First Year Program

The First Year Program provides highly specialized courses, enabling freshmen to jump right into meaningful projects that connect directly to their majors.

Our first-year courses are tailored to the specific needs of each of our 13 majors. An animator sketches differently than an illustrator, and a filmmaker uses light differently than a photographer—so we’ve designed informed, focused, and highly specialized courses that let our freshmen get started in their field on day one. Every minute at Ringling College is dedicated to moving you toward your future as a professional creative.

First Year Communities

Our communities bring together students and concepts from related majors to break down silos and introduce the basic concepts of working alongside other disciplines.

Design Arts

The Design Arts community tailors student projects and coursework to the experiences, perspectives and interests of design-related majors. As a member of the Design Arts community, you will learn how to work on long-term projects with other types of designers—a skill that will enable you to collaborate successfully in a professional work environment. Graphic designers will work alongside motion designers and both will learn to question existing design norms as taught in Visual Studies. Don’t limit your design expertise to your discipline alone. Discover how your specialty fits into the larger solution.

Business of Art + Design
Graphic Design
Motion Design
Visual Studies

Visual Studies majors can choose between first-year courses within the Design Arts and Studio Arts communities.

Studio Arts

The Studio Arts community brings together students in Film, Fine Arts, Photography, and Visual Studies to broaden student exposure to other studio arts and deepen understanding of their own major. Photography students will learn how to apply their work to both commercial and fine arts settings, and Fine Arts students will push the boundaries of their work through collaboration with Visual Studies majors. 

As part of the freshman Studio Arts community, you will meet students in related majors and learn how to collaborate and apply your work to larger, long-term projects.

Fine Arts
Photography + Imaging
Visual Studies

Visual Studies majors can choose between first-year courses within the Design Arts and Studio Arts communities.

Media Arts

The freshman year Media Arts community will introduce majors from Illustration, Computer Animation, and Game Art to the realities of working as a media major at Ringling College and beyond. As a Media Arts student, you will work on countless projects that push your knowledge and technical proficiency of your major and related disciplines. Expand your understanding of the media industry by working alongside game artists, illustrators, and computer animators on projects that build in complexity and require understanding of newly acquired concepts.

You will collaborate on long-term media arts projects and learn how your piece fits into the overall equation.

Computer Animation
Game Art
Virtual Reality Development

Creative Writing

Our Creative Writing program offers a unique, major-focused community for aspiring writers and storytellers. Creative writing majors will discover the countless applications for creative writing across industries and disciplines and work together on long-term, complex projects.