Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

Communication Arts

School of the Arts

 
Program description

The Department of Communication Arts’ mission is to empower students to create and communicate with insight, vision and voice. 

By guiding students to a deeper understanding of past and present artistic practices and methods of visual problem-solving, while concurrently fostering a thoughtful awareness of future technologies and theoretical concerns, the department increases their ability to devise informed design solutions and present them in a refined and professional manner.

The communication arts faculty encourages critical-thinking, discipline and entrepreneurship — abilities critical for success in the fast and ever-changing world in which we live.

Career opportunities

The field of communication arts offers many interrelated career opportunities. A broad set of overlapping skills enables the communication artist to work in different yet related fields. A creative, flexible and multidisciplinary artist enjoys greater career possibilities in an increasingly competitive global job market. The Department of Communication Arts offers its students a cross-disciplinary education that ranges from the use of traditional media to a powerful array of digital tools.  Graduates are well prepared for employment in Illustration, Concept Art, Print and Web Communications, Motion Graphics, Visual Effects and Games, Comic Books and Graphic Novels. 

Change of major requirements

Successful completion of the VCUarts Art Foundation program.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • User Experience Artist
  • 3D Character Modeler
  • 3D Environment Artist
  • 3D Lighting Artist
  • 3D Storyboard Artist
  • Character Designer/Artist
  • Children’s Book Illustrator
  • Comic Book Illustrator
  • Concept Designer/Artist
  • Digital Media Designer
  • Field Illustrator (archeology/anthropology)
  • Game Designer
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Consultant
  • Director of Communications
  • Editor
  • Public Relations Manager
Professional associations and resources
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 131
Science required
  • Core only
Foreign language requirements
  • No
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.5 major GPA
Department name:
Department of Communication Arts
Building/room location:
Franklin Terrace, Suite 201
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-3658
Email:
bbirchett@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Explore UNIV 291 modules: Maximizing and Advancing in AFO.  
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Apply to University, VCUarts, and external grants and scholarships.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers in your field of study.
  • Build a LinkedIn profile with Career Services, connect to at least 10 people, and check out the VCU alumni page.
  • Join Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) to connect to VCU traditions, networking opportunities, and fellow Rams.
  • Access your free credit report and begin making responsible credit choices to prepare for your future.
  • Digitally archive studio & personal work.
  • Research VCUArts alumni for networking and mentorship opportunities.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Learn foundational & technical skills needed to master your direction within your department.
  • Review Degree Works where you will map out your course schedules and path to graduation.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural or identity-related organization.
  • Consider World Studies minors, programs, and courses.
  • Connect with organizations that support our underrepresented populations such as B.A.S.E.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Consider VCUarts service learning programs & courses, exhibition & community project opportunities, clubs & organizations, and the Dean’s Grants.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Discuss courses that will lead to your dream career with your advisor & professors. Consider the skills you will need and work with your professors to ensure you get the most out of your learning experience.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • Research & experiment with your art projects to practice mindful learning.
  • Connect with programs, opportunities, and groups you are interested in.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Actively develop your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • Consider the contextual basis of the work you are making and your chosen audience.
  • Research and speak to your advisor about courses & arts opportunities that connect you to our diverse communities and communities across the world.   
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Discuss possible directions in the arts as they relate to your goals & courses.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Create a professional online resource of your work and arts endeavors.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
  • Maximize your final year with every opportunity that is relevant to your postgraduate goal. Discuss options with your advisor & professors.
  • Discuss your senior projects with your professors & advisor. Consider ways you intend to display your work in our Communication Arts Senior Expo.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Attend cultural and diverse events for additional skills that translate into future successes.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Research professional internships & possible careers. Connect with organizations in your scope and direction.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2019-2020

Communication Arts

School of the Arts

Concentration(s):
No concentration | Scientific Illustration
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor to review your CSI self-report, start goal planning, and to discuss tutoring, electives, & degree progression.
  • Take a tour to learn about library spaces, services, & how to get research help.
  • Explore UNIV 291 modules: Maximizing and Advancing in AFO.  
  • Map out a 4-year course plan in Degree Works' Student Educational Planner.
  • Apply to University, VCUarts, and external grants and scholarships.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers in your field of study.
  • Build a LinkedIn profile with Career Services, connect to at least 10 people, and check out the VCU alumni page.
  • Join Students Today Alumni Tomorrow (STAT) to connect to VCU traditions, networking opportunities, and fellow Rams.
  • Access your free credit report and begin making responsible credit choices to prepare for your future.
  • Digitally archive studio & personal work.
  • Research VCUArts alumni for networking and mentorship opportunities.
Experience Year 2
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Learn foundational & technical skills needed to master your direction within your department.
  • Review Degree Works where you will map out your course schedules and path to graduation.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural or identity-related organization.
  • Consider World Studies minors, programs, and courses.
  • Connect with organizations that support our underrepresented populations such as B.A.S.E.
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Consider VCUarts service learning programs & courses, exhibition & community project opportunities, clubs & organizations, and the Dean’s Grants.
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
  • Discuss courses that will lead to your dream career with your advisor & professors. Consider the skills you will need and work with your professors to ensure you get the most out of your learning experience.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • Research & experiment with your art projects to practice mindful learning.
  • Connect with programs, opportunities, and groups you are interested in.
  • Actively develop your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • Consider the contextual basis of the work you are making and your chosen audience.
  • Research and speak to your advisor about courses & arts opportunities that connect you to our diverse communities and communities across the world.   
  • Discuss possible directions in the arts as they relate to your goals & courses.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and career services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Create a professional online resource of your work and arts endeavors.
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
  • Maximize your final year with every opportunity that is relevant to your postgraduate goal. Discuss options with your advisor & professors.
  • Discuss your senior projects with your professors & advisor. Consider ways you intend to display your work in our Communication Arts Senior Expo.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Attend cultural and diverse events for additional skills that translate into future successes.
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Research professional internships & possible careers. Connect with organizations in your scope and direction.
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services. 
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.