Major Requirements

Fine Arts

Art History

The art history major—Course requirements: AHIS 101 and 102, AHIS 301; a 300-400 level writing intensive seminar beyond AHIS 301; one studio course; and seven further courses in art history. These must be distributed so that at least one is taken in each of the following six categories: the Western classical/medieval period, the Renaissance, 17th—century Europe, 18th-19th—century Europe, the 20th-21st—century, and a non—Western field. One of the above or a further course must be an architectural history course that concentrates on the analysis of architectural and urban form. All students must complete a 300-400 level seminar beyond AHIS 301. AHIS 101 and 102 or a relevant introductory 200-level course are a prerequisite for upper-level seminars. The Writing Intensive Part II requirement is fulfilled by AHIS 301.

All majors must declare the major in consultation with the chairman of the Art History Program by the spring sophomore year deadline, but students are urged to seek an adviser as early as possible to facilitate planning for study abroad. A grade of C- or better in each course is required for major credit, with the exception of the studio requirement, which may be taken on a pass/fail basis.

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.

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.

Language Across the Curriculum—Art and architectural history courses may be taken for an additional .5 credit as part of the Language Across the Curriculum Program (see Language and Culture Studies).

Studio Arts

The studio arts major—The studio arts major consists of 10 courses in studio arts and two courses in art history. It is structured to provide a foundation in drawing and design with an introduction to the disciplines of painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, and photography; and opportunities for advanced study in each of these studio areas. A grade of C or above is required for major credit. The following introductory one-semester courses are required for the studio arts major:

  • STAR 121. Drawing I
  • STAR 122. Painting I
  • STAR 124. Sculpture I
  • STAR 125. Printmaking I
  • STAR 126. Photography I

These courses should be taken as early as possible in the student's career. The intermediate course STAR 221 and one course out of the group of the following four (STAR 222, STAR 224, STAR 225, STAR 226) must also be taken. Upon completion of the intermediate-level courses, studio arts majors are required to declare a “studio concentration” in drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, or photography. By special arrangement a studio concentration in intermedia work can be structured. To complete the major, STAR 321 and an additional 300-level course in studio arts must be completed. The studio arts degree culminates with the completion of a thesis in studio arts. Up to two course credits transferred from another institution may count towards the major. The studio art major must also complete two 200-level or above art history courses. The Writing Intensive Part II requirement is fulfilled by STAR 497.

The thesis in studio arts 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, as well as the student's mastery of the medium selected as the studio concentration. 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.

Focus in architecture—Recognizing that studio arts provides a model for artistic practice well suited to the pursuit of a career in architecture, students may opt to modify the major so that it provides a 15-course “focus in architecture,” as follows:

  • Ten studio courses, as described above, with one of the five studio areas identified as a studio concentration.
  • AHIS 265. 19th-Century Architecture, AHIS 286. 20th—Century Architecture, and one 300-level seminar pertaining to architecture.
  • ENGR 341. Architectural Drawing and ENGR 342. Architectural Design, which must be completed by the end of the junior year.
  • Art created for a solo exhibition/thesis project will be expected to address the subject of architecture either through its content, or by virtue of its theoretical foundation.

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 the following six course requirements: the student must complete a track of 100, 200, and 300 levels of a chosen discipline and take any three additional studio arts courses.