Bachelor of Art

The Bachelor of Arts in Art and Design enables students in the College of Art & Design to become broadly educated in the study of art, while also having a declared minor, double major, or approved course of study. The purpose of the BA in Art and Design degree is to allow students to combine their visual arts education with another area of study, while still focusing on the core Art elements with a survey of arts, foundation classes in design, drawing, and composition. This degree is based on a liberal arts model and aspires for students to be prepared to contribute to a range of hybrid industries upon graduating such as: animation, games, computer graphics, video production, web design, digital fabrication, visual development in architecture and interior design, art therapy, art education, entrepreneurship, interface design, or apparel design.

The College of Art & Design also offers a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Design with a concentration in art history. This is a curriculum for students who have an interest in the visual arts that explores the historical dimension of this fundamental link. It provides opportunities for students to explore the multifaceted connections between the contemporary practice of artistic production and historical sources both visual and written. The training and insights students gain from art history build powerful analytical tools for understanding history, the diversity of past and present cultures, and the contemporary world. The purpose of the concentration in art history is to encourage students to develop: a broadly based understanding of the visual arts throughout time, from prehistory to the present, and, spatially, across geographic regions and globally diverse cultures; a taste and capacity for engaging with primary sources, both written and visual, in conducting research into works of art and the historical, socio­political and economic contexts that might help explain their production, meaning, reception, use, display and cultural significance; a familiarity with critical thinking and methodologies in the approach to the study of cultural artefacts and in the understanding of the discipline of art history. This degree will help students imagine themselves as visual art specialists, and prepare them for careers in research, academia, the art world, art therapy, art education and graduate programs in visual and media studies.

How is a BA different than a BFA degree?

The Bachelor of Art (BA) is a more general art and design degree. With the BA, you do not select a concentration, but rather you take a custom mix of art and design classes that integrate your interests across any area(s) within the School, and beyond. This degree is 30-40% studio based, and requires that students also pursue an “approved course of study” after the second year. This is planned with an advisor to assure a meaningful and relevant set of classes. This could also be a minor outside of the School of Art, or a double major.

BA Curriculum BreakdownBA Curriculum plan ranges illustrated by colorful circles representing credits for: Integrative learning core, major or minor, free electives, studio art core & intermediate studio classes, and studio art foundations & art/design historyThere are numerous free electives built into this degree in order for you to earn the minor and/or double major. Students can truly tailor this degree to their different interests.

Read more information on the BA and BA in Art History curriculum paths.

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For comparison:

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

The school offers students seven artistic disciplines which lead to the BFA: ceramics, digital art, graphic design, painting & drawing, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

Each BFA track is structured around 12-16 classes in a single disciplinary area for professional study, although you’ll take at least one class in six of these seven areas as part of the studio art foundations and core requirements. This degree is approximately 65% studio based.

It is optional for BFA students to seek a minor in another area in the School of Art, or an outside department in the University.


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