All first-year students in the bachelor of fine arts degree program take the same foundation courses throughout their first three semesters.
Providing a solid base upon which more focused studies can build, foundation studio courses get students grounded in basic art and design concepts, and foundation liberal arts courses teach them about art and design history while also helping them hone their writing and research skills.
Declaring a Major
Following first-year foundation studies, students work with advisors and instructors to define their goals and choose an appropriate academic program. Students should declare a major no later than their third semester at MCAD.
Foundation Studies Courses
Foundation: 2D is an introduction to creative thinking that develops students’ skills in research, observation, interpretation, and self-expression. An emphasis is placed on exploring new ways to read and see the world, as well as new ways to report on it. Students learn basic two-dimensional principles through the use of various media, tools, materials, and processes. As a result, students develop a visual and verbal language for analyzing, organizing, shaping, and communicating two-dimensional form and meaning.
This course is an introduction to the understanding of visual creation in the development of knowledge, imagination, and perception. Students are introduced to basic three-dimensional concepts as well as materials and technical production processes. Classroom activities include shop demonstrations of tools and techniques, lectures, critiques and discussions appropriate to promoting the balanced fusion of practice and theory.
Foundation: Drawing 1
Foundation: Drawing 1 is an introductory drawing course designed to prepare students for study in all majors of the college. Students develop basic drawing skills, including the ability to perceive and express visual relationships, organize a two-dimensional composition, and depict and manipulate form, space, and light. Students work from direct observation of still life, interior space, and landscape.
Foundation: Drawing 2
Foundation: Drawing 2 is an observationally based drawing course designed to reinforce and develop the basic drawing skills established in Foundation: Drawing 1. Students work with a variety of subjects, including a substantial amount of drawing from the figure. In addition to working from direct observation, students explore drawing as a tool for invention, conceptualization, and idea development. The course also affords students an opportunity to investigate drawing materials in more breadth and depth than in Foundation: Drawing 1. Prerequisite: Foundation: Drawing 1
Foundation: Media 1
Students are introduced to the digital resources at MCAD while exploring digital media and laptop computing. Areas covered include the Service Bureau, student servers, Media Center, and digital resources. Students discuss media and media artists as well as study various software applications including Adobe Photoshop and web development tools. Prerequisite: None
Foundation: Media 2
Building on the skills acquired in Foundation: Media 1, this class takes up more advanced software applications. Through discussions and lectures, students explore various modes of media presentation, the power of moving images, and web work. Using a variety of software and hardware, students learn the basics of nonlinear editing, sound recording, and video recording. Prerequisite: Foundation: Media 1
Ideation and Process
Everything we make has its beginning as an idea, which takes form as an artist/designer makes a series of decisions to guide its creative evolution. This course is designed to help students explore the development of new ideas and their own process of making. Students also create visual tools to track their creative process from idea through construction and then to post production analysis. The course consists of discussions, critiques, exercises, and visual logs. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing
Sophomore Seminar: Contemporary Practice
Practice is more than working methods: it’s the context, marketing, and creative space that maintain creative work. Contemporary Practice introduces students to the foundations, variety, and tools of a professional practice. Students upgrade websites and documentation, enter contests, and create professional presentations of their work. Classes consist of lectures, student presentations, and guest speakers from a wide range of disciplines. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing