At a Glance

(BFA) Bachelor of Fine Arts
121 (Somehow) Total Credits
General Education Credits 39
Art & Science Credits 3
Program Credits 61
Elective Credits 15

In recent years, demand for skilled employees in the creative professions has risen dramatically. 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, Visual Communications at Cazenovia College is the place for you. The program leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts and offers concentrations in Advertising Design, Graphic Design, Illustration/Animation, and Web/Interactive Design. Student may wish to pursue more than one concentration within the program.

The Illustration/Animation concentration prepares students to create applied imagery; art that visually communicates a message or a story to an audience. Students in this concentration will draw and paint using traditional as well as digital media to create literal or conceptual visuals for documentation, reference or instruction; commentary; storytelling; persuasion; and identity. Students will also learn how to create sequential imagery for moving images, animation, TV motion graphics, comic books, graphic novels, narrative fiction and non-fiction for young audiences, as well as still images for advertising, packaging, magazines and any print and digital media. Instruction is geared toward preparing students to enter a growing and varied job market as a freelance cartoon or commercial illustrator, cartoonist, or staff commercial illustrator.

  • Students will cultivate intellectual curiosity and practice critical thinking skills during the creative design process.
  • Students will identify desired outcomes and analyze socio-cultural context as they solve visual design problems.
  • Students will be prepared for professional positions in the field of visual communications or graduate school in related fields.
Our photography programs are housed in the lower level of Reisman Hall. The facility includes:
  • Black and white darkroom
  • Alternative process darkroom
  • Lighting studio (equipped with strobes, cool lights, large format cameras, backdrops, tripods, lighting accessories and props)
  • Digital lab with: iMac workstations, large format Canon Printers, high resolution film scanners, Adobe CC
  • 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)   
   VC 221    History of Visual Communications (3)
Total Arts & Sciences Program Credits - 3
   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 140    Typography (3)
   VC 206    Storyboarding (3)
   VC 232    Illustration I (3)
   VC 235    Commercial Film & Video Production (3)
   VC 242    Graphic Design I (3)
   VC 274    Imaging Graphics (3)
   VC 311    Illustration II (3)
   VC 312    Illustration III (3) 
   VC 351    2D Animation (3)
   VC 375    Web Design I (3)
   VC 384    Visual Communications Internship (3)
   VC 411    3D Animation (3) OR VC 412 Motion Graphics (3)
   VC 492    Senior Portfolio I (3)
   VC 493    Senior Portfolio II  (3)
   VC 300-400    Career Electives (6)
   VC 281    Internship Preparation (1)
Total Career Program Credits - 61
Open Electives  
    Courses (Credits) 
    100-400 level    (15)
Total Open Elective Credits -15