Your first year

The School of Art and Design offers a foundation program in its Department of Foundation that is a prerequisite for the bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) degree programs in the Department of Art and Design as well as the Department of Design's bachelor of industrial design (B.I.D.) degree program in industrial and interaction design.

The Department of Foundation is comprised of energetic faculty who are specifically dedicated to first-year students. The foundation curriculum is designed to provide the most rigorous introductory courses necessary for a complete education in art and design. The basic structure of the foundation year includes four required studios: Time Arts, Foundation Drawing, Two-Dimensional Creative Processes, and Dimensional Arts; two required courses in art and design history; one required Syracuse University writing course; and the First-Year Colloquium, which addresses a wide range of contemporary issues and topics through films, lectures, and presentations by visiting artists and designers. The goal of these courses is to strengthen conceptual and technical abilities, promote research activity, and provide a cultural and historical context for a broader and more diverse understanding of students’ ideas.

In addition to these required courses, students have choices of studio art and academic electives in both semesters. The goal of the studio art electives is to provide students with a broad, rich experience. You may choose to take your academic electives in other areas of the University, including within the School of Art and Design.

Throughout the foundation year, you come in contact with faculty and students from all programs in the School of Art and Design. There are multiple opportunities for conversations and presentations about our many different major areas of study so that you are prepared to choose a major at the end of the year. By the end of the foundation program, you are prepared for both the intensive focus of your art or design major and the intellectual challenge of a liberal arts education.

Students in the B.F.A. degree programs in fashion design  and environmental and interior design  have additional foundation requirements and should refer to that program of study for more information.