Foundation Year

“Through exposure to a wide spectrum of processes, techniques, and ideas, our first-year students construct a strong and diverse base from which to move confidently into their major field of study.”
— Roy Tomlinson, Department Chair

Foundation Year

course titleFallSpring
Visual Elements: 2D*3
Visual Elements: Digital Tools*3
Basic Drawing33
3D Design3*
Time Arts*3
FN100 Foundation Seminar **1 
English Composition33
Exploring Visual Culture3 
Studio elective 3
* Can be taken Fall or Spring
** FN100 Foundation Seminar is required of all freshman with under 30 transfer credits.

Foundation students at PNCA work together in a first-year experience that introduces the basic vocabulary, concepts and skills shared by all disciplines of the fine and design arts. During this year of immersion in studio and liberal arts, students explore a variety of tools, techniques, and ideas as they are introduced to the fundamentals of PNCA’s studio majors. Students investigate the language of visual organization and acquire the material and conceptual skills to successfully communicate ideas and manage projects as they move through the PNCA curriculum. Other Foundation fundamentals include:

  • Developing the language to discuss visual phenomena
  • Investigating the materials, processes, and technologies of creative practice
  • Understanding the professional activities and attitudes of working artists and designers
  • Practicing writing, reading, researching, and critical analysis
  • Learning about the areas of study at PNCA and assistance with choosing and declaring a major
  • Exposure to the issues and ideas of contemporary art and design in the 21st century

In addition to required courses, students may choose a one-credit elective each semester from a variety of offerings in PNCA’s Continuing Education (CE) program. Consult the current CE catalog or visit for specific courses and schedules.

3-D Design, here taught by assistant professor Chris Gander, introduces the fundamentals of three-dimensional design techniques and concepts such as space, mass, form, volume, texture, material, and structure.

2012–13 Curriculum Chart

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