Major Requirements

Fine Arts

Art History

The art history major—Course requirements: Group I (core departmental requirements) AHIS 101, 102, and AHIS 301; a 300 level writing intensive seminar beyond AHIS 301; one course in a non-Western field; plus seven further courses in art history. These must be distributed in three groups as follows: 3 courses in Group II (Classical-1800), including the Western classical/medieval period, the Renaissance, 17th-century Europe, and 18th-century Europe; 2 courses in Group III (1800-present), including 19th-20th-21st century Europe and America; and 2 courses in Group IV (Electives), including additional art history courses, studio arts, architectural drawing, and study abroad courses in art history not approved for specific distribution credit in the major. .

All students must complete a 300-level seminar beyond AHIS 301. AHIS 101 and 102 or a relevant introductory 200-level course are a prerequisite for many upper-level seminars. The Writing Intensive Part II requirement is fulfilled by AHIS 301.

Students should declare the major as early as possible and no later than the deadline for major declaration in the spring of the sophomore year. At the time of declaration, each student should schedule a personal appointment with the department chair to determine the assignment of an advisor, to review the major requirements and to plan for study abroad. No course will be accepted for major credit with a grade lower than C-.

General examination—Senior general examinations are required for all majors, except for honors candidates who choose to write a senior thesis (AHIS 497). The general examination is taken in May on the first of the two officially stated general examination days after the end of regularly scheduled classes. The general examination questions are distributed to students at least three months in advance of the exam. Students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher in the major who receive a grade of High Pass or Distinction on the general examination will graduate with honors in art history.

Honors—All seniors are eligible to compete for honors and may seek to earn honors in the major by pursuing one of two options: writing a senior thesis or taking the general examination. Eligible students who wish to write a senior thesis must have a GPA of 3.5 or better in the major, formulate a project in consultation with a full-time faculty member, and petition the department for admission to the thesis program before the end of classes in the second semester of their junior year. Students undertaking the senior thesis will receive a letter grade for AHIS 497 in the spring of senior year. Those whose grade is A or A- and who maintain a grade point average in art history courses of at least 3.5 shall graduate with honors in art history. Students taking the general examination who achieve a grade of high pass or distinction on the general exam and maintain a GPA in art history courses of at least 3.5 will graduate with honors in art history. All students taking a general examination will have their grade recorded on their transcript. Authorized general examinations grades are distinction, high pass, pass, low pass, fail.

Studio Arts

The studio arts major—The studio arts major consists of ten courses in studio arts and two courses in art history. It is structured to provide a foundation in visual thinking within and across the traditional and new disciplines, as well as opportunities for advanced study. Instruction focuses on critical thinking, understanding the integrity of materials, and the relationship between studio arts practice and theory. The following courses constitute the major:

  • Two Visual Thinking designated courses. These 100-level courses serve to introduce students to the basic concepts of studio art practice. They require no prerequisite.
  • Five Art Studio designated courses. These courses are offered at the 200 and 300 level. They allow students with a fundamental grasp of visual vocabulary to explore intensely a particular studio discipline, combination of disciplines, or special topics with an emphasis on the relationship between studio arts practice and theory. At least one Art Studio course must be taken at the 300 level. Generally, Art Studio courses require one Visual Thinking course as a prerequisite.
  • Two semesters of Concept and Process in Studio Art, must be taken; one at the 300 level and one at the 400 level. This is an interdisciplinary course geared toward students with studio art experience. It focuses on the development of personal content and generating a thematically consistent body of work. Concept and Process in Studio Art requires a prerequisite of three Art Studio courses.
  • Two Art History courses at the 200 level or higher.
  • Senior Thesis in Studio Art (STAR 497) The thesis is conceived as an independent studio project that has as its goal the production of a solo exhibition reflecting the student's grasp of content and critical issues. The thesis project is conceived as the integration mechanism for the major. It consists of works presented as a solo exhibition; any additional artwork created within the prearranged parameters of the project; an 8- to 10-page paper that should address the artwork created, its antecedents, and the structure, ideas, and issues presented in the work; and participation in the weekly seminar involving group critiques, workshops, and discussions. The Writing Intensive Part II requirement is fulfilled by the thesis.

A grade of C+ or above is required for major credit. Up to two course credits transferred from another institution may count toward the major.

Honors—The awarding of departmental honors in studio arts will be based on superior performance in the major, as evaluated by the full-time studio faculty.

The minor in studio arts—The studio arts minor consists of six courses, as follows:\\ One Visual Thinking designated course, Concepts and Process in Studio Art and any other studio art courses chosen in consultation with minor advisor, based on the student´┐Żs areas of interest.