Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Communication Arts

School of the Arts

Concentration(s):
Scientific and Preparatory Medical Illustration
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
  • 3D Character Modeler
  • 3D Environment Artist
  • 3D Lighting Artist
  • 3D Storyboard Artist
  • Art Consultant
  • Character Designer/Artist
  • Children’s Book Illustrator
  • Comic Book Illustrator
  • Concept Designer/Artist
  • Digital Media Designer
  • Field Illustrator (archeology/anthropology)
  • Game Designer
  • Gaming Assets Modeler
  • Graphic Illustrator/Designer
  • Production Artist
  • Professional Freelance Illustrator/Designer
  • Scientific Illustrator
  • Storyboard Artist
  • Technical Illustrator
  • User Experience Artist
  • User Interface Artist
  • Visual Effects Artist
  • Visual/Motion Designer
Professional associations and resources
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 151
Science required
  • 5+ additional science courses
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 each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Explore UNIV 291 modules: Maximizing and Advancing in AFO.  
  • Apply to University, VCUarts, and external grants and scholarships.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond’s museums, parks, festivals and events!
  • Apply to live in the ASPiRE, Globe, INNOVATE, or LEAD Living & Learning Programs.
  • Check out university art spaces and the VCUArts Calendar.
  • Get involved with VCU Student Government or one of over 450 clubs and organizations.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Learn about your study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs website for programs, events, and resources.
  • Attend VCUarts visiting artist lectures and related events every semester.
  • Visit local and regional museums of art, history, and diversity every semester.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Explore The Vault to learn about employers/ job titles related to your field.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists to learn about opportunities.
  • Build your LinkedIn profile with Career Services.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Make a digital archive of AFO studio and personal work.
  • Research VCUArts alumni for networking and mentorship opportunities.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using Lynda.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Discuss various opportunities & resources with your advisor & professors. See your advisor for success planning, courses & scheduling, career goals, and minor & certificate information.
  • Meet with professors to discuss approaches to assignments, research, and other opportunities.
  • Learn foundational & technical skills needed to master your direction within your department.
  • Review DegreeWorks where you will map out your course schedules and path to graduation.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Discuss resources, organizations, events, and service-learning with your advisor & professors.
  • Learn about opportunities and connect with diverse groups & associations.
  • Attend student art exhibitions, Richmond’s First Fridays art walk, and other regional art events.
  • Discuss internship opportunities and design organizations in the region with your advisor, department Chair, and VCU Career Services.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Research Study Abroad opportunities with your advisor & VCU Education Abroad.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Connect with VCU Globe & Global Education programs and attend events such as Global Café.
  • Consider World Studies minors, programs, and courses.
  • Connect with organizations that support our underrepresented populations such as B.A.S.E.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Consider VCUarts service learning programs & courses, exhibition & community project opportunities, clubs & organizations, and the Dean’s Grants.
  • Attend Career, Internship, & Study Abroad fairs.
  • Create a resume and have it reviewed by your advisor, professors, and VCU Career Services.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Meet with your advisor & professors to discuss your focus within the major and career opportunities.
  • Discuss courses that will lead to your dream career with your advisor & professors. Consider the skills you will need for these courses and work with your professors to ensure you get the most out of your learning experience.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your advisor to discuss success planning, goals, graduation, and opportunities.
  • Research & experiment with your art projects. This will assist you in mindful learning.
  • Discuss possible directions in the arts as they relate to your goals & courses.
  • Plan your final courses and graduation date.
  • Connect with programs, opportunities, and groups you are interested in.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Attend regional art events, faculty & student exhibitions, programs, and workshops.
  • Connect to various programs & galleries within and outside of VCU.
  • This is the final year you will be eligible for our Dean’s Research & Travel Grants. Speak to your advisor or admin about these opportunities.
  • Create and complete a community-engaged research project.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • 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.   
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office.  
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Secure any internship & independent study opportunities you have been considering.
  • Connect with professors, advisors, and VCU Career Services about professional goals, post-graduation, and your future success.
  • Take advantage of opportunities such as being published in our VCU magazines, or having your work displayed in The Anderson.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Meet with VCU Career Services to discuss your career ideas, your resume, and to plan your future career-seeking process.
  • Discuss the postgraduate process & plan with your advisor & professors. This will help you make informed decisions after college.
  • Create a professional online resource of your work and arts endeavors.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your 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
  • Join professional organizations & sites that will assist you after graduation.
  • Connect with your professors & mentors through social media and learn about future opportunities.
  • Discuss post-graduation goals with your professors/mentors and secure your professional references for the future.
  • Re-connect to any and all related clubs & organizations, programs, and arts opportunities.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Investigate all of the cultural and diverse events & groups that you always wanted to during your VCU experience. You will find that these experiences will provide you with additional skills that translate into future successes.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Discuss your postgraduate plans with your mentors & advisor. Secure online resources for future opportunities.
  • Research professional internships & possible careers, and connect with organizations that are in your scope and direction.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Meet with VCU Career Services, and connect with your peer group, professors, and your advisor about professional practices, professional opportunities, and online resources.
  • Connect with your professors & mentors to secure your professional references. Discuss online sites and connections to professional groups & organizations that may help you reach your postgraduate goal.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

Communication Arts

School of the Arts

Concentration(s):
No concentration | Scientific and Preparatory Medical 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 each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Explore UNIV 291 modules: Maximizing and Advancing in AFO.  
  • Apply to University, VCUarts, and external grants and scholarships.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience
  • Explore The Vault to learn about employers/ job titles related to your field.
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists to learn about opportunities.
  • Build your LinkedIn profile with Career Services
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Make a digital archive of AFO studio and personal work.
  • Research VCUArts alumni for networking and mentorship opportunities.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using Lynda
Experience Year 2
  • Discuss various opportunities & resources with your advisor & professors. See your advisor for success planning, courses & scheduling, career goals, and minor & certificate information.
  • Meet with professors to discuss approaches to assignments, research, and other opportunities.
  • Learn foundational & technical skills needed to master your direction within your department.
  • Review DegreeWorks where you will map out your course schedules and path to graduation.
  • Discuss resources, organizations, events, and service-learning with your advisor & professors.
  • Learn about opportunities and connect with diverse groups & associations.
  • Attend student art exhibitions, Richmond’s First Fridays art walk, and other regional art events.
  • Discuss internship opportunities and design organizations in the region with your advisor, department Chair, and VCU Career Services
  • Research Study Abroad opportunities with your advisor & VCU Education Abroad.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Connect with VCU Globe & Global Education programs and attend events such as Global Café
  • Consider World Studies minors, programs, and courses.
  • Connect with organizations that support our underrepresented populations such as B.A.S.E.
  • Consider VCUarts service learning programs & courses, exhibition & community project opportunities, clubs & organizations, and the Dean’s Grants.
  • Attend Career, Internship, & Study Abroad fairs.
  • Create a resume and have it reviewed by your advisor, professors, and VCU Career Services.
  • Meet with your advisor & professors to discuss your focus within the major and career opportunities.
  • Discuss courses that will lead to your dream career with your advisor & professors. Consider the skills you will need for these courses and work with your professors to ensure you get the most out of your learning experience.
Year 3
  • See your advisor to discuss success planning, goals, graduation, and opportunities.
  • Research & experiment with your art projects. This will assist you in mindful learning.
  • Discuss possible directions in the arts as they relate to your goals & courses.
  • Plan your final courses and graduation date.
  • Connect with programs, opportunities, and groups you are interested in.
  • Attend regional art events, faculty & student exhibitions, programs, and workshops.
  • Connect to various programs & galleries within and outside of VCU.
  • This is the final year you will be eligible for our Dean’s Research & Travel Grants. Speak to your advisor or admin about these opportunities.
  • Create and complete a community-engaged research project
  • 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.   
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office.  
  • Secure any internship & independent study opportunities you have been considering.
  • Connect with professors, advisors, and VCU Career Services about professional goals, post-graduation, and your future success.
  • Take advantage of opportunities such as being published in our VCU magazines, or having your work displayed in The Anderson
  • Meet with VCU Career Services to discuss your career ideas, your resume, and to plan your future career-seeking process.
  • Discuss the postgraduate process & plan with your advisor & professors. This will help you make informed decisions after college.
  • Create a professional online resource of your work and arts endeavors.
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your 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.
  • Join professional organizations & sites that will assist you after graduation.
  • Connect with your professors & mentors through social media and learn about future opportunities.
  • Discuss post-graduation goals with your professors/mentors and secure your professional references for the future.
  • Re-connect to any and all related clubs & organizations, programs, and arts opportunities.
  • Investigate all of the cultural and diverse events & groups that you always wanted to during your VCU experience. You will find that these experiences will provide you with additional skills that translate into future successes.
  • Discuss your postgraduate plans with your mentors & advisor. Secure online resources for future opportunities.
  • Research professional internships & possible careers, and connect with organizations that are in your scope and direction.
  • Meet with VCU Career Services, and connect with your peer group, professors, and your advisor about professional practices, professional opportunities, and online resources.
  • Connect with your professors & mentors to secure your professional references. Discuss online sites and connections to professional groups & organizations that may help you reach your postgraduate goal.