The Studio Foundation Program in the School of Art and Design consists of four required classes for all students seeking to major in one of the nine studio concentrations or Art Education. These classes are Drawing I, Introductory Studio, 2D Design and 3D Design. The premise of the Foundation Program is to serve as an introduction to and a preparation for the student's major area of study. This program, which is the core of all studio concentrations, offers the opportunity to investigate a broad range of ideas, approaches and issues in art, challenging the student to think and work in new ways. Rather than promote any single discipline, the program is founded upon intensive studio investigation of techniques, methods, and concepts common to all areas of creative production.
The Program presents many challenges and requires students to think and act in new ways. These challenges are designed to help students develop the confidence and skills to push their creative work beyond the obvious and familiar. Although it is essential that students spend time refining existing knowledge and skills, it is also important for them to explore new materials, techniques, and ideas. In all Foundation studio courses, relevant conceptual and critical issues are introduced and discussed alongside each practical assignment. This integrated approach promotes a balance between developing technical and intellectual skills, and places equal emphasis on both the process and the product of artistic investigation. Students begin to develop personal vocabulary and content by considering subjects and ideas from various frames of reference.
A typical course sequence for incoming freshmen or transfer students into the School of Art and Design would be Drawing I and 2D Design in the first semester followed by Introductory Studio and 3D Design the second semester. Becuase the courses have no pre-requisites, they may be taken in any order. In addition, first year studio majors are required to take two sections of Art History Survey courses. This intensive first year experience lays the foundation for the School's diverse studio disciplines and reflects the School's commitment to the professional preparation of its students for careers in visual communication.