In order to begin your journey you need a road map—and you’ll get the best one possible in our first-year Foundation program. Foundation prepares students for all majors at Moore with courses in foundation design, visual thinking, color theory and more. 

Foundation classes are for every Moore student and will help you master the technical skills you need to succeed in your chosen area of study. Students thoroughly investigate composition, mark-making and problem-solving using multiple strategies and media. The program provides a strong basis in design principles and drawing skills. Our expert faculty will work with you to develop your point of view while you explore various materials and methods, using traditional and state-of-the-art technologies.

As a first-year Foundation student, you’ll master the technical skills needed for your future area of study. You’ll also select a major-specific class in the second semester of the Foundation year that will help you get an early start on your major. You can also select a course to use as an elective, to pursue your own creative interest. Scroll down to read more about these courses.

You’ll also take Visual Thinking, a cross-disciplinary class that focuses on visual research and idea generation. Through experimentation and risk taking, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your personal creative process—a skill that will come in handy throughout your entire creative career!

Each year, Foundation students take a trip to New York City to observe and sketch the work within the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Plus, every Foundation student gets access to Padlet, a digital bulletin board for posting artwork, links, and files. You and your faculty will use this to track your progress as an artist or designer, creating an accessible and informed learning experience. 

Foundation Year

Course Requirements for All Students

How do artists and designers construct meaning through imagery? In this course students will use tradtional, digital and lens-based media to explore the two-dimensional organizing principles of imagery and surface in art and design. Through various methods of generating planar imagery students will acquire effective methods and tools to communicate visually. Course content will explore representational and abstract imagery and how it is affected by context in visual culture. Based on the scope of a student's projects or level of study there may be additional costs for materials and supplies. Satisfies: Major Requirements.

In Foundation Design II, students investigate form in space, time, and motion with planning and problem solving strategies. Students learn the formal application of design principles and elements exploring axis, volume, plane and mass. Working in a wide range of materials, students realize structural solutions by gaining an understanding of dimensional relationships. Time and motion in actual, and virtual and implied space will be explored. Based on the scope of a student's project or level of study there may be additional costs for materials and supplies. Satisfies: Major Requirement

Foundation Drawing I introduces students to principles and elements of expression using traditional and digital drawing materials and theories. Students will learn to use design principles to organize and build a composition. Through the use of line, mark-making and value, students will develop the ability to translate shape, volume and space onto a drawing surface. Concepts of perspective and proportion will be studied to aid in the interpretation of the three-dimensional world onto a two-dimensional picture plane. Students will develop methods of communication through drawing using a variety of conventional tools as well as new digital drawing technology. Research will contextualize studio practice to historic and contemporary drawing. Students will also be introduced to the figure as subject. Based on the scope of a student's project or level of study there may be additional costs for materials and supplies. Satisfies: Major Requirement.

Foundation Drawing II is an extensive advanced study of the drawing process in terms of skills, conceptual development and personal expression through observational and experimental drawing. Life drawing will be a focus for exploring anatomy and the figure in relation to pictorial space. This course will expand the scope of understanding within drawing through the study of cultural, historical and contemporary drawing processes. Based on the scope of a student's projects or level of study there may be additional costs for materials and supplies.

In this course, students conduct in-depth visual research as part of the idea generation process. Through experimentation, risk-taking and trial and error students learn to change direction in favor of a stronger result. Shared themes contextualize the student's learning and promote a deeper understanding of one's personal creative process. Form and media explored in this course vary depending on a student's solution to a given problem. Based on the scope of a student's projects or level of study there may be additional costs for materials and supplies. Satifies Major requirements.

This course explores the identity of color through the attributes of hue, value, and chroma. The progression of the semester will include an investigation of color experience and how the theory applies to various fields and media. The behavior of color is examined through the exploration of additive and subtractive color mixing. Additionally, through research, students investigate the psychology, trends and symbolism of color. Students gain an understanding of the interaction between digital and physical properties of color. Students also gain an appreciation of color to enrich their visual communication in their future disciplines. Based on the scope of a student's project or level of study there may be additional costs for materials and supplies. Satisfies: Major Requirement.

In this course you will investigate current themes and issues in art and design as you read works in a variety of genres - including literature, journal articles, and online writing - and dialogue with them in your own writing. Offering a workshop environment, the class will emphasize ongoing revision and peer feedback as a means of exploring relationships between writer and audience. You will have the opportunity to practice a variety of forms and discourses throughout the semester as you develop writing skills and learn rhetorical strategies that are foundational to any career in art and design.

This course provides each student with the opportunity to pursue sustained research in an area of her own interest, guided by a conceptual framework determined by the class with the instructor. Exploring a single question related to a relevant topic in culture or literature, students will engage independently in their own process of inquiry as they study, evaluate, analyze and synthesize source materials and learn how to incorporate them effectively in their own writing. Students will also examine issues of context and ethics in both academic and professional writing as they become artists and designers who write with integrity.

Foundation Year

Major-specific Course Requirements

This course will explore the elements of 2D character and environment design. Attention will be paid to aesthetics as well as overall creativity. Characters in animation are based on formulas dictated by the market and adhere to the traits that define a character (for example, a hero, goofy character or villain). Students will explore the philosophy of their characters as it relates to their environmental surroundings. Beginning with initial concept sketches, students should design four different characters based on the environment of their choosing: examples include a futuristic post-apocalyptic setting, a contemporary suburban street, or an urban coffee shop. Turn-around (orthographic multi-views) drawings showing the characters in their "uniform" from the front, side and back (clothing that identifies them and their character traits) will be developed, along with concept drawings of their respective environments. Students will be introduced to important game-related technical constraints, such as bone and cloth limits, that they'll need to factor in carefully when creating their characters and scenes.

This course offers an experiential and theoretical introduction to community-based art education, and takes place both on and off campus as we teach art at our community based site/s. This course will focus on a collaborative project between Moore students enrolled in the course, and a Philadelphia-based community organization that serves diverse populations, ages, and learners. In addition to building skills in community-based art processes (i.e. communication, planning, collaboration, mentorship, and leadership), students will also gain exposure to the national and local landscape of community-based art through academic discussion, research, and field trips to Philadelphia-based sites.

This course teaches students how to develop color stories, concepts and fabrications and is coordinated with Fashion Drawing I to develop the designer's croquis book. Fashion market and terminology are introduced. Based on the scope of a student's project or level of study there may be additional costs for materials and supplies.

Satisfies: Major Requirement

Experimental Studio is designed to explore the formal, aesthetic and expressive possibilities in the interaction of various two and three-dimensional media, which will maximize the student's ability to express her ideas. This will be achieved through exposure to the work of contemporary artists and a rich dialogue between formal, material and conceptual experience. This course focuses on experimentation and conceptual development. It is intended to make students aware of the possibilities of building both a studio practice and an expressive vocabulary. Through class discussions, presentations and critiques, students will develop their abilities for critical thinking and expression. History, culture, materials and methods will be discussed as they relate to being used as sources and means of expression and understanding. Students will work across mediums with traditional and non-traditional materials and modes of expression. Based on the scope of a student's project or level of study there may be additional costs for materials and supplies.

Satisfies: Major Requirement

The book is the keystone of graphic design as all the essential technologies of the field (letterform design, type founding, page elements, content sequencing, printing, papermaking, binding) were first developed specifically for book production. The purpose of this course is to acculturate the entry level graphic design student to the field of graphic design through studies of historical, contemporary and future potentials of book design and production. The course includes lectures each week with field trips to local collections to observe and discuss artifacts, both historical and contemporary. An equal portion of the class would be held in the studio developing projects that explore both traditional and non-traditional book forms with an emphasis on the book forms that are typically within the purview of the profession. Based on the scope of a student’s project or level of study there may be additional costs for materials and supplies. Satisfies major requirement.

Satisfies: Studio Elective for non-majors.

This course will celebrate artists as storytellers and illustrators through a survey of selected genres of visual communication from 1800-1950. Styles, trends and subject matter will be viewed as a response to technological advances, historical events, contemporary art trends, cross cultural influence and changing reader expectations. Studio illustration assignments, readings, discussions and research projects will concentrate on illustration and ephemera from the Golden Age of Illustration through the 1950’s. Students will be encouraged to consider how the history of illustration could inspire their own illustrations.

Introduces skills necessary to draw plans, sections, and axonometrics of interiors. Three-dimensional drawing is emphasized because, for the interior designer, all drawing and design processes require three-dimensional thinking. This is a course in thinking and seeing as well as drawing. Based on the scope of a student's project or level of study there may be additional costs for materials and supplies.

Satisfies: Major Requirement

Photographic imagery saturates contemporary culture. This course examines the complex visual, creative, and conceptual strategies and processes by which photographs are generated. Students will learn the essential core technical skills of manual camera operation, film processing, and printing photographs in a darkroom as well as the theory, history, and critical discourse that has contributed to the rich and diverse legacy of the medium. In addition, students will learn to integrate ideas into their practice by developing an awareness of extended lens-based opportunities that increasingly shape the future of photography.

Satisfies: Major Requirement

Curriculum by Major

Each BFA program has curriculum tailored to support your growth artistically, and to expand your knowledge in the Liberal Arts. To see the full program curriculum for each major: