Foundation Year

Artwork by Hilary Cianciosi
The Associate of Fine Arts Degree Program requires a core group of Foundations courses during the first year of study. Starting with the second year, students take major-specific courses in addition to liberal arts courses.

Foundation Year Mission: 

DCAD embraces the practice of a Foundation year.  During this time, all students, regardless of their program, focus on the same fundamental issues of form making through studio classes in drawing, two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and four-dimensional (time-based) design, and color theory.  The purpose of the foundation experience is to develop visual literacy and skill in basic studio technique, to provide a foundation in art history, and to promote understanding of the underlying concepts and principles of the visual arts.  During the first two semesters, students work with materials, concepts and skills that they apply later in their areas of concentration.  Students cultivate the potential for visual, technical, and symbolic qualities of two- and three-dimensional form as well as color and the use of time as a design element.  The Foundation-Year includes a basic introduction to each studio emphasis through the Foundation Seminar.

Foundation Year Goals:

  • -To develop visual literacy and the underlying concepts and principles common to art and design. 
  • -To provide basic studio techniques and skills.
  • -To make connections and reinforce visual concepts between the first- year studio courses.
  • -To make connections between studio courses and Art History courses. 
  • -To encourage connections between Foundation year courses and 2nd year major courses. 
  • -To prepare students for further study in their second year majors.

Foundation Year Studio Course Syllabi & Supply Lists (PDF)