At the Cleveland Institute of Art, all first-year students begin in our Foundation program, a yearlong introduction to forms, methods, media, and concepts crucial to your future academic and professional success. You will emerge from the program on technically equal footing with your peers—ready to concentrate on the study and practice of art and design.
Our Foundation curriculum offers an intensive exploration of color, form, design, and creative problem solving. You will begin with core courses in drawing, design, color, and digital studies that acquaint you with composition, drawing principles, and 2D and 3D materials and processes. As you work on studio projects, you will investigate visual dynamics, creative processes, and issues that inform contemporary art, design, and culture.
Be prepared for lively debates and the camaraderie that develops as you and your peers work together in studio. The Foundation experience fosters a learning environment that is responsive to your aspirations as well as to innovations in the world of art and design. We balance fundamental approaches with experimentation to develop your aesthetic sensibilities.
You’ll also begin thinking about focusing on your major studies. Art and design education is structured to prepare students for the challenges of competition that define a career in the art and design fields. Consistent with that value, CIA students begin their major focus with an application process that is competitive. Students apply to majors in the spring semester of their Foundation year. For more information on the application process, click here.
While you’re here, take advantage of our amazing location in the center of Cleveland’s cultural district. Our classes regularly travel across the street to the permanent collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the exhibits of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, or through the rain forest of the Cleveland Botanical Garden. With Case Western Reserve University, University Hospitals, and the Cleveland Clinic located a quick walk across Euclid Avenue, we tap into unmatched science and health care resources that boost our curriculum.
While at CIA, you'll learn from the masters through our rigorous, world-class curriculum and connect with working professionals to begin your career.