Foundation Studies

Designed to equip you with the fundamentals of visual thinking, making, and communication, the foundation studies program will help you explore different facets of art, discover your artistic voice, and lay the groundwork for long-term success.

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All art & design students majoring in graphic design, interior design, or studio art take first-year courses in foundation studies. Non-majors can take foundation studies courses either as electives or towards a foundation studies minor.

In the foundation studies program, you will:

  • Develop skills in a variety of traditional and digital media
  • Learn how to approach both open-ended and targeted problems
  • Communicate ideas, feelings, and meaning to your audience
  • Join a community of established and emerging artists and designers
  • Surpass the boundaries of what you had thought possible

You’ll also participate in group critiques—an essential part of the learning process in every art & design program. During a group crit, all students’ work is displayed, assessed, and discussed by the instructor and your peers. This helps you learn how to give and receive straightforward, constructive feedback while refining your own analytical skills and artistic vision.

Experience is Everything

Program Overview

Foundation Studies

The foundation studies curriculum ranges from established models of observational drawing, 2D composition, and 3D construction to digital software and collaborative problem-solving.

In your first year at Suffolk, you’ll take courses in drawing, two-dimensional design/color theory, three-dimensional design, and integrated studio practice. Additionally, you’ll benefit from close collaboration with your instructors and classmates, developing a creative community that will last throughout your time at Suffolk.

Foundation Studies Minor

Suffolk's comprehensive minor in foundation studies is for non-art majors—by design. You'll take a multifaceted approach to art and design, with coursework in drawing, three-dimensional design, two-dimensional design/color theory, and integrated studio practice. To complete the minor, you’ll choose either a second integrated studio or a spatial graphics course.
View the Foundations Studies Minor curriculum
View the Art & Design laptop requirements

The Art Gallery space

A&D Spaces

Transcript 0:00 (upbeat music)
0:04 - Right now we're in our Suffolk Sawyer Building on Floor A,
0:09 and this is where interior design students will spend most
0:11 of their time as it has some of our largest studio spaces
0:14 down here.
0:15 They feature large tables that we can all gather
0:18 and work around, and then we also have all
0:21 of the crit space on the walls around us.
0:23 So it's a great place to get feedback from our peers
0:26 and the critics that our professors bring in.
0:28 You can normally find students here on the weekends
0:31 and late at night working on projects together,
0:34 so it really becomes a second home.
0:36 Each of our classrooms are nice
0:38 because they're not too big, so you still get
0:40 that community feel while being really comfortable
0:43 and able to move around.
0:45 - In the wood shop, there's a bunch of different resources.
0:47 There's cutting tables, there's
0:50 a laser table, there's bloom, rug tufter, 2/3D printers, spray booth,
0:55 and any kind of medium that you wanna work on.
0:58 As students come in with different projects
1:00 and ideas, we work with the students to make sure
1:02 that they can get the materials that they need
1:04 to execute those very ideas.
1:06 - This is the print studio.
1:07 We're located on the B floor of the Sawyer Building.
1:10 Here, we do all things printmaking.
1:12 We have cyanotype, we have screen printing,
1:15 and then we have more traditional things
1:17 like lino cuts and etchings.
1:21 - Here, we're on the sixth floor Sawyer,
1:23 where we'll find graphic design classrooms,
1:26 studio art spaces,
1:27 and the Suffolk University Art Gallery.
1:30 At the Suffolk Gallery,
1:31 students are able to showcase their work in a couple shows
1:33 a year, as well as outside artists being able to come in
1:36 and showcase their work as well.
1:37 It's a really unique experience that's part
1:39 of the Suffolk Art and Design community,
1:41 and it's really cool to be inspired by the pieces
1:44 that you walk by every day.
1:45 - The sixth floor also hosts our graphic design classes.
1:49 So we have several classrooms, computer labs,
1:51 that all graphic design classes will take complacent.
1:54 - We have a book finding machine, we have a guillotine,
1:57 and as someone that's really interested in editorial design,
2:00 I take advantage of it.
2:01 We also have an apps and printer.
2:03 The quality is amazing
2:04 and resolution really matters when it comes to printing,
2:08 especially as well as digital work.
2:11 - This is the sixth floor hallway where a lot
2:13 of the studio majors who are taking either the Tuesday
2:15 or the Thursday class will display some of their work.
2:17 So here's some of the examples
2:18 of what we do in our Tuesday class.
2:20 Actually, this is a drawing of the Tuesday class in session.
2:27 - Right now we're on the 10th floor of the Sawyer building,
2:30 and on this floor is where all the foundational courses
2:32 happen for the Art and Design Department.
2:35 Here, you'll take graphic design courses,
2:37 you'll take integrated studio courses and drawing courses.
2:42 - I really fell in love with Suffolk
2:43 because it's located in the heart of Boston,
2:45 and so I think that it's the perfect place
2:47 to study when you wanna be surrounded by good,
2:51 youthful energy here,
2:52 but you're also passionate about your career
2:55 and really want people that will push you
2:56 to be the best version of yourself
2:58 and get as much out of your college experience as you can.
3:00 (upbeat music)

Questions? Get in touch!

Steve Novick.

Steven Novick

Professor, Foundation Studies Program, Art & Design

Email [email protected]

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