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Information for Students

BDS Practicum

Gain practical, hands-on experience

Gain practical, hands-on experience

Photo by Bonica Ayala

Contact Us

For more information about the Practicum program, please email designstudies@the-bac.edu.

Practicum Guidelines

Student Guide for the School of Design Studies Practicum

The Bachelor of Design Studies Practicum is central to your education at the BAC. The Practicum helps you to explore a wide range of career opportunities while working side-by-side with practicing professionals. You will gain an understanding of today's workplace and the skills you'll need to be successful in it.
You will also gain valuable interview experience, build your professional network, and enhance your resume and portfolio prior to graduation. The Bachelor of Design Studies Practicum helps position you for success in today's dynamic job market.

How to Complete the Practicum

What is the purpose of the Practicum?
The purpose of the Design Studies Practicum is to enrich students' education by providing experiential learning opportunities in their chosen program of study.

Are there any pre-requisites?
Students entering BDS in Spring 2015 or later must complete the Introduction to Practicum (typically in semester 3) before completing the required practicum credits1. This 1.0 credit course prepares students for the Practicum and for a "hands-on" learning experience by giving students a framework to define what their learning goals will be when entering an experiential/applied learning situation.

How many Practicum credits do I need?
Students must complete a minimum of six (6.0) practicum credits to graduate.

How do I earn Practicum credits?
To earn practicum credits, students must 1) acquire "practical experience" and 2) document what they have learned from that experience.

Practical Experience: The following are examples of the types of practical experience students may use as a basis to fulfill their practicum credits: 1) workplace experience, 2) BDS Practicum opportunities, 3) a self-directed project, 4) practice hours earned at the BAC, 5) a BAC Gateway project, and/or 6) an approved "hands-on" course completed at another institution. 

Documentation of Learning: Students are awarded practicum credits once they have documented what they have learned from (not just what they have done in) their practical experience. Students may document their experiential learning in two ways: register for a Practicum Seminar or apply for and be approved to complete Independent Practicum credits.

1. Practicum Seminar: In the Practicum Seminar, students participate in the classroom while an instructor guides them through a process of examining, assessing, and documenting the learning they have acquired from their "practical experience." The Practicum Seminars are typically offered at either 1.5 or 3.0 credits (course designations APL1001 and APL1002 respectively)2. The Practicum Seminar credits are included in calculating the student's tuition for the semester.
2. Independent Practicum: Students who feel capable of examining, assessing, and documenting independently what they have learned through their practical experience may apply to submit an Independent Practicum dossier. To learn more about this option, students should contact Kyle Lapham (kyle.lapham@the-bac.edu) to schedule an appointment. Independent Practicum credit may be earned at 1.5, 3.0, 4.5, or 6.0 credits. See BAC Tuition and Fees for the Independent Practicum credit fee amount3.

How many hours of experience is equal to one Practicum credit?
A practicum credit equals 100 hours of "practical experience."The hours of practical experience are to be equivalent to the number of practicum credits the student is seeking4. For example, a student should have completed or anticipate accumulating 300 hours of practical experience if the student is enrolling in a 3.0 credit Practicum Seminar or applying for 3.0 Independent Practicum credits.

When is the experience to be accumulated?
Students are expected either to have accumulated practical experience hours before enrolling in the practicum or to be engaged in their practical experience while enrolled in the practicum.

Where can I find more information?
See the Student Guide for the Design Studies Practicum for complete Practicum policy and procedures here.


1Students entering BDS in or before the fall 2014 semester are encouraged but not required to take the Introduction to Practicum course.
2Certain BAC "hands-on" courses will satisfy the Practicum. Students will be notified when such courses are offered.
3Students are advised to consult with the financial aid office to determine if their financial aid will be applied to this fee.
4If students do not have or are not able to acquire the practical experience required for the Practicum, they are to contact the Dean, School of Design Studies or their program of study education director.