Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication Arts

Franklin University Switzerland

Program Description

Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication Arts

Franklin University Switzerland

Take informed communication beyond language

The Visual Communication Arts degree programs offer an interdisciplinary course of study, encompassing the fine arts, graphic design, illustration, and photography, as well as courses from Communication and Media Studies, Comparative Literary, and Cultural Studies, and film studies. It focuses on communication and creativity as fundamental elements of human expression and encourages students to think critically about creative expressions within the context of and across cultures, ethnicities, race, and gender.


In the Visual Communication majors, students engage in the evolving field of fashion studies, exploring fashion as practice, theory, object, image, and text. It focuses on studying fashion within the liberal arts curriculum, in terms of its histories, identities, and cultures in the contemporary world. The program prepares students for entry-level positions in careers of fashion research, including archives, museums, galleries, media, consulting, and the publishing sector; or retailing, distribution, and design. Students may also choose to pursue design careers or advanced research of fashion towards an MA or Ph.D. degree.

Visual Communication Arts with an Emphasis in Fashion Studies Major Requirements

Required Courses (9 Credits)

AHT 102 Introduction to Art History and Visual Culture I: Antiquity to Early Renaissance
AHT 103 Introduction to Art History and Visual Culture II: High Renaissance to Contemporary Art
STA 104 Introduction to Fashion Studies

Major Electives (6 Credits)

Two of the following:

STA 105 Introduction to Sculpture
STA 106 Introduction to Printmaking
STA 107 Introduction to Digital Photography
STA 111 Introduction to Drawing
STA 115 Introductory Painting
STA 125 Basic Design
STA 220 Heads and Bodies: the Human Head and Proportions in Art History, Theory, and Practice
VCA 120T Documentary and Street Photography on Location

Upper-level Courses (6 Credits)

Two of the following, with at least one at the 300-level:

AHT 216 Introduction to the History of Photography
AHT 362 Visual Semiotics: Signs and Symbols in Art, Architecture, Film, and Fashion
CLCS 200 Gender and Sexuality in a Global Context
CLCS 300 (Re)Defining Masculinity
CLCS 340 Fashion and Popular Culture
COM 225T Technologized Bodies: Mobile ICTs in the City
COM 230T Communication, Fashion, and the Formation of Taste
COM 295 Media Consumption, Fashion, and Identity

Electives (9 Credits)

Three of the following, with at least one at the 300-level:

BUS 285 Integrated Marketing Communications
BUS 286 Product and Services Management
BUS 374 Corporate Branding
BUS 385 Consumer Behavior in International Marketing
CLCS 200 Gender and Sexuality in a Global Context
CLCS 220 Inventing the Past: The Uses of Memory in a Changing World
CLCS 310 The Culture of Cities
CLCS 371 Law and Culture
COM 201 Fundamentals of Media Studies and Criticism
COM 202 Fundamentals of Interpersonal Communication
COM 220T Symbolizing Scottish Folk
COM 295 Media Consumption, Fashion, and Identity
COM 300 History of Mediated Communication
COM 301 Globalization and Media
COM 302 Intercultural Communication: Theory, Research, and Practice
COM 320 The Art of Persuasion: Social Influence in Theory and Practice
COM 327 Producing Digital Media: Communication and Media in Practice
COM 352 Environmental Discourses
COM 370 Topics in Communication and Media Studies
FRE 374 Introduction to French Cinema
FRE 376 French Cinema: The New Wave
GER 373 German Film as Medium of Culture
ITA 373 Italian Film and Society
ITA 374 Italian Cinema
ITA 375 Italian Film Adaptation: From the Page to the Screen
LIT 243 On Being Human

or any AHT course

Technical component (9 Credits)

To complete the fashion design studio/technical component, students may take courses offered at Franklin during the summer session, for example:

COM 295 Media Consumption, Fashion, and Identity
STA 279 The Video Essay and Photography on Location in Europe
STA 279 The Video Essay and Photography on Location in Europe

Alternatively, this requirement may be fulfilled during a semester abroad, for example at Franklin's partner institution Lasell College. Students may also choose their own institution in consultation with their major advisor to fulfill this requirement in a semester abroad or a series of technical courses. Depending on the students' interests, technical classes may include pattern drafting/making, sewing techniques, knitting, draping, textiles, etc.

Senior Capstone (3 Credits)

One of the following:

VCA 495 Senior Project in Visual Communication Arts
VCA 497 Visual Communication Arts Internship
VCA 499 Visual Communication Arts Thesis

Visual Communication Arts with an Emphasis in Studio Art Major Requirements

Required Courses (9 Credits)

AHT 102 Introduction to Art History and Visual Culture I: Antiquity to Early Renaissance
AHT 103 Introduction to Art History and Visual Culture II: High Renaissance to Contemporary Art
COM 105 Introduction to Communication and Media Studies

100-Level Courses (6 Credits)

Two of the following:

STA 105 Introduction to Sculpture
STA 106 Introduction to Printmaking
STA 107 Introduction to Digital Photography
STA 111 Introduction to Drawing
STA 115 Introductory Painting
STA 125 Basic Design
VCA 120T Documentary and Street Photography on Location

200-Level Courses (9 Credits)

Three of the following:

STA 200 Computer Graphics in Advertising
STA 205 Intermediate Sculpture
STA 206 Intermediate Printmaking
STA 207 Intermediate Digital Photography
STA 211 Intermediate Drawing
STA 215 Intermediate Painting
STA 220 Heads and Bodies: the Human Head and Proportions in Art History, Theory, and Practice
STA 235 Sustainability and the Studio
STA 275T Studies in Ceramics: Umbria
STA 280T Adventures in Printmaking: Northern and Central Italy

Upper-Level Courses (6 Credits)

Two of the following:

STA 300 Computer Graphics in Advertising, Advanced
STA 305 Higher Sculpture
STA 306 Advanced Printmaking
STA 307 Advanced Digital Photography
STA 311 Advanced Drawing
STA 315 Higher Painting
STA 330T Umbria: A Warm Refuge for Inspiration: Art, Music, and Life in Umbria, the Heart
of Italy
STA 331T Umbria: Sustaining Art in the Heart of Italy
VCA 370 Topics in Visual Communication Arts

Major Electives (9 Credits)

Three of the following, with at least one at the 300-level:

BUS 285 Integrated Marketing Communications
BUS 374 Corporate Branding
CLCS 200 Gender and Sexuality in a Global Context
CLCS 220 Inventing the Past: The Uses of Memory in a Changing World
CLCS 230 Science / Fiction: Envisioning the Possible
CLCS 235T Greek Civilizations and Their Discontents
CLCS 245 Critical Approaches to the Graphic Novel: Justice in the Gutter
CLCS 250 Ecocritical Approaches to Film
CLCS 300 (Re)Defining Masculinity
CLCS 310 The Culture of Cities
CLCS 340 Fashion and Popular Culture
CLCS 350 Culture and Human Rights
CLCS 360 Critical Race Studies in a Global Context
CLCS 371 Law and Culture
CLCS 372 Tales of Catastrophe
COM 201 Fundamentals of Media Studies and Criticism
COM 202 Fundamentals of Interpersonal Communication
COM 225T Technologized Bodies: Mobile ICTs in the City
COM 230T Communication, Fashion, and the Formation of Taste
COM 295 Media Consumption, Fashion, and Identity
COM 300 History of Mediated Communication
COM 301 Globalization and Media
COM 302 Intercultural Communication: Theory, Research, and Practice
COM 320 The Art of Persuasion: Social Influence in Theory and Practice
COM 327 Producing Digital Media: Communication and Media in Practice
COM 347 Organizational Communication
COM 352 Environmental Discourses
COM 370 Topics in Communication and Media Studies
FRE 374 Introduction to French Cinema
FRE 376 French Cinema: The New Wave
GER 373 German Film as Medium of Culture
ITA 373 Italian Film and Society
ITA 374 Italian Cinema
ITA 375 Italian Film Adaptation: From the Page to the Screen
LC 110 Reading Cultures: Approaches to Cultural Studies
LIT 243 On Being Human

or any AHT course

Senior Capstone (3 Credits)

One of the following:

VCA 495 Senior Project in Visual Communication Arts
VCA 497 Visual Communication Arts Internship
VCA 499 Visual Communication Arts Thesis
*All Bachelor of Arts degrees require a total of 120 credits consisting of Core Requirements, Major Requirements, and General Elective courses. Prerequisites may be required for courses outside of the major.

Admission Criteria

Undergraduate admission to Franklin University Switzerland is selective, competitive and based primarily on the following:

  • High School Record
  • Personal Recommendations
  • SAT I or ACT Scores


By the time you start your application, you are expected to have completed a solid university preparatory program. We recommend a program that includes four years of English grammar, composition and literature; three years of a foreign language; three years of history; three years of mathematics, and two years of science. Course work in areas such as art, computer science, and music is also recommended.

Cost & Fees

  • US Nationals / Permanent Residents and Canadian Nationals
    Academic Tuition Includes Academic Travel (Required, two weeks each semester): $40,800 per year
  • All Other Nationalities
    Academic Tuition Includes Academic Travel(Required, two weeks each semester): CHF 49,100 per year

Tuition and Fees

US nationals or permanent residents / Canadian nationals

Cost of Attendance

The actual cost of attendance will vary depending on circumstances, based on how far you have to travel to reach Franklin, the choices you make regarding meals and housing, and more. The costs can be broken into Direct vs. Indirect costs (see below).

Direct Costs

These will appear on the billing statement each semester and may vary based on the cost of housing and meal plan the student chooses. These costs include tuition, university fees, room, and board as well as Swiss health insurance. Exact amounts or averages for these costs (for example for housing or insurance) are provided below.

Tuition and Fees Per Semester Per Year
Academic Tuition
Includes Academic Travel
(Required, two weeks each semester)
$20,400 $40,800
Annual University Fees $710 $1,420
Orientation Fee
(new incoming students only)
$500 $500
Housing and Meals
Average Residence Hall $5,045 $10,090
Meal Plan
(required for all first-year students)
$1,600 $3,200
Health Insurance
Average Insurance for Non-Swiss citizens* $790 $1,580

*Swiss law requires that all students are covered by Swiss medical insurance. The cost varies according to the age of the student. For information regarding the cost of Swiss medical insurance for 2017-2018 please see Health and Counseling.

Indirect Costs

These costs are incidental to the student’s attendance and are fully managed by the student and their family. These costs include travel costs to/from Franklin each semester, the purchase of books and supplies as well as personal costs for weekend travel, toiletries, and such. Each family can reduce these costs by planning travel early, sending care packages from home that include lower-priced toiletries, buying used books and more.

Typical Expenses Per Semester Per Year
Books and other materials $700 $1,400
Travel to and from campus (average cost of an intercontinental flight) $1,000 $2,000
Average cost for personal expenses, off-campus meals, independent travel (based on student surveys) $1,500 $3,000

Total Average Cost of Attendance

Based on the above estimates and average costs, the typical total cost of attendance for a non-Swiss, new incoming undergraduate student (e.g. a first-year undergraduate student, incoming study abroad student or transfer student) coming from the US or Canada would calculate as follows:

Average Direct Costs Average Indirect Costs Total
First Semester $29,045 $3,200 $32,245
Second Semester $28,545 $3,200 $31,745

Non - US or Canadian national or a permanent US resident

Cost of Attendance

The actual cost of attendance will vary depending on circumstances, based on how far you have to travel to reach Franklin, the choices you make regarding meals and housing, and more. The costs can be broken into Direct vs. Indirect costs (see below).

Direct Costs

These will appear on the billing statement each semester and may vary based on the cost of housing and meal plan the student chooses. These costs include tuition, university fees, room, and board as well as Swiss health insurance. Exact amounts or averages for these costs (for example for housing or insurance) are provided below.

Tuition and Fees Per Semester Per Year
Academic Tuition
Includes Academic Travel
(Required, two weeks each semester)
CHF 24,550 CHF 49,100
Annual University Fees CHF 710 CHF 1,420
Orientation Fee
(new incoming students only)
CHF 500 CHF 500
Housing and Meals
Average Residence Hall CHF 5,045 CHF 10,090
Meal Plan
(required for all first-year students)
CHF 1,600 CHF 3,200
Health Insurance
Average Insurance for Non-Swiss citizens* CHF 790 CHF 1,580

*Swiss law requires that all students are covered by Swiss medical insurance. The cost varies according to the age of the student. For information regarding the cost of Swiss medical insurance for 2017-2018 please see Health and Counseling.

Indirect Costs

These costs are incidental to the student’s attendance and are fully managed by the student and their family. These costs include travel costs to/from Franklin each semester, the purchase of books and supplies as well as personal costs for weekend travel, toiletries, and such. Each family can reduce these costs by planning travel early, sending care packages from home that include lower-priced toiletries, buying used books and more.

Typical Expenses Per Semester Per Year
Books and other materials CHF 700 CHF 1,400
Travel to and from campus (average cost of an intercontinental flight) CHF 1,000 CHF 2,000
Average cost for personal expenses, off-campus meals, independent travel (based on student surveys) CHF 1,500 CHF 3,000

Total Average Cost of Attendance

Based on the above estimates and average costs, the typical total cost of attendance for a non-Swiss, new incoming undergraduate student (e.g. a first-year undergraduate student, incoming study abroad student or transfer student) coming from the US or Canada would calculate as follows:

Average Direct Costs Average Indirect Costs Total
First Semester CHF 33,195 CHF 3,200 CHF 36,395
Second Semester CHF 32,195 CHF 3,200 CHF 35,395

Scholarships & Financial Aid

At Franklin, we see financing your education as an investment and partnership among you, your family, and the University. About 70 percent of Franklin students receive financial aid in a variety of forms, such as need- and merit-based scholarships, government and private aid and engagement incentives. Franklin offers scholarships, financial aid, and other initiatives, and various external programs are available based on citizenship and need assessment. Together we will create your financial aid package and carefully guide you through your financing options.

Need-based Aid

Students of all nationalities are encouraged to apply for financial aid. Information about how and when to apply, various aid programs available and eligibility is available in our dedicated section on Financial Aid.

Scholarships and Merit Awards

Merit scholarships are given to students who have demonstrated high academic achievement and are renewed each year, for four years. These scholarships are automatically awarded at the time of admission and are not based on need or family income. Priority is given to students applying for admission by the December 1, 2017, deadline. After December 1, we may continue to award merit scholarships, if funds are still available. For more information, students are advised to contact our office in Lugano.

Below is a range of awards available for the incoming class of Fall Semester 2018.

Merit Award Amounts for US Students
(US dollars)
Merit Award Amounts for Students outside of the US
(Swiss francs)
$22,000 CHF 28,500
$18,000 CHF 24,500
$16,000 CHF 22,500
$12,000 CHF 18,500
Up to $5000 Up to CHF 5000

Swiss Matura Initiative

Specific financial incentives are available for students holding a Swiss national high school diploma (Matura).

Starting with the 2016-17 academic year, Franklin University Switzerland offers students holding a Swiss national high school diploma ('Matura') the opportunity to earn a Bachelor degree in a discipline of their choice in a program designed just for them.

Life-long Learning Scholarship Program

The Life-Long Learning Scholarship Program (LLLS) supports students by preparing them to be career-ready upon graduation from Franklin, not only with regard to academic foundations in their respective disciplines but also by providing them with skills that are essential in public and private sector employment in a wide variety of settings. By participating in the Life-Long Learning Scholarship program, students will experience a strong sense of engagement with the University, develop leadership skills, and have the opportunity to learn and develop practical skills in a number of fields and areas.

LLLS Program Eligibility for Students

  1. All undergraduate students enrolled at Franklin University Switzerland with full-time status (a minimum of four-semester courses) may apply for an LLLS position.
  2. A cumulative GPA of 2.50 or higher is required to be eligible for the LLLS program.
  3. All applicants MUST have an account in good standing with the University in order to be eligible for the LLLS program.
  4. Resident Assistants are eligible for LLLS positions for a maximum of 5 hours per week and only with permission from their supervisors.

LLLS Position Levels

The LLLS positions are classified into various levels. First-year students start with simpler, service-oriented positions and progress to more challenging positions with greater responsibility and increased complexity during their upper-class years.

  • Tier I: Task-oriented. Entry-level students learn basic career skills and experienced students have proven to be dependable. Students may have time to study while conducting projects after their assigned tasks have been completed.
  • Tier II: Students learn project management and more advanced career skills. Experienced students have the capacity to train and supervise beginner level students. Students do not have time to study during their assigned projects.
  • Research Assistant or other Academic Assistant Position: Students perform basic to advanced academic research and complete academic projects. Students do not have time to study during their assigned projects.

The LLLS program allows students to experience a strong sense of engagement with the University, develop leadership skills, and have the opportunity to learn and develop practical skills in a number of fields and areas. Students are expected to maintain communication with their supervisor about the schedule, tasks, and deadlines. Supervisors are expected to provide training for LLLS students to fully acclimate the student to the new role.

LLLS Administration

At the beginning of each semester, information about open LLLS positions and the application process is sent to students' Franklin email accounts. The LLLS Program is coordinated by the Dean of Student Life and Engagement in collaboration with the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the Franklin Bursar.

This school offers programs in:
  • English


Last updated December 1, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 20, 2018
Duration
Duration
4 years
Full time
Price
Price
40,800 USD
Information
Deadline
June 15, 2018
Locations
Switzerland - Sorengo
Start date: Aug. 20, 2018
Application deadline June 15, 2018
End date Request Info
Dates
Aug. 20, 2018
Switzerland - Sorengo
Application deadline June 15, 2018
End date Request Info
Price
$40,800 annual tuition fee for US Nationals / Permanent Residents and Canadian Nationals; CHF 49,100 annual tuition fee for not a US or Canadian national or a permanent US resident