Curriculum Map

BFA Visual Arts Core

8 Required Courses

Rather than taking the major core for BS Communications or BA Humanities, students in these four emphases will take a newly designed core in Visual Arts. These classes give students a strong foundation in design principles, a rich study of culture and art, and a focus on preparing for a career in their creative field.

(* Must take one of these two courses)

Emphasis Courses

Students have the opportunity to prepare for a particular career by picking one of these four emphases. Students may also choose to pursue a double emphasis to develop multiple skill sets.


Take at least 6 animation elective classes
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Game Development

Take at least 5 game development elective classes
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Graphic Design

Take at least 6 graphic design elective classes
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Take at least 6 illustration elective classes
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Program Learning Outcomes

Spiritual and Ethical Development

Students analyze the way the Catholic Church has relied on visual artists to delight, teach, and inspire; and articulate how their work fits into that larger narrative.

Visual Arts Knowledge and Understanding

Students apply the concepts of storytelling, as practiced by the commercial entertainment industry, to create forward-thinking projects that communicate meaning and benefit their audience.

Students demonstrate advanced abilities in specific aspects of the visual arts that are relevant to their area of study.

Students relate critically and creatively to one or more other artistic disciplines, as well as to the history of the visual arts and their cultural contexts.

Professional Focus and Development

Students show evidence of understanding how to operate effectively as professional artists in a variety of work settings, along with the ability to view how their skills are marketable across a range of creative areas.



The main idea for launching this new degree program is to consolidate these four robust emphases under a more appropriate degree umbrella. Repositioning them in this new degree setting will foster their development, allow us to add more relevant visual arts courses, and accelerate their future growth.

In addition, it will make it easier for students to pursue combinations of these four emphases, e.g. earn a double emphasis in both Animation and Illustration. When Animation and Illustration existed under separate degree umbrellas, it was more difficult to satisfy the course requirements for both.

In this migration, much of the existing curriculum within these four emphases will remain intact, but the new structure provides the ability to offer a more relevant core set of classes specifically crafted for visual artists, as well as enabling a more intensive senior project experience and portfolio review process.

No, if you are already a current student in Animation, Game Development, Graphic Design, or Illustration, you will continue as a student within your current degree program. Switching degree programs would have a significant impact on your graduation date.

By default, you will be enrolled in the emphasis as it currently exists (BS Communications Media or BA Humanities).

However, in Fall 2023 when the BFA in Visual Arts launches, you will have the choice of whether you wish to change your degree and pursue the BFA instead. We expect you should be able to do this without extending your time to graduation.

Yes. A Bachelor of Fine Arts on your resume shows that you take your craft seriously and have taken the time to rigorously develop your artistic talent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand is expected to grow faster than average from 2020-2030 for creative careers such as Animation, Visual Effects, Digital Designers, Art Directors, and Fine Artists.

JPCatholic’s BFA in Visual Arts is unique in that it combines this hands-on artistic training with a sequence of seven Business courses as part of our General Education. Our students are trained by industry mentors in their creative field, while also sharpening their business skills in marketing, management, and negotiation - helping them to successfully monetize their creative talent.

Additionally, all of our BFA programs contain a rigorous portfolio review process. The most important ingredient for success in a creative field is having the talent and proving it with your portfolio. Starting from freshman year, students start creating projects and building up a library of work. Two portfolio review courses are integrated into the curriculum, one midway through the program, and another during your final quarter.

Yes! One of the reasons for consolidating these four emphases under one degree umbrella is to make it easier for students to pursue double emphases from these programs. For example, because Animation and Illustration will share a common degree core, it will be easier to satisfy the course requirements for both. These degree programs contain lots of room for electives, giving students the flexibility to pursue and explore related competencies outside of their primary field – or to drill down even deeper into the field they are most passionate about.

Possibly! One of the reasons for establishing the BFA is to support future growth of our academic offerings into new, related disciplines. Potential areas of growth for more elective tracks, minors, or even emphases include UX/UI, Painting, Sculpting, Concept Art, Production Design, and Sequential Art.