New Student Programs

Advertising Art Direction

About the BA and BFA in Advertising Art Direction

The Art & Design department offers a BA in Advertising Art Direction.  The role of the advertising art director is to communicate to consumers about the products, services, or ideas of their clients. The art director must reach this target audience through visual images appearing in magazines, newspapers, television commercials, billboards, the Internet, and related marketing materials. Through the classroom experience, students learn multiple roles: creative director, market researcher, photographer, illustrator, copywriter, and television director. They are trained in visual problem solving, creative strategic planning, copy writing, marketing analysis, advertising theory, and advertising photography. Just as in the industry, students often work in teams to complete projects.


For Orientation


On Campus Freshmen Students

If you are attending New Student Orientation as a freshman you do not need to bring a portfolio.  We do not evaluate non-college level work for incoming freshmen.  All AP credits will be evaluated by the Office of Degree Evaluation and do not require a portfolio review.


On Campus Transfer Students

No student is required to bring a portfolio, however, any students attempting to place into upper-level courses will need to complete a portfolio review.

Students who are attempting to transfer credits for upper-level classes in the following must bring a portfolio, as well as syllabi and course descriptions for those transfer classes. In addition, you may want to bring an additional copy of your transcripts:

  • • Advertising Art Direction
  • • Illustration
  • • Interior Architecture
  • • Fine Art
  • • Product Desgin
  • • Graphic Design

Students must bring a portfolio consisting of the following:

  • • 8-10 images from each course to be evaluated.
  • • A course description/and or syllabus for each course being evaluated.
  • • The format may be a hardcopy or digital.

The following courses do not require a portfolio review and will be applied to a student’s degree after the transcripts have been evaluated by the Office of Degree Evaluation and the Art and Design department, unless the course is otherwise names, then clarification of course content may be needed.

  • • Art History I and II
  • • Beginning Drawing
  • • 2-D Design
  • • 3-D Design 

On Campus 2nd BA Students

If you took art and design classes as part of your undergraduate degree you must bring a copy of your transcript and portfolio to be reviewed at Orientation. We regret that we are unable to register any 2nd BA student for upper level courses without a portfolio review. Students must bring a portfolio consisting of the following:

  • • 8-10 images from each course to be evaluated.
  • • A course description/and or syllabus for each course being evaluated.
  • • The format may be hardcopy or digital.

2nd BA students cannot transfer credit to Columbia College Chicago, however they can be waived out of course work that they have previously completed.


Distance Freshmen Students

We do not evaluate non-college level work for incoming freshmen. All AP credits will be evaluated by the Office of Degree Evaluation and do not require a portfolio review.


Distance Transfer Students

Students should expect to see the results of applying to transfer course credit in the following classes:

  • • Art History I and II
  • • Beginning Drawing
  • • 2-D Design & 3-D Design (unless course is otherwise named, then clarification of course content may be needed)

For more information regarding our transfer credit policies please visit: Art + Design Transfer Credit Policies


Recommended First-Semester Courses


We recommend that all students take following classes in their first semester as an Advertising Art Direction major:

  • • Introduction to Visual Culture (3 credits)
  • • Making I (3 credits
  • • Medium (1 credit)
  • • Methods (1 credit)
  • • Materials (1 credit)

Plus the following general education classes:

  • • 48-1100 First Year Seminar
  • • 52-1151 Writing and Rhetoric I

For more information about our exciting new Foundations program please visit our website.