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Is it possible to get a degree in Graphic Design at CI?

This is a classic question here in the Art Program. We don’t technically have a separate degree in Graphic Design, but in our case, we don’t see that as a negative thing. You can pack your schedule with all sorts of design, web, and multimedia courses to build a robust portfolio, and no student has EVER had an issue with a prospective employer. In fact, most employers specify “Graphic Design, or the Equivalent Degree.” So if you want to build a portfolio, this is the right place to be. The other good news is that our degree offers many more options than a pure design degree. Instead of being cloistered away, we like to think of Graphic Design as a Studio practice that involves drawing, digital media, photography, animation, even possible explorations in sculpture, ceramics, painting, screen printing, or other areas. If you’re still worried about the line on your résumé, some students will indicate “Art Studio with Graphic Design Focus,” which is, essentially, what we offer.

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When is the MFA Program coming online?

It’s true that at one point we were weighing the possibilities of an MFA Program, and it still may be something that takes shape in the future. For the time being, we’ve put it on hold in order to focus on our efforts to deliver a dynamic undergraduate experience. If you’re interested in a nearby MFA Program, consider checking into CSUN.

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Do you need to take a boat to get to class at CSU Channel Islands?

No, but you can see the Channel Islands from the campus — and — the University has a research station on Santa Rosa Island. Art faculty have taken students to the Research Station for projects, so, in some ways, maybe you could argue that those students did take a boat to class?

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Do you need a laptop to take digital media courses? Do I need a Mac?

The Art Program has some great labs on campus and you will have plenty of access to computers. Many students do like to work on their own laptops, but it’s not a requirement. If you’re interested in our program, take some classes first — see what you think you might need. Our labs are all Mac-based, but plenty of students work on PCs. The software is the main consideration, and although many students prefer the seamlessness of Macs, you can do fine with a PC, too.

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What can I do with an Art major? Shouldn’t I choose something more “sensible?”

Wow, there is so much you can do with an Art or Art History major. We like to think it’s the best major, but it’s safe to say that we’re biased. Seriously though, take a look at all of the creative and interesting visuals that you encounter on a daily basis. People are creating this stuff — the interface on your phone, the shoes you are wearing, the landscaping in your neighborhood park, or maybe the production design in latest movie you’ve seen. Art is essentially the visual world, not just the stuff you encounter in galleries and museums. Our students have gone on to do so many great things, and we like to think that being able to communicate “visually” will be the new language of the 21st Century.

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I can’t draw, is there a portfolio requirement? Can I still be a major?

Yes, you can still be a major! You’re in school to learn — we will teach you. We don’t expect to turn you into Michelangelo if that’s not your primary interest. There are so many areas of Art besides drawing. There is no portfolio requirement to enter the program.

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Can I just take a ceramics/photography/graphic design class without being a major?

Yes, you can take many of the classes we offer. We won’t try to lure you to the dark side. We will encourage you to put aside your preconceptions though, and to think about the medium in new ways. Who knows, maybe you’ll consider a minor?

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I’m already a pro, can I bypass a lot of the major requirements because my work is already so amazing?

No. You need the units to graduate, and we feel like there is always more to learn.

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