Art & Design

Bachelor of Arts Majors

Student work for an identity design project for the Society for the Education and Assistance of Rural Indian Children

Our department offers two majors for BA degree students:

Major in Art & Design

BA students with a major in Art & Design can meet their degree program requirements with any combination of our ART, DES, and HADVC classes. Art & Design majors explore many aspects of art and design, and develop skills in critical thinking, communication, creativity, and commitment in both academic and practical course work.

Students who major in Art & Design will need to register in ART 134 and DES 135, the first year Art & Design Fundamentals studio courses. You can read more about registering for our courses under Course Registration and Listings.

Together, ART 134 and DES 135 are the prerequisites to all second year studio courses in the department. ART 134 and DES 135 will satisfy *6 course weights toward the Breadth and Diversity requirement.

Student work by Harley Wallace for Drawing/Intermedia

Program Requirements

A major in Art & Design requires a minimum of *30 (10 courses) to a maximum of *48 (16 courses) at the senior level (200-level and above), of which at least *6 must be at the 400-level. These courses can be any combination of ART and/or DES and/or HADVC classes.

It is to your advantage to declare your major in Art & Design as soon as possible as you will then have early access to registering yourself in ART 134 and DES135.  The earlier you do these course the better, since you will then have more years to complete your major requirements.  (We do not recommend that you do ART 134 and DES 135 in the same term.)

Planning an Application to the BFA or BDes Program

While a portfolio is NOT required for admission to the BA program; many students choose to major in Art & Design in order to take studio courses and work towards applying to the BFA or BDes program (which does require a portfolio for application). If that is your plan we recommend that you try to follow the course requirements for ENGL, HADVC, and options courses of your ideal future degree, with the exception that you will take ART 134 and DES 135 instead of the studio courses listed in the BFA/BDes first year requirements.

Major in the History of Art, Design and Visual Culture

Contemporary culture is highly dependent on visual representations. We are bombarded on a daily basis by advertisements, posters, digital photographs, and other texts. Courses offered in the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture (HADVC) teach students to understand our visual world and its messages. From representations of sex and death in the Renaissance, to performing bodies in contemporary activist art, to China’s design revolution, course topics range widely. Students explore practices of slow looking, learn how to pose original questions of art works, and engage in creative research projects including faculty/student curatorial projects and pop-up exhibitions in public spaces.

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in the History of Art, Design and Visual Culture begin by taking introductory (100- and 200-level courses) designed to equip them with the skills of close visual analysis and an ability both to understand and recognize the visual culture of diverse historical periods. These courses range from the early modern to the modern and contemporary periods. More advanced (300- and 400-level) courses concentrate on specific themes and visual media. At this level, students learn how to produce scholarly essays, undertake original research, present their ideas orally, and engage critically with various art-historical methods.

Program Requirements

A major in History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture requires a minimum of *30 to a maximum of *48 HADVC at the senior (i.e. 200-level or higher) level, with at least *6 at the 400-level. Students who wish to major or minor in History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture should take HADVC 100 in first year.

Students who major or minor in History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture may not select their other subject of concentration from the Department of Art & Design.