Our Bachelor of Design program prepares students for successful careers as professionals in the discipline, practice and culture of design. We have an established track record of excellence that continues to create exciting opportunities in the newest design fields.
The Photography and Visual Communications Design majors prepare students for successful careers as professionals in the discipline, practice and culture of photography and design.
The outstanding track record of alumni from both majors has established a reputation of excellence that continues to create exciting opportunities in the newest design fields. Alumni from Photography and Visual Communications Design work in a broad range of careers in the entertainment, advertising, new media, publication, editorial, corporate, television, film, fashion and environmental design industries and character design for the gaming industry.
Both majors are four-year, full-time Bachelor of Design degrees with courses offered throughout the academic year, including evening classes. Admission to the Photography and Visual Communications Design Majors is competitive and is based on a combination of GPA and portfolio assessment.
Applicants who intend to seek admission to Visual Communications Design or Photography should note that the following First Year Studies courses are recommended prior to admission:
Students in all ACAD programs can access individual program requirements within the calendar, and are responsible for meeting the outlined requirements of their academic program.
The Bachelor of Design (BDES) degree is offered with majors in Photography and Visual Communications Design. The BDES in Photography may be awarded upon successful completion of 120 credits including a minimum of 36 credits in liberal studies courses. The BDES in Visual Communications Design may be awarded upon successful completion of 123 credits including a minimum of 30 credits in liberal studies courses.
Both Bachelor of Design majors are designed to offer students a progressive learning experience. The combination of courses allows students to gather information relevant to their major area of study through a combination of studio and liberal studies courses.
Admission to the Photography and Visual Communications Design Majors is competitive and is based on a combination of GPA and portfolio assessment. Successful completion of First Year Studies is required. Students completing deficiencies during the Spring/Summer may be given provisional consideration. Students must be in clear academic standing when they apply to a Design major.
It is strongly recommended that applicants considering Photography as a major be capable of performing high school level mathematical calculations, have a fundamental understanding of sciences, be able to express themselves in writing, be capable of expressing photographic ideas and designs using drawing, possess basic computer skills and be prepared to engage in independent research.
Certain tasks in photography require physical exertion and lifting of heavy photographic equipment similar to full-size luggage. Prospective applicants, who need more information regarding these required tasks, should contact the Head of Photography.
Students must complete all of their required major courses in order to advance to their next year of study. Students may carry deficiencies in Liberal Studies courses only.
Attendance in Photography and Visual Communications Design courses is mandatory. Students are required to attend a minimum of 85% of their classes in order to receive credit for a course.
Except where absences are for certified medical reasons, students are not permitted to miss more than two and a half classes in any course.
Bachelor of Design students must obtain a minimum grade of "C-" in all required major courses in order to progress in clear standing. Students who receive an "F", "WF" grade in a required major course will be withdrawn from their major (status for students who withdraw from a major course will be determined by the Department Chair). Students who receive a passing grade of less than "C-" in a required major course will be placed on program probation for the next semester. Such students will be expected to obtain a minimum of "C-" in all major courses during their probationary semester and will receive feedback from their instructor(s) at midterm concerning their progress in their major course(s). Program probationary students are also advised to meet with their Head of Major to discuss their program status. Program probationary students who fail to achieve a minimum grade of "C-" in a required major course or courses at the end of the probationary semester will be withdrawn from the major.
Students who are withdrawn from a Bachelor of Design major will become BFA general studies students until such time as they are readmitted to the major or declare another major.
ACAD graduates who were previously awarded the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Visual Communications Design may apply to change their credential from the BFA to the BDES. In order to receive the BDES credential, Visual Communications Design BFA graduates must surrender their BFA parchment and submit the applicable credential replacement fee.
ACAD graduates who were awarded the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photographic Arts between May 1995 and May 2006 may apply to upgrade their credential from the BFA to the BDES upon completion of VSCM.210, 212, 221 and SOSC.380, or their equivalents, as approved by the Chair of Design. Students who wish to complete these courses at other institutions should obtain a Letter of Permission from the ACAD Registrar's Office prior to registering in courses to ensure they will be recognized as equivalent. The last date to complete these courses is June 30, 2009. Upon successful completion of these courses, students must apply to graduate and surrender their BFA parchment.
The Visual Communications Design and Photography BDES degree program at ACAD offers a studio-based education dedicated to the preparation of professional photographers, animators, character designers, illustrators, art directors and graphic designers to compete in a global marketplace. Our award winning graduates work worldwide and influence many of the worlds top brands, magazines, companies and institutions. Students study in:
What does it mean to study to be an artist? A designer? At ACAD, it’s a chance to apply creative thinking to imagine a new set of possibilities, and to use your talents to express new ideas. It’s a new way of thinking about what a University degree can mean to you, and the possibilities for what you can explore at ACAD are endless. ACAD has been the home of some of the most exciting voices in contemporary art and design in Canada for the past 85 years. With a comprehensive curriculum filled with a range of programs sure to inspire, challenge and stimulate emerging artists and designers, ACAD is the leading choice for students who go on to work in a spectrum of creative industries – doing what they love while building impressive careers that impact the world of art and design.