Foundation Year

The mission of the foundation year is to provide students a foundational understanding of visual literacy in basic studio techniques and visual perception of form and space, an understanding of the underlying principles of visual arts, an introduction to art history, and an enhanced studio experience through integration of liberal arts core competencies. All students focus on the same fundamental issues of form making through studio classes in drawing, two-dimensional design, three-dimensional design, four-dimensional (time-based) design and color theory.


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 program. 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.

Foundation Year
  • To deliver basic studio techniques and skills to develop visual literacy, and to apply the underlying concepts and principles common to art and design
  • To connect visual concepts of design with liberal arts curriculum
  • To prepare students for further studies in their areas emphasis during the second year
Foundation Year
  • Apply the principles of art and design to create works that visually organize form, space, and time
  • Apply careful craftsmanship and techniques for clean and resolved presentations in a variety of media
  • Develop critical awareness and appraisal of personal expression in a variety of media and processes

Syllabi with Supply Lists and Costs of Items