This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. We may add courses that expose our students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning. We may also add content to the general education program that focuses on racial literacy and a racial literacy graduation requirement, and may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Matt Wallin
Professor and chair

The Department of Communication Arts will cultivate engaged, innovative and technically skilled artists and designers seeking a degree centered on narrative illustration and entertainment design. By offering robust and rigorous courses that embrace all forms of media, graduates will be prepared to forge dynamic careers.

The program

Centered on a rigorous investigation of studio methods and practices, the communication arts curriculum additionally explores historical, conceptual and theoretical concerns critical to the development of a well-rounded and informed understanding of image, media, content and context. 

With a history richly rooted in drawing, painting and art theory, the communication arts program is effectively tailored to provide students educational opportunities to develop the types of quality skills and meaningful understandings that are relevant and sought after in the expanding universe of communication medias.

It is a curriculum that endeavors to provide a balance between past, present and future, valuing artistic traditions and techniques, while thoughtfully embracing new tools, technologies, opportunities and outcomes.

Woven throughout the program, the study of communication arts is concerned with the powerful and timeless relationship between art and narrative — image and story — which invites each student to embrace, amplify and build upon their unique views and life experience so that they may, in the lifetime beyond university, add to humanity’s ongoing evolution and unfolding.

The communication arts department offers a B.F.A. in Communication Arts as well as a B.F.A. in Communication Arts with a concentration in scientific illustration. The communication arts department also offers a minor in scientific illustration for students majoring in biology or environmental sciences.