Metals and Jewelry Design Option - Studio Arts BFA

RIT’s metals and jewelry design degree focuses on a variety of design principles, aesthetics, as well as material and process mastery.


Overview for Metals and Jewelry Design Option - Studio Arts BFA

Why Study Metals and Jewelry Design at RIT

  • Gain Real-World Experience: Cooperative education and internship means hands-on, full-time paid work experience.
  • College Preparation Workshops: High school juniors and seniors can participate in the two-week School of Art's annual Pre-College Portfolio Preparation Workshop.
  • Exhibit your Work: During your senior year, your final work will be featured in a gallery.

The jewelry design degree provides state-of-the-art spaces for you to learn everything from traditional metal techniques to advanced design technologies. You will learn key processes as you find your artistic voice.This option is part of the Studio Arts BFA program.

Our jewelry design bachelor's degree develops your creativity to its fullest potential through a broad introduction to materials and production techniques before moving on to advanced techniques in various metals.

Self-discovery is at the heart of student assignments, projects, and group discussions. 
 

Gain Real-World Experience with Hands-On Opportunities

Pre-College Portfolio Preparation Workshop

The School of Art's annual Pre-College Portfolio Preparation Workshop is a two-week visual arts class designed to prepare the portfolios of rising high school juniors and seniors for admission to college art programs.

Students also have the opportunity to gain invaluable hands-on experience through participation in paid cooperative education and internships offered through streamlined art and design co-ops.


Enhance Your Studio Art Major and Further your Education

RIT provides many opportunities to expand your knowledge and explore your interests in depth. 

Take your metals and jewelry design degree to the next level with RIT’s Metals and Jewelry Design MFA or obtain and MBA with RIT’s +1 MBA program. Students who enroll in a qualifying undergraduate degree have the opportunity to add an MBA to their bachelor’s degree after their first year of study, depending on their program. Learn how the +1 MBA can accelerate your learning and position you for success.

 

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Careers and Experiential Learning

Typical Job Titles

Accessory Designer Accessory Jewelry Designer
Apprentice/Employee for Artist or Master Craftsperson Blacksmith Corporate Jewelry Designer
Custom Jewelry Designer Design Consultant
Faculty/Instructor Fine Jeweler
Goldsmith Jewelry Design Entrepreneur
Jewelry Design Repairperson Jewelry Salesperson
Jewelry Technician Metalsmith
Product Designer Self-employed Artist, Artisan and/or Designer
Studio Jewelry Artist Studio Fine Artist
Silversmith

Cooperative Education and Internships

What’s different about an RIT education? It’s the career experience you gain by completing cooperative education and internships with top companies in every single industry. You’ll earn more than a degree. You’ll gain real-world career experience that sets you apart.

Co-ops and internships take your knowledge and turn it into know-how. An art and design co-op provides hands-on experience that enables you to apply your artistic capabilities in dynamic professional settings while you make valuable connections between classwork and real-world applications.

Students in the metals and jewelry design option are encouraged to complete a cooperative education or internship experience.

Creative Industry Days

Connect with Design Industry Leaders

RIT’s Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education hosts Creative Industry Days, which connects students majoring in art, design, film and animation, photography, and select computing majors with companies, organizations, creative agencies, design firms, and more. Creative Industry Days are a series of events that allow you to network with company representatives and interview directly for open co-op and full-time employment positions.

Featured Work

Featured Profiles

Curriculum for 2023-2024 for Metals and Jewelry Design Option - Studio Arts BFA

Current Students: See Curriculum Requirements

Studio Arts (metals and jewelry design option), BFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ARTH-###
 Any 100-level ARTH course (General Education-Artistic Perspective)
3
ARTH-###
 Any 100-level ARTH course (General Education-Global Perspective)
3
FDTN-111
Drawing I
This course is an introduction to the visualization of form, thought, and expression through the drawing process and is the first of two sequential courses that are the foundation of the drawing curriculum in the College of Art and Design. Concepts are introduced by lectures, discussions, and demonstrations which are designed to provide a broad introductory experience. Students will experiment with a wide variety of media, tools, techniques and subjects to develop drawing and problem-solving skills related to form and composition. The focus of the course is to provide awareness of the full range of ways in which drawing is used as a tool for both self-expression and communication. **Fee: A materials fee is required for this course, and an additional course fee applied via student account** Studio 6 (Fall or Spring).
3
FDTN-121
2D Design I
This course is an introduction to the basic elements and principles of two-dimensional design and is foundational to the College of Art and Design curriculum. The focus of this course is the development of visual and verbal vocabularies as a means of exploring and understanding two-dimensional design. Students will engage with a wide variety of media, tools, and techniques to develop skills while delving into the theoretical and experimentational processes of contemporary art and design. The exploration of historical and cultural themes and concepts intertwined with aspects of personal interpretation and experience will be included in the curriculum. **Fee: A materials fee is required for this course, and an additional course fee applied via student account** Studio 6 (Fall or Spring).
3
FDTN-131
3D Design I
This course presents a progressive study in terminology, visual principles, exploration, concept generation, process, and techniques of three-dimensional design and is foundational to the College of Art and Design curriculum. Using hands-on problem solving, student will develop an informed understanding of the three-dimensional form and space with an emphasis on the elements and principles of visual design and their function as the building blocks and guidelines for ordering a three-dimensional composition. A heightened awareness of form and space will be developed through lecture, assigned projects, and critiques. Students will also develop a personal awareness of problem seeking and solving, experimentation and critical analysis. **Fee: A materials fee is required for this course, and an additional course fee applied via student account** Studio 6 (Fall or Spring).
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   FDTN-112
   Drawing II
From observation of still life, the figure, and interior/exterior spaces, Drawing II continues to build on the foundation of the College of Art and Design drawing curriculum. This course continues the study of traditional drawing mediums and techniques while introducing color and a selection of contemporary practices and tools through examining organic and geometric mark making, form, space and value. Core concepts are introduced by lectures, discussions, and demonstrations; the primary assessment method of course work will be through critiques which facilitate growth of both a visual and verbal vocabulary. The focus of the course is to provide awareness of the full range of ways in which drawing is used as a tool for self-expression, communication and continued development of creative practice and problem solving. **Fee: A materials fee is required for this course, and an additional course fee applied via student account** (Prerequisites: FDTN-111 or ITDI-211 or equivalent course.) Studio 6 (Fall or Spring).
 
   FDTN-212
   Drawing II Workshop: Topics
This course is an investigation of the visualization of form, thought and expression through the drawing process. This workshop provides students with the opportunity to learn more about a particular experience in drawing while still covering required foundation elements. Different topics may be taken in the same semester. Topics may only be taken once. Concepts are introduced by lectures, discussions, demonstrations, research and assigned projects.. The focus of the course is to provide awareness of the full range of ways in which drawing is used as a tool for both self-expression and communication. (Prerequisites: FDTN-111 or ITDI-211 or equivalent course.) Studio 6 (Spring).
 
Choose one of the following:
3
   FDTN-132
   3D Design II
This course is the second course in the three-dimensional design curriculum and is foundational to the College of Art and Design education. The focus of the course is on composing three-dimensional form and its relationship to space. Students will build on their prior term experiences, which include the introduction to three-dimensional principles, materials, and building processes. Students will develop the sophisticated skill of conceptualization. More advanced problems will be assigned, and students will have the opportunity to explore a wide range of material and process possibilities for their resolution. A heightened awareness of idea development and design research will be explored. Inclusion of 21st century themes in the arts of social cultural and community. **Fee: A materials fee is required for this course, and an additional course fee applied via student account** (Prerequisites: FDTN-131 or equivalent course.) Studio 6 (Fall or Spring).
 
   FDTN-232
   3D Design II Workshop: Topic
This workshop provides students with the opportunity to learn more about 3D compositions within a more open and experimental realm while still covering the core Foundation concepts. Different topics may be taken in the same semester. Topics may only be taken once. The focus is on composing three-dimensional form and its relationship to space. Material exposure will be determined by the topic’s instructor. (Prerequisites: FDTN-131 or equivalent course.) Studio 6 (Spring).
 
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. (This class is restricted to incoming 1st year or global campus students.) Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
0
 
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
3
 
General Education – Social Perspective
3
 
CAD Studio Elective†
3
Second Year
CMTJ-206
Methods and Practice
This course will introduce students to basic jewelry hand tools. Students will learn about composition and working properties of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, which will serve as primary materials. This course will provide in-depth instruction on fundamental design and fabrication techniques. Students will acquire technical understanding and demonstrate the comprehension of materials through assigned projects motivated by current themes in contemporary art and jewelry design. Students will be instructed on the proper use and maintenance of the metals shop. Students will be required to conduct research on a historical metals topic, write a paper and give a presentation. **Fee: There is a lab fee required for this course** (Prerequisites: FDTN-112 or FDTN-212 or FDTN-122 or FDTN-222 or FDTN-132 or FDTN-232 or FDTN-141 or IDDE-102 or ILLS-206 or ILLS-209 or INDE-102 or equivalent course.) Studio 6 (Fall).
3
CMTJ-207
Design, Fabrication, and Forming
This course will introduce the student to intermediate silver soldering and gem setting. Students will explore forming techniques used in the fabrication of jewelry and functional objects. Students will acquire technical understanding and demonstrate the comprehension of materials through assigned projects motivated by current themes in contemporary art and jewelry design. Students will be instructed on the proper use and maintenance of the metals shop. Students will be required to conduct research on a historical metals topic, write a paper, and give a presentation. Fee: There is a lab fee for materials required for this course. (Prerequisites: CMTJ-124 or CMTJ-206 or CMTJ-211 or equivalent course.) Studio 6 (Spring).
3
CMTJ-211
Design and Fabrication
Students will engage in fundamental design and fabrication techniques, materials, and processes within the broad historical and social context of jewelry design and metalworking. Working with precious and non-precious metals, students will learn traditional metal and jewelry methods of construction and fabrication. Students will acquire technical understanding and demonstrate the comprehension of materials through assigned projects motivated by current themes in contemporary art and jewelry design. Students will be instructed on the proper use and maintenance of the metals shop. Students will be required to conduct research on an historical metals topic, write a paper and give a presentation. **Fee: There is a lab fee required for this course** (Prerequisites: FDTN-112 or FDTN-212 or FDTN-122 or FDTN-222 or FDTN-132 or FDTN-232 or FDTN-141 or IDDE-102 or ILLS-206 or ILLS-209 or INDE-102 or equivalent course.) Studio 6 (Fall).
3
CMTJ-212
Fabrication, Casting, and Mold Making
The course focuses on the fundamentals of jewelry and metal design. Current styles and formal characteristics of jewelry and metal objects will be studied through a series of design problems. Students will learn casting and mold-making techniques for small scale objects and jewelry. Instruction will include vacuum assisted and centrifuge casting, sand casting, wax carving, replica casting, and silicone rubber mold making. Students will acquire technical understanding and demonstrate the comprehension of materials through assigned projects motivated by current themes in contemporary art and jewelry design. Students will be instructed on the proper use and maintenance of the metals shop. Students will be required to conduct research on a historical metals topic, write a paper, and give a presentation. Fee: There is a lab fee for materials required for this course. (Prerequisites: CMTJ-124 or CMTJ-206 or CMTJ-211 or equivalent course.) Studio 6 (Spring).
3
FDTN-141
4D Design
4D Design introduces students to the basic concepts of art and design in time and space. The course explores elements of moving images such as continuity, still and moving image editing, transitions and syntax, sound and image relations, and principles of movement. Computers, video, photo, sound and lighting equipment are used to create short-form time-based work relevant to students in all majors and programs required to take this course. The course addresses the both historical conventions of time in art and recent technological advances, which are redefining the fields of Fine Art and Design. In focusing on the relations between students' spacing and timing skills, 4D Design extends and supplements the other Foundation courses, and prepares students for further work with time-based media. (Undergraduate Art and Design) Lab 5 (Fall, Spring).
3
STAR-503
CAD Drawing
This class covers basic CAD (computer-aided design) drawing for both design and presentation. Topics covered will include a broad range of drawing types, three-dimensional modeling, and presentation techniques. The course includes demonstrations, lectures, group-discussions, projects, and presentations. At the completion of this course students will use skills obtained in CAD orthographic drawing and 3-dimensional modeling to refine and present ideas and projects. Lec/Lab 5 (Fall or Spring).
3
 
Art History Elective‡
3
 
General Education – Ethical Perspective
3
 
General Education – Immersion 1 (WI-GE)
3
Choose one of the following:
3
 
   General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective
 
 
   General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective
 
 
   General Education – Mathematical Perspective A or B
 
Third Year
CMTJ-301
Metals and Jewelry Design Junior I
This course continues instruction in jewelry and hollowware rendering, chasing and repoussé, and tool making, providing in-depth instruction on advanced design and fabrication techniques. Through the use of kumboo 24k gold and bi-metal overlay technique, acid-etching and hydraulic die forming, students are introduced to jewelry and hollowware design and production methods. This course also introduces intermediate gem setting, identification and gemstone anatomy. Students will obtain instruction on the proper use and maintenance of the metals shop. Students will be taught advanced machine skills, hand skills and tools. Students will be required to conduct research on a historical metals topic, write a paper and give a presentation. **Fee: There is a materials fee required for this course and an additional course fee applied via SFS bill. See course notes for course fee information. ** (Prerequisites: CMTJ-206 or CMTJ-207 or CMTJ-211 or CMTJ-212 or equivalent course.) Studio 12 (Fall).
6
CMTJ-302
Metals and Jewelry Design Junior II
This course continues instruction in intermediate and advanced metal fabrication and introduces students to welding techniques and their application to metals and jewelry design. Students will be introduced to design alternatives for the creation of complex jewelry objects that may incorporate both metal and alternative materials as a means of design development and expression through artwork. Students will reflect appropriate application of material and process with regard to contemporary jewelry trends and historical context. Additionally, students will examine the ways in which materials and techniques influence meaning. Students will obtain instruction on the proper use and maintenance of the metals shop. Students will be taught advanced machine skills, hand skills and tools. Students will be required to conduct research on a historical metals topic, write a paper and give a presentation. **Fee: There is a materials fee required for this course and an additional course fee applied via SFS bill. See course notes for course fee information. ** (Prerequisites: CMTJ-301 or equivalent course.) Studio 12 (Spring).
6
STAR-311
Ideation and Series
This course will examine appropriate skills and strategies to generate ideas and develop them effectively. Through personal and group generative idea exercises, journaling and research students will explore individual ideas and personal interests to produce a final series of creative works. (Prerequisites: FDTN-141 or equivalent course or students enrolled in the WOOD-AOS program.) Studio 6 (Fall or Spring).
3
 
Art History Elective‡
3
 
General Education – Immersion 2
3
 
CAD Studio Elective†
3
 
General Education – Elective
3
 
Open Elective
3
Fourth Year
CMTJ-501
Metals and Jewelry Design Senior I
This is the first of a two-semester sequential class covering advanced techniques and aesthetics of metal and jewelry design. The creative work developed during the semester will inform the student in the development of their senior capstone proposal. Through research and under the guidance of faculty, students will choose a theme for their proposed thesis work. The design and compilation of a professional resume is also completed. This course introduces advanced gem setting, identification and gemstone anatomy. Students will obtain instruction on the proper use and maintenance of the metals shop. Students will be taught advanced machine skills, hand skills and tools. Students will be required to conduct research on a historical metals topic, write a paper and give a presentation. **Fee: There is a materials fee required for this course and an additional course fee applied via SFS bill. See course notes for course fee information. ** (Prerequisites: CMTJ-302 or equivalent course.) Studio 12 (Fall).
6
CMTJ-502
Metals and Jewelry Design Senior II
This course, the second of a two-semester sequence, will aid the student in finalizing the development of their capstone, a self-directed project created in response to the students’ research and technical needs. The student is guided by their written and verbal proposal to develop a cohesive body of work and required to present it in a capstone exhibition within the term. This course provides the student with individual research in technique and design. A chosen thematic focus relevant to issues of contemporary art and jewelry design will influence individual student development and the course’s conversation through various assignments and group activities. The senior level students are required to assemble a group show of their four year's work, complete a job search and a professional portfolio including resume, photography, and renderings. **Fee: There is a materials fee required for this course and an additional course fee applied via SFS bill. See course notes for course fee information. ** (Prerequisites: CMTJ-501 or equivalent course.) Studio 6 (Spring).
3
STAR-411
Business Practices for Artists (WI-PR)
This course is devoted to business issues that artists must address including building and maintaining a portfolio, pricing and marketing strategies and public relations. Financial organization and communication skills are highlighted as are networking skills for the advancement of an artist’s work. (Prerequisites: (STAR-311 or CCER-302 or CCER-512 or CWFD-302 or CGLS-302 or CMTJ-302 or equivalent course and completion of First Year Writing (FYW) requirement) or student standing in WOOD-AOS.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
STAR-401
STAR Capstone
This course will focus on the production and exhibition of a representative body of artwork. Students will participate in an articulated process of making, engaging in comprehensive research that expands and supports their work, developing a rationale for the use of media and process, creating sketches and models, and the refining work through critiquing and editing. All of this will culminate in the professional presentation of oral, written, and visual work that contextualizes the students’ positions within contemporary artistic practice. Students will also be involved in every aspect of their senior shows from creating the work to installing the exhibition and preparing marketing materials. (Prerequisites: STAR-311 or equivalent course.) Studio 6 (Spring).
3
 
CAD Studio Elective†
3
 
General Education – Immersion 3
3
 
Open Electives
9
Total Semester Credit Hours
120

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

† CAD Studio Electives are any College of Art and Design course with a lab or studio component, per catalog restrictions.

‡ Art History electives are non-studio courses searchable in SIS with the Art History attribute of ARTH.

Admissions and Financial Aid

This option is part of the Studio Arts BFA. Please visit the degree program page for admission requirements.

Learn How to Apply

Financial Aid and Scholarships

100% of all incoming first-year and transfer students receive aid.

RIT’s personalized and comprehensive financial aid program includes scholarships, grants, loans, and campus employment programs. When all these are put to work, your actual cost may be much lower than the published estimated cost of attendance.
Learn more about financial aid and scholarships

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