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Frequently Asked Questions


The mission of the Foundations of Art and Design program is to create an inclusive and nurturing environment that prepares students of any level and background for advanced study in the BFA programs of Creative Technologies, Studio Art, and Graphic Design. The year-long, 1000 level curriculum is made up of 15 credit hours. The investigation of the elements and principles of art and design within a contemporary and historical context is fostered in each Foundation course.  Students practice applying what they learn through analogue and digital skill sets specific to 2D, 3D and 4D art and design.

No. Students are directly admitted to the program upon being accepted to Virginia Tech.

Foundations courses are all studio-based with a focus on hands-on, experiential learning.  Your classes will be filled with majors in Studio Art, Creative Technologies, Graphic Design, Art History, and occasionally some non-majors from other disciplines outside of SOVA.  Each class is two hours and forty-five minutes long.  You can expect some lecture and some time devoted to hands-on, in-class exercises designed to give you an opportunity to practice what you are learning. Group activities and collaborations are common so there are lots of opportunities to get to know your classmates, form relationships and learn from each other. The classrooms are fun, inviting places to work in and you will have secure access to them 24 hours a day so that you have a place to complete projects that need to be done outside of class in the company of your peers.

Each of your Foundations courses will require different supplies based on the nature of the course and the instructor’s preferences.  Some will provide you with a list of things you will need and others will direct you to a recommended kit that you will be able to purchase through a local art supply store or online.  Guidance on what you will need can usually be found on the Canvas site for your course so it’s a good idea to check in before classes start to see if the instructor has posted the syllabus or an announcement with instructions.

A MacBook Pro is recommended.  If your current computer is less than three years old and has enough power, you can use it for your first year and upgrade once in school with better insight as to what you will need based on your major. Adobe Creative Cloud is required and mandatory for all students majoring in Studio Art, Graphic Design and Creative Technologies.  Billing and distribution of Creative Cloud subscriptions is managed by VT Software per annual base.  At the start of their first semester, all majors will be automatically billed for a Creative Cloud license through Virginia Tech at a discounted rate.

You may notice an “ARC” fee mentioned on your syllabus.  The Art Resource Charge is a fee that is billed to you by the Accounts Receivable office.  It will appear on your tuition and fees bill and the amount will vary depending on the specific courses you are enrolled in.  This money is used to purchase tools, general use items, or materials in bulk that the whole class will benefit from over the course of the semester.  If a single course is dropped by the last day of drop/add, a full refund will be issued. If a student withdraws from ALL classes at VT, they must drop everything on the first day of class in order to receive a full refund. No refunds will be issued after the last day to drop.

The SOVA Foundations program introduces students to the world of art and helps them develop basic skills needed to advance our BFA programs. Each foundation course provides freshman with the basic knowledge needed to excel in more major-specific courses required to earn a BFA in graphic design, studio art and creative technologies.

Foundations program contact:
Jennifer Hand
School Of Visual Arts
Virginia Tech Armory
203 Draper Rd
Blacksburg VA 24061