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Program Requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Science degree in visual communication & digital media arts (VCDMA), students must successfully complete 120-123 semester hours depending on their concentration. Additionally, students from other departments may seek to minor in VCDMA and should develop a track scheme with faculty in VCDMA to complete 24 credits in a specific VCDMA area of concentration. VCDMA also offers minors in the concentration areas. The minor consists of 24 credits (21 in studio and one in an approved art history course).

Art & Design History Requirement

Students must also complete a minimum of 12 credit hours in art/design history with a mandatory requirement of art, based on specific concentration (see advisement sheet and or advisor for details).

Graduation Requirements

Students must earn at least a grade of “C” in courses taken in the major (this includes art/VCDMA, music and theater courses). Otherwise the course(s) must be repeated. Students who show evidence of fundamental weakness in an area of will be required by the advisor and/or department chair to take additional course work in that area.

Portfolio Requirement
Students are also required to present and maintain a comprehensive portfolio of their work for periodic inspection and to participate in all student art exhibitions and faculty reviews in order to:

  • proceed to the junior level
  • accompany their senior thesis
  • complete their requirements for graduation

These reviews are accomplished through a successful students' demonstration of traditional, foundation skills in basic 2D, 3D design (sculpture), drawing, photography, painting, basic computer graphics and fashion illustration (fashion students only). Students are expected to demonstrate a basic to intermediate level of skill and execution of the elements and principles of art/design, as well as composition. Students must take and pass two courses:

  • ART 219 Portfolio Review & Assessment I (basic/foundation and lower level) usually by their sophomore year and
  • ART 419 Portfolio Review & Assessment II (advanced examples based on area of concentration and upper level courses) in their senior year and final semester

Portfolio Tips

See VCDMA Portfolio Rubric

These reviews and the successful completion of ART 498 Senior Thesis are requirements for graduation. A portfolio review form must be provided with each digital portfolio, as well as a link to students’ online portfolio.

Internship Requirement

All VCDMA students must successfully complete an internship based on their specific area of concentration and/or related field or industry. This is accomplished by students passing a portfolio review (ART 219) and having at least 24 credit hours in upper level courses (300 and above) in their major and concentration area, and by taking and passing successfully ART 491 Internship in Art and Visual Communication. Students should contact their academic advisor and/or program coordinator for details. It is strongly suggested that students complete more than one internship by graduation (only one, ART 491 is required).

Senior Thesis

Students are required to submit a minimum 2-page, typed proposal (with additional sketches, maquettes, storyboards, character design (animation), mood boards or fashion patterns (fashion), production design, etc., online and physical portfolio, blog, sketchbook) – based on a specific area of concentration and based on proposed final exhibition and theme before taking ART 498. This is normally done when taking ART 219 Portfolio Review and Assessment I.

The entire body of senior thesis exhibition work must be approved and completed a minimum of one semester prior to taking ART 498, one year before is highly suggested. Students are also required to maintain a sketchbook during their matriculation at Bowie State University. Please refer to Thesis Proposal Guidelines for assistance and directions for typing the thesis proposal.

VCDMA faculty must approve this senior thesis proposal (typed) before a student can take the course and/or mount their final show. This proposal must demonstrate a specific theme, concept or area of focus within a student's given concentration and area of research, and successful mastery in the artwork as well as writing for and about the work; and again in an area of discipline specific to VCDMA.

These items should be submitted with portfolio at least one semester prior to taking Art 498, and must be approved by at least (3) full-time VCDMA/ART faculty members, including the VCDMA Program Coordinator/Advisor. Students must also plan their final exhibition with permission and approval of Gallery Director, and follow all requirements for mounting a professional exhibition in the BSU Gallery.

Students are also required to complete a final assessment of their senior show, exit survey and final portfolio review in order to meet graduation requirements. Students who fail to adhere to this policy may be in jeopardy of not graduating or in being asked to leave the program. Students are also required to complete an internship or apprenticeship by taking Art 491 Internship in Art and Visual Communication in their respective career field prior to graduation.

Please refer to the official BSU undergraduate catalog (based on program year) for more information.