Visual Arts Foundation Requirements

All Bachelor of Fine Arts programs—Art Education, Graphic Design, Painting, Printmaking, and Sculpture—begin with foundation courses in the freshman year. These courses provide students with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their chosen major, which students declare during their freshman or sophomore year.

CFA AR 131 and 132 Drawing I 8 cr
CFA AR 141 Foundation Painting 4 cr
CFA AR 121 Foundation Sculpture 4 cr
CAS AH 111, 112 Art History 8 cr
CAS WR 100 Freshman Writing 4 cr

Certain majors may have additional prerequisite requirements to elect the major, which are indicated on the major program page.

Requirements for Entering Major Areas

To enter into a major, students must have completed foundation requirements.

A student who has received a grade of D and is therefore disqualified from entering any major area may submit a portfolio of work to a committee composed of the faculty member who gave the grade of D and the faculty teaching in the major area, with a petition that the admission requirements for entrance to the major area be waived. The requirement for admission may be waived at the director’s discretion in consultation with the faculty committee.

To be permitted to move from the junior to the senior year, a student must receive a grade of C or higher in his or her major subject.

Five-Year BFA/MA Program

Undergraduate students who wish to major in Graphic Design, Painting, Printmaking, or Sculpture, but would also like to obtain state licensure to teach art in the public schools, can combine an undergraduate studio art major (BFA) with a Master of Arts (MA) in Art Education with Initial License. This master’s program includes all licensure requirements.

Refer to the program page for full details.

Liberal Arts Requirements

The School of Visual Arts BFA degrees in Graphic Design, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Art Education require a minimum of 28 credits of liberal arts elective courses. All majors also require CAS WR 100 and varying credits of Art History and Contemporary Issues.

The liberal arts electives must include a variety of courses that fulfill one of the following three tracks:

  1. A liberal arts distribution as follows:
    • Sciences/Social Sciences/History, 8 credits
    • Language/Literature/Philosophy, 8 credits
    • Additional liberal arts electives, 12 credits
  2. A CAS minor
  3. An individually designed plan of study (i.e., arts administration or Russian literature) outlined in a detailed written proposal and pre-approved by the student’s faculty advisor at the end of the first year of study.