Designer, or Comic Book & Graphic Novel Illustrator.


   See Degree Requirements: General Education requirements (33)
   Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Information Literacy: 
      VC 498 Senior Research (3)
   Senior Capstone: VC 499 Senior Project (3)
   Courses (Credits)   
   FA 221    History of Visual Communications (3)
   FA 111 or 210    Art History: to the Middle Ages or Art of the World (3)
   FA 112    Art History: Renaissance to the Present (3)
Total Arts & Sciences Program Credits - 9

   Courses (Credits)      
   SA 111    Drawing: Composition & Perception (3)
   SA 214    Figure Drawing (3)
   VC 111    Design & Digital Color Theory (3)
   VC 112    Concepting (3)
   VC 118    Digital Foundations (3)
   VC 125    Scientific Illustration (3)
   VC 140    Typography (3)
   VC 206    Storyboarding (3)
   VC 232    Illustration I (3)
   VC 242    Graphic Design I (3)
   VC 274    Imaging Graphics (3)
   VC 281    Internship Preparation (1)
   VC 311    Illustration II (3)
   VC 312    Illustration III (3)
   VC 351    2D Animation (3)
   VC 384    Visual Communications Internship (3)
   VC 411 or 412    3D Animation or Motion Graphics (3)
   VC 413    Character Concept and Development (3)
   VC 492    Senior Portfolio I (3)
   VC 493    Senior Portfolio II  (3)
   VC 300-400    Career Electives (6)
Total Career Program Credits - 64

Open Electives  
    Courses (Credits) 
    100-400 level    (6)
    300-400 level    (3)
Total Open Elective Credits - 9