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Visualization

The visualization program at Texas A&M University focuses on the creation, design and development of the visual experience. You’ll learn to create digital and electronic visualizations as a technical artist.

As an undergraduate, you’ll take a sequence of studio classes to grow in your area of interest. These project-based studios are supported by courses that teach programming, art theory and other technical skills.

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About the Visualization Program

The Bachelor of Science in Visualization program fosters students’ artistic, scientific and technical abilities. Students develop a breadth and depth of knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the field. Each student chooses a concentration in which they develop a focused expertise. Interdisciplinary coursework complements their focus to provide a broad foundation of knowledge.

Areas of Emphasis


Careers

Visualization graduates are prepared for a range of careers, including:

FAQs about Visualization

Do I need to have an artistic background to succeed in this program?

Yes. The visualization program combines artistic skills with technological prowess. Having an artistic background and an understanding of new or traditional arts will help you be successful in this major.

What kind of technical skills will I need in this program?

Comfort with technology is important. Skills in coding, 3D applications and/or 2D applications are helpful.

What kind of resources and facilities are available through your program?

We have a maker space, print lab, open access computer lab, cintiques.

Are there any technology requirements to participate in this program?

Yes. The College of Architecture requires that all incoming students (freshmen, change of majors and transfer students) have a serviceable laptop computer and suggests a minimum system configuration (PDF). A PC is preferred at this time for animation and gaming areas of interest.


Curriculum

The four-year visualization undergraduate degree requires a minimum of 120 credit hours. The curriculum integrates aspects of fine arts, three-dimensional design, and digital technology into the studio experience.

Visualization Catalog 143 (2020 – 2021) Program Semester Curriculum*

For more details about each course, view the listings in the Texas A&M Course Catalog.

Year 1 34 credit hours

Fall Semester – 16 credit hours

ARTS 115 Drawing for Visualization 3 credit hours
ENGL 104 Composition and Rhetoric 3 credit hours
MATH 151 Engineering Mathematics 1 4 credit hours
VIST 105 Principles of Design 1 3 credit hours
VIST 131 First Year Seminar 1 credit hour
VIST 170 Introduction to Visualization Computing Environments 1 credit hour
VIST 282 or ARTS 104 2D Visualization Techniques or Introduction to Graphic Design 1 credit hour

Spring Semester – 18 credit hours

MATH 152 Engineering Mathematics II 4 credit hours
VIST 106 Principles of Design 2 3 credit hours
VIST 270 Computing for Visualization I 4 credit hours
VIST 283 3D Visualization Techniques 1 credit hour
Art History Class 3 credit hours
POLS 206 Government/Political Science 3 credit hours
Year 2 28 credit hours

Fall Semester – 13 credit hours

ARTS 212 Life Drawing 3 credit hours
PHYS 201 College Physics 4 credit hours
VIST 205 Principles of Design 3 3 credit hours
Visualization Directed Elective** 3 credit hours

Spring Semester – 15 credit hours

Art History 3 credit hours
VIST 206 Visual Studies Studio 1 3 credit hours
VIST 235 Theory and Practice in Visualization 2 credit hours
VIST 271 Computing Visualization 2 4 credit hours
Traditional Arts*** 3 credit hours
Year 3 29 credit hours

Fall Semester – 17 credit hours

Art History 3 credit hours
VIST 305 Visual Studies Studio 2 3 credit hours
VIST 339 Research Techniques in Visualization 3 credit hours
VIST 375 Foundations in Visualization 3 credit hours
Visualization Techniques 1 credit hour
Life and Physical Sciences 4 credit hours

Spring Semester – 12 credit hours

CARC 301 or VIST 494 Field Studies in Innovation*** or internship 6 credit hours
Language, Philosophy, and Culture**** 3 credit hours
Free Elective****, ***** 3 credit hours
Year 4 29 credit hours

Fall Semester – 14 credit hours

HIST 105 History of the United States 3 credit hours
VIST 405 Visual Studies Studio 3 3 credit hours
VIST 432 or VIST 441 Applied Perception or Scientific and Technological Developments in Visual Arts 3 credit hours
VIST 439 Capstone Proposal Development 1 credit hour
Digital Media****** 3 credit hours
Life and Physical Sciences 1 credit hour

Spring Semester – 15 credit hours

HIST 106 History of the United States 3 credit hours
VIST 409 Capstone Studio 3 credit hours
POLS 207 State and Local Government 3 credit hours
Communication 3 credit hours
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3 credit hours

A grade of C or better must be made in all College of Architecture courses (ARCH, ARTS, CARC, COSC, ENDS, LAND, LDEV, VIST, URPN, and VIZA). Students must also make a grade of C or better in any course used as an equivalent substitution for College of Architecture courses that satisfy degree requirements.

*Subject to change

** Select from an 300 or 400 level ARTS or VIST courses

*** Select from ARTS 305, ARTS 308, ARTS 311, ARTS 312, ARTS 315, ARTS 325, ARTS 328, ARTS 353, VIST 310, VIST 465

**** Semester away: may be satisfied by study abroad, at another university, internship, or special arrangement by advisor or instructor. Electives may be taken during summer, online, distance education, at another university or college, or at study abroad university.

***** Select from any 300-499 course not used elsewhere. If you do not participate in study abroad, 3 hours will come from ICD.

****** Select from ARTS 303, ARTS 304, ARTS 403, VIST 357, VIST 370, VIST 372, VIST 374, VIST 470, VIST 472, VIST 476/CSCE 447, VIST 477/CSCE 446, VIST 486, VIST 487/CSCE 443.


Preparing for the Visualization Program

High school students can take art, design, and coding courses to prepare for the visualization program. These courses are not required, but help prepare students for our program.

Students wishing to transfer into our program should work on developing their portfolio. While first-time-in-college freshmen do not need a portfolio to apply, transfer students do.

FAQ about preparing for the program

How much does it cost to attend?

The cost to attend varies depending on a variety of factors, including semester of admission, student type, how many hours you take per semester, and rate type. Use the Texas A&M Tuition Calculator to get the best estimate of your tuition cost per semester.

Additional costs to consider include course materials, housing, meal plans, parking, and fees.

What financial aid and scholarships are available to students?

Numerous scholarships and financial aid are available through Texas A&M University, the College of Architecture, and the Department of Visualization. Incoming freshmen applicants are considered for university scholarships through the ApplyTexas Application or the Coalition Application. Continuing students can apply for additional scholarships through the University Scholarship Application for Continuing Students. For more information about university scholarships, visit scholarships.tamu.edu.

Can I transfer into this program?

Yes, you can transfer in the visualization program (or change your major to visualization). In order to apply, you will need to provide a portfolio that demonstrates your best work. The portfolio link should be included in the essay portion of your application.

  • An ideal portfolio:
    • Represents how you see the world
    • Includes 10+ pieces of your BEST work made within the last three years
    • Can contain any medium, including photography, coding, graphic arts, traditional art, robotics, interactive art, or any other work you feel helps display your ability to see the world as an artist
    • Describes each work in the format “Title, Medium, Year”
    • Contains at least one traditional artwork piece

If you don’t already have a traditional artwork piece to include in your portfolio, please follow the instructions for a still life exercise (PDF).

Who can I go to with questions?

For more information about the B.S. in Visualization program, please contact Jill Raupe, academic advisor, at jill-d-raupe@tamu.edu.


Intern or Study Abroad

All visualization students are required by the college to spend one semester away from the university. They may choose between studying abroad, studying at another university, or serving an approved internship in an industry related to the student’s area of interest. Visualization students should spend their semester away during the fall or spring of their junior year, after taking VIST 206 and before taking VIST 405.

In the fall, students and faculty from the visualization department travel to Italy for an artistically-focused semester abroad. In the spring, we offer a semester abroad in Germany with a technical focus. Students also have the option to participate in reciprocal exchanges to Australia (technical/animation), England (technical), or Singapore (technical/coding).


Get Involved with Research

Apply what you’re learning in the classroom in a different way. As an undergraduate, you can conduct interdisciplinary research with faculty and research labs. Expand your college experience by investigating new visualization techniques and presenting at conferences. Participating in undergraduate research will help you stand out in job interviews or prepare you for graduate school.