Freshman Experience

Jump right into your major

Confidence and technique take time to master. So we don't waste a minute.


Ringling College doesn’t do anything by the book. You’ll learn that right away.

All artists and designers need to understand the basics of drawing, design, color and more, but we tailor these freshman foundation courses to the specific needs of students in different disciplines. An animator sketches differently than a photographer, and a filmmaker uses light differently than an interior designer, so we’ve designed informed, focused and highly specialized courses that let our freshmen jump immediately into meaningful projects that connect directly to the majors they want to pursue.

In addition to those specialized foundation courses, our students also begin taking classes within their disciplines in their first year, sometimes even working with actual clients. We don't waste time. Within your first semester at Ringling College, you’ll be developing the essential skills you need to succeed as a creative professional. 



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 Critical & Visual Studies. Don't limit your design expertise to your discipline alone. Discover how your specialty fits into the larger solution.

Advertising Design
Business of Art & Design
Graphic Design
Interior Design
Motion Design
Visual Studies

Critical & 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 Critical & 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 Critical & 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

Critical & 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 Arts 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



Creative Writing

Our new, 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.



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