The concentration in Art Direction prepares students for professional positions as creative team leaders who target specific market audiences and produce client branding, single ads or campaigns in print, broadcast, and interactive media.

Courses in art direction and advertising emphasize the development of concepts from infancy through the finished product.  The Art Direction student gains proficiency in creating headlines, copy, layout, and storyboarding, partnering with copywriting students, as well as in directing the work of designers, photographers, illustrators, and other contributions.

The BFA in Visual Communication is an intensive baccalaureate degree that prepares students for professional opportunities in the fields of advertising and design. Students pursuing the degree will choose from the following emphases, each of which has a specified sequence of courses: Art Direction, Design, or New Media.  Each concentration requires the student to complete the 42-semester hour University Studies curriculum and a common core of freshman and sophomore-level art courses.  These courses may be taken at A&M-Commerce or any accredited two or four-year institution.  The BFA in Visual Communication does not require a minor area of concentration. 

All courses in Visual Communication above the sophomore level are taught at the Universities Center at Dallas (UCD), where students are educated in a state-of-the-art facility in downtown Dallas and introduced to the dynamic design community of one of the nation’s most vibrant cities.  Shuttle service between the Commerce campus and UCD allows students to reside in Commerce while attending classes in Dallas.

Entry into the junior year of the Visual Communication program is by portfolio review.  Prior to the review, students must have completed all University Studies and core art courses as outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog.  At the time of the portfolio review, students must have an overall grade point average of at least 2.5 and an average of at least 3.0 in the core art classes.  For the specific requirements of the portfolio and annual deadlines for submission, please visit this web site:

The Visual Communication program has an assessment schedule that evaluates the progress of students as they advance in the BFA degree.  Students will undergo a basic assessment of their work in the third or fourth year and an assessment of their specialized work as they near graduation.  The purpose of the assessments is to correct deficiencies and to encourage consistent growth in a student’s portfolio, thus improving his or her opportunities for rewarding employment after graduation.  If a student’s progress is unsatisfactory, they may be advised by the faculty to repeat courses to strengthen and further develop their skills.  After the first year of the program, students will be required to enter competitive shows for the purpose of building professional experience and gaining a critical perspective of their work. In the final year of the BFA, students must pass an exit review in order to graduate.  As with all degree programs at A&M-Commerce, students must earn a C or higher in their major courses for them to count towards graduation.

Provided they are part of the common course numbering system recognized across the State of Texas, courses from other accredited institutions may be transferred to A&M-Commerce.  Courses that fall outside the numbering system may still be transferable, but they will be subject to a portfolio review.  Portfolio reviews for transfer students will generally occur late in the spring semester for students wishing to enter the Visual Communication program in the fall semester.

Core Curriculum courses

See the Core Curriculum Requirements


Required courses in the major

Core Studio

Art Core/Sophomore Studio

ART 1316

Drawing I


ART 1311

Two-Dimensional Design and Color Theory


ART 1312

Three-Dimensional Design & Color Theory


ART 2313

Introduction to Visual Communication


ART 2323

Figure Drawing


PHO 2357

Basic Photography I


Visual Communication Core

ART 300



ART 309

Digital Imaging and Motion for Visual Communication


ART 310

Electronic Media and Methods


ART 365

Design Communications I


ART 466

Design Communications II


ART 472

Art Direction


ART 475

Visual Communication Senior Studio


ART 497

Special Topics


Required/Concentration Studio

ART 416

Advanced Motion Graphics


ART 473

Advertising Art Concepts/Copywriting I


ART 474

Advertising Art Concepts/Copywriting II


18 semester hours from the following:


ART 311

User Experience in Multimedia

ART 312

Web and Mobile Development

ART 313

2 -D Animation

ART 360

Creative Thinking

ART 411

Advanced User Experience in Multimedia

ART 412

Video in Visual Communication

ART 458

Visual Communication Professional Practice

ART 462

Visual Communication Branding

ART 463

Advanced Typography

ART 464

Screen Printing for VisCom

ART 465


ART 467

Design Communications III

ART 468

Design Communications IV

ART 473

Advertising Art Concepts/Copywriting I

ART 474

Advertising Art Concepts/Copywriting II

ART 495


ART 497

Special Topics

Required Support Courses

Art/Design History

ART 1303

GLB/History of Art I *

ART 1304

GLB/History of Art II (Will also satisfy University Studies) *

ART 408

History of Advertising and Consumerism


3 semester hours from any upper division Art History


Total Hours



 This course will satisfy the Core Curriculum requirement for Creative Arts or Degree Pathway.