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About Our Programs

Visual Communications: Graphic Design and Interaction Design at Farmingdale State College

Q: What type of degree will students earn?

A: The Visual Communications Department offers 4-year Bachelor of Technology (BT) degrees in Graphic Design and Interaction Design.

Q: What is a Bachelor of Technology (BT) degree?

A: A bachelor of technology degree is a specialized degree that builds on a foundation of technical knowledge. Here at Farmingdale, students are exposed to this technical knowledge along with traditional art skills and design methodology to create a well-rounded designer upon graduation. 75% of the classes required for The Visual Communications program take place in design studios and digital labs, and students are taught by professional artists and designers who actually do what they teach. The remaining 25% of the courses are in liberal arts and support courses intended to help students develop into well-rounded professionals.

Q: What majors does the Visual Communications Department offer?

A: The department offer two majors: Graphic Design and Interaction Design. The curriculum focuses on intensive study in these areas to best prepare our students for the regional job market.

Q: How many students are enrolled in the program?

A: The Visual Communications Department offers an intimate environment with approximately 200 students in its BT program. Unlike larger institutions, we enroll only a limited number of students to maintain a close-knit creative community, providing students with smaller classes and more individualized instruction. Most of our studio classes have 18 students or less.

Q: What does a student need to do to complete the admissions process?

A: Students need to submit an application, the $50 application fee and their high school transcript. Applicants who do not have a high school diploma must submit an official GED transcript as well as high school transcripts. Any applicant who has attended a college level course must submit their college transcripts from each institution attended. See our admissions requirements for more information.

Admission Process Overview for:

Graphic Design Applicants:

  • Applicants' academic records are evaluated by the Office of Admissions to determine if the student is academically eligible to enroll in the either Visual Communications Program. This includes a review of high school transcripts, SAT scores and college transcripts for transfer students and returning professionals. Students transferring from another college must have a minimum, of a 2.5 GPA. Official transcripts from high school or college must be forwarded to the Office of Admissions.For the Graphic Design Program, in addition to a successful academic record, all applicants must have successfully completed at least one full year of art and submit a packet of Admission Activities and a Portfolio online. Once deemed academically eligible, applicants will receive an invitation to submit their artwork digitally for review.
  • Portfolio Review: The Admission Activities for Graphic Design consist of four assignments created by the faculty from the Visual Communications Department to evaluate each applicant's current level of artistic skill and potential for success in our program. The Portfolio is as important as the Admission Assignments. The skills we are looking for include drawing, design, use of color and typography. Samples should reflect a student's ability to create and execute graphic design in a variety of media. An ideal portfolio consists of a broad range of work utilizing both traditional and electronic media, in both black & white and color. Large three dimensional pieces should be photographed to show at least three sides.
  • Works created in credit bearing, art or design courses in other institutions may be applied toward advanced placement credit. Coursework should be collected into separate files, each containing at least three pieces, labeled with the name of the course. Only courses for which adequate work is submitted will be considered for advanced placement. 

Interaction Design Applicants:

  • Applicants' academic records are evaluated by the Office of Admissions to determine if the student is academically eligible to enroll in the IxD Visual Communications Program. This includes a review of high school transcripts, SAT scores and college transcripts for transfer students and returning professionals. Students transferring from another college must have a minimum, of a 2.5 GPA. Official transcripts from high school or college must be forwarded to the Office of Admissions. In addition to a successful academic record, all applicants must have successfully completed at least one full year of art.

  • Interaction Design Applicants do not have to submit a portfolio for review and will admitted into the program after the Office of Admissions academic review. 

Q: Do you require SAT or ACT scores?

A: Yes, the College requires all first time college applicants to take of two entrance examinations: the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or the American College Testing Program, with Writing (ACT). When submitted, scores from these examinations may be considered in selecting students for admission as well as for guidance purposes.

Q: Do you require a portfolio?

A: Our admissions process requires Graphic Design students to submit a portfolio of artwork. Interaction Design students do not have to submit a portfolio for admission.

Q: What should be in a portfolio?

A: A portfolio is a body of work that shows at least 12 pieces of your best work and should reflect your ability to create and execute artwork in a variety of media. An ideal portfolio consists of a broad range of work utilizing both traditional and electronic media, in both black & white and color. Variety of medium, subject and technique are key elements of a great portfolio. Specifically, your portfolio should reflect your proficiency in drawing, design, color and typography. See specific instructions here

Q: What is the deadline for admission?

A: Admission to all programs is on a “rolling” basis, admitting all eligible candidates on a first-come, first served basis.

Q: I have special needs. What type of accommodations does the College provide?

A: In the case of a student with a special need, whether physical or learning, verification is required, and may include some testing. The Visual Communications Department works closely with the College Office of Students With Disabilities adhering to guidelines established in accordance with ADA laws.

Q: I am a transfer student. When will I know which courses will transfer into this curriculum?

A: Transfer students must be accepted into a Visual Communications program before transfer credit can be determined. While assessment of advanced placement credit begins at the department level, receiving a final credit evaluation from the Dean of Students can take several weeks. The College accepts a maximum of 60 transfer credits.

Q: If I enroll in a Visual Communications program and decide it’s not for me, will my credits transfer to my next school?

A: Students considering transfer to another college should not assume that credits earned in Farmingdale will automatically transfer. The “receiving” institution has the final word on what courses they accept. Students should contact the admissions office of the receiving institution to determine which Farmingdale credits will be eligible for transfer.

Q: What scholarships are available for incoming students?

A: Scholarships and awards are available to all students based on certain criteria. For information regarding Farmingdale State College scholarship programs, please go to our website at www.farmingdale.edu and select “scholarships” under Quicklinks. Private scholarship sources are available on websites like www.fastweb.com. For additional information, you can select “Financial Aid” under Quicklinks, or call the office directly at 631-420-2578.

Q: What types of extracurricular activities are available?

A: In addition to a myriad of programs available through the College, the Department sponsors a student Design Club and encourages membership in the student chapter of the AIGA, the professional association for design. These are two excellent opportunities for students to get involved outside of the classroom with the field and with other students and faculty from the department.

Many of our students take advantage of opportunities to enter into design competitions, Print Magazine’s cover competition, and the Best of SUNY Art student Competition. These competitions are invaluable to the development of the student and our students are regularly honored with awards.

The Memorial Gallery, which is located in Hale Hall, brings together the campus community for inspiring exhibitions of locally and nationally known artists. Students have the opportunity to participate in opening events, talk with the artists and attend their lectures. In their senior year, students can exhibit their own work in the Design Expo and enter the chance to show their work in the Best of Show. It is also so important for students to meet with alumni and members of the design community as they are preparing to head out into the field. Many instructors invite alumni and design professionals to interact with students and review their work and/or portfolios. 

Q: Are there computer and other technology requirements?

A: Within the field of Design, Macintosh operating systems and hardware are the norm. While purchasing a computer is not required, it is strongly recommend, as it will allow students to improve and enhance their learning experience. We do require students to purchase an external storage device, such as a Flash Drive or external hard drive. Due to the fact of an ever-changing supply of computer technology, we recommend a hardware/software configuration in a mid-range price-point. Design software, such as the Adobe packages, requires additional RAM memory. Therefore we recommend increasing that above what is included in a standard configuration. Discounts are available through the Apple Store and Apple’s website with proper student identification. Software can also be purchased at a large discount. Information about this is generally provided during our New Student Orientation each semester. For more information, students can contact the Visual Communications Department’s Technical Advisor, Peter Greco at 631-420-2528, or at grecopj@farmingdale.edu.

Q: How many full-time and part-time instructors are there in the Visual Communications Department?

A: We have 11 full-time faculty, and approximately 28 part-time instructors, depending on the number of courses running.

Q: Do students have an opportunity to do an internship?

A: Yes, there are two VIS courses that enable students to receive credit for industry work in graphic design. Students who have finished 60 credits and have a gpa of 3.0 can enroll in these courses. Students can pursue and procure positions on their own or they can seek assistance from the Internship coordinator who will work individually with them on their resume and portfolio preparation to find opportunities for positions.

Q: Will I be prepared for the workforce?

A: Yes. Our studio-based Bachelor of Technology degree programs are designed for the purpose of preparing students to enter the workforce. In addition to an intense curriculum in which students are exposed to client-based coursework, the department offers internship opportunities, competitions, guest artist lectures, field trips, and creating and promoting a body of work for their senior show. In their senior year, all students must take a career and portfolio course. While the material covered in this course varies, the purpose is to provide students with the information needed to transition from art student to professional artist/designer. Examples of areas covered include business ethics, copyright laws, taxes, billing, pricing, contracts, self-promotion, resume building, grant writing, and other “nuts and bolts” information important to the working artist’s life.

Q: What types of work are your alumni doing?

A: The Visual Communications Department is proud of its alumni and the innovative work they are doing in their respective fields. The education, experience and competitive edge they receive at Farmingdale serve them well in their careers as artists and designers. Our alumni include thriving designers, illustrators and fine artists who are making their mark in their respective fields.

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