As a first-year student, you will take foundation courses that cut across the curriculum, giving you exposure to a wide variety of techniques, tools, and concepts while integrating you into the MCAD community.

Providing a solid base upon which more focused studies can build, foundation studio courses get you grounded in basic art and design concepts, and foundation liberal arts courses teach you about art and design history while also helping you hone your writing and research skills.

Declaring a Major

Following your first year of foundation studies, you will work with your advisor and instructors to define your goals and choose your major within the BFA program. You should declare your major no later than your third semester at MCAD. BS students are automatically entrepreneurial studies majors and do not need to declare.


Foundation Studies Courses

Foundation: 2D

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.

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: Media 1

Students are introduced to digital resources at MCAD while exploring digital media. Areas covered include the Service Bureau, Gray Studio, and Media Center, along with other digital resources. Students use a variety of software and hardware to learn the basics of working with recorded media, including video, sound, and photography, as well as developing critical language for discussing media and media artists. Prerequisite: None

Foundation: Media 2

Building on the knowledge acquired in Foundation: Media 1, this course engages students’ skills in observation, recording, editing, critical analysis, and conceptualization within media arts. Through discussions, lectures, and creative projects, students explore various modes of media presentation and the power of moving images and multimedia work. Using digital technologies to deepen their media and technology foundation, students explore complex concepts and techniques for creating impactful work. Prerequisite: Foundation: Media 1


Additional Foundation Studies Courses for BFA Students

Foundation: 3D

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 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

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