Degrees and Requirements

Bachelor of Arts, Studio Art

The Bachelor of Arts degree program in studio art is defined as a general liberal arts degree. The B.A. degree is ideal for the student who desires a liberal education with a strong emphasis in art. Students enrolling in the B.A. degree program are required to complete a five-course core curriculum during their first three semesters. These courses are Drawing I, 2-D Foundations, 3-D Foundations, and 2 art history courses.

Students are not required to select a major concentration for the B.A. degree, but some focus of study is encouraged. The B.A. degree consists of 12 courses or 36 hours in art history, studio art, and design, of which 27 hours are in studio art and/or design and 2 courses in art history. For students enrolled pre-Fall 2018, the College Fine Art Elective is not met by the B.A. degree. B.A. students must take an additional fine arts course. This can be in other fine arts areas such as FTT or music. Select studio, design, or art history courses may count towards this requirement as well, but it may not be double-counted with a student's major; the course must be in addition to a student's major curriculum. 

Course Requirements (12 courses, 36 hours)

Drawing 1
 ARST Elective 20000+

2D Foundations
 ARST Elective 20000+

3D Foundations
 ARST Elective 30000+


Art History (any period) ARST Elective 30000+

Art History (any period)
 Studio Art or Design Elective

Department Elective Studio Art or Design Elective


Bachelor of Arts with Honors, Studio Art

With similar requirements to the general B.A. degree, the Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree program in art and design is a liberal arts degree comprised of 39 credit hours which includes a thesis project during a student’s senior year. It is a special two-semester course sequence designed for the most talented and motivated department majors who wish to develop a capstone project during their senior year. Students who wish to add the honors track to their B.A. must submit a thesis application to the department office by the 3rd Friday in April and be approved by the end of their junior year. For approval, students must have a minimum 3.25 GPA among all departmental courses. Students must also have a portfolio of exceptional work demonstrating their ability to work independently. Students must also have the approval of a department faculty member who will serve as their thesis advisor for their senior year. Once a student has been accepted, they will register for B.A. Thesis with their thesis advisor, and must meet with their respective advisor by the end of the junior year to establish a thesis topic and proposed goals for summer research prior to the beginning of the fall semester of senior year. All students completing a thesis project are required to install and exhibit their project during the dates of the annual B.A. Honors/B.F.A./M.F.A. student exhibition in the spring semester.

Course Requirements (13 courses, 39 hours)

Drawing I ARST Elective 20000
2D Foundations ARST Elective 20000+
3D Foundations ARST Elective 30000+
Art History (any period) ARST Elective 30000+
Art History (any period) B.A. Thesis (fall)
Studio Art or Design Elective B.A. Thesis (spring)
Department Elective*  

*For the second required departmental elective, students may choose to take an art history, studio, or design course. This option should be carefully considered in regards to your plans after graduating. Students should consider whether gaining further historical and contemporary context for the making of images and objects, or taking an additional studio or design course would best support their individual interests and career pursuits.

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Studio Art

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in art and design is intended for the student who wishes to pursue a professional career in the visual arts. The program is organized into a four-year sequence of study that provides a solid understanding of art and art history. The student has an opportunity to explore a variety of curricular options and then chooses an intensive and professional major concentration. In addition to a primary concentration, B.F.A. students are encouraged to select a secondary area of interest to broaden their thinking and to enrich their creative study. B.F.A. candidates share a close working relationship with the department’s faculty who are active professional artists and designers. Intensive studio work is complemented by an academic education with strong art history and liberal arts component. The B.F.A. degree consists of 66 credit hours in art, of which 54 are in studio and 12 in art history. For further information, please read the BFA Handbook to guide you through the BFA curriculum and requirements.

B.F.A. Freshman and Sophomore Years

Students beginning in the program are required to complete a seven-course studio core curriculum during their first two years. Five of these courses are mandated: Drawing I, Figure Drawing, 2-D Foundations, 3-D Foundations and Photography I. The remaining two studio courses are optional, based on the student’s interest. This intensive curriculum establishes a base for the studio practices and principles for all visual art expression. At the end of the fourth semester, students who have earned a minimum 3.25 grade point average in their studio courses will be accepted as candidates for the B.F.A. degree. Students who do not qualify are eligible for the B.A. degree. For students enrolled prior to Fall 2018, B.F.A. candidates are waived from the second History/Social Science requirement and the University Fine Arts requirement.

B.F.A. Junior and Senior Years

By the beginning of the students' junior year in the program, they must have completed the majority of the core requirements of the program and have received a minimum grade point average of 3.25 and all art studio, art history, and design courses. Students are reviewed each semester by the entire studio and design faculty. Students receive feedback from their thesis director from these review sessions. Students meet regularly with their thesis director during their senior year. During their senior year, students are rolled in a B.F.A. thesis seminar each semester. The seminar addresses both academic and professional issues. Each student is required to write an artist/design statement on his or her thesis project. The thesis project is exhibited in the AAHD Gallery (214 Riley Hall). Each student has a thesis defense with the entire studio/design faculty and a vote is taken on whether the thesis project passes.

Course Requirements (21 courses, 66 hours)

Art History (any period) ARST Concentration 20000
Art History (any period) ARST Concentration 20000+
Art History (any period) ARST Concentration 30000+
Drawing I (CORE) ARST Concentration 30000+
2D Foundations (CORE) ARST Concentration 40000+
3D Foundations (CORE) Studio Art/Design Elective
Photography I (CORE) Studio Art/Design Elective
Figure Drawing (CORE) Senior Seminar
Studio Art/Design-2D 3-cr. BFA Thesis (fall)
Studio Art/Design-3D 6-cr. BFA Thesis (spring)
Studio Art/Design/Art History Elective  

*For the departmental elective, students may choose to take an art history, studio, or design course. This option should be carefully considered in regards to your plans after graduating. Students should consider whether gaining further historical and contemporary context for the making of images and objects, or taking an additional studio or design course would best support their individual interests and career pursuit

Studio Art Minor

The minor in studio art is intended for the student who wishes to add studio art experience to their undergraduate studies. The minor requires 15 hours or 5 courses in studio art. Before being able to declare a minor, a student must be enrolled in or have already taken one of the following: Drawing I, 2D Foundations, or 3D Foundations. Advising is not required but it is highly recommended through Director of Undergraduate Studies, Emily Beck.

As with the major, students seeking the minor may elect either a general or focused course of study; that is, students may take the four studio courses selected from among any of the studio disciplines (Ceramics, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture) or they may take four studio courses from within a single discipline. Because the Department offers multiple entry-level courses, students are able to enter the program at a variety of points.

Required Courses

One Foundational course: Drawing I, 2D Foundations, or 3D Foundations
Four courses with the designation ARST (Art Studio)

General Requirements

  • Students may double count one of the above courses to fulfill a University Requirement.
  • Students may not double-count any of the courses above to fulfill a requirement in their major (i.e., Design majors)
  • Design Majors that want a Studio Minor must take five studio courses, the foundational courses already taken do not count toward the Minor
  • The University Fine Arts Requirement may be taken at another institution.
  • No transfer credits will be accepted for the minor.
  • No AP courses will be accepted as a substitute for these courses.
  • No Design courses will count toward the Minor
  • Students must have completed the required foundations course by the end of the junior year. Students must declare the Minor no later than the first month of the fall semester in their senior year.

Bachelor of Arts, Art History

The Bachelor of Arts degree program in art history is a 30-credit-hour major. In addition to the one course university requirement, the major in art history is 10 courses. Of these, the only requirements regard varying the course level at which you take classes: 2 at the 20000-level; 4 at the 30000-level or above; and 1 at the 40000-level. The other three are up to you. There are no requirements on how any of the courses are distributed. Instead, your advisor will help come up with an individualized curriculum that corresponds to your own interests and goals. This means that art history is a major which you design for yourself. Every art history major has his or her own distinctive curriculum. Many majors especially seek out classes with field trips to museums. It also means that art history is a maximally flexible major, and hence one that is extremely easy to combine with other programs.

It is strongly recommended that the four-course distribution requirement be fulfilled with 200- or 300-level introductory courses taught by regular art history faculty on campus.

Course Requirements (10 courses, 30 hours)

Enrolled before 2019

2 ARHI courses at the 20000-level
4 ARHI courses at the 30000-level or higher
1 ARHI 40000-level course
3 ARHI elective courses at any level


Enrolled 2019 and beyond

*1 ARHI course at 10000-level or higher
1 ARHI course at 20000-level
3 ARHI courses at 30000-level or higher
2 ARHI course at 40000-level 
3 ARHI elective courses at any level

*The 10000-level Art History course is our USEM course (art history only).
**Art History electives and seminars may be taken in any period.

Bachelor of Arts with Honors, Art History

The Honors Program will consist of 33 hours, as compared to 30 hours in the regular first major. A student with a GPA of 3.5 in the major may request the right to be considered for Departmental Honors. Students who wish to be considered for departmental honors must select a thesis advisor and petition the faculty with a one-page letter by the 10th week of the spring semester of the student's junior year. The letter should be addressed to the Director of Undergraduate Studies for Art History. In the letter the student should give a brief indication of with whom and on what she/he is proposing to write her/his thesis and her/his future plans. If the faculty approves, then in place of one of the elective art history courses the student will sign-up for six credit-hours of Honors Thesis in her/his senior year - three credits in the fall and three credits in the spring.

Course Requirements (11 courses, 33 Hours)

Enrolled before 2019

2 ARHI courses at the 20000-level
4 ARHI courses at the 30000-level or higher
1 ARHI 40000-level course
2 ARHI elective courses at any level
2 ARHI honor's thesis courses (fall and spring of senior year)


Enrolled 2019 and beyond

*1 ARHI course at the 10000-level or higher
1 ARHI course at the 20000-level
3 ARHI courses at the 30000-level or higher
2 ARHI course at the 40000-level
2 ARHI elective courses at any level
2 ARHI honor's thesis courses (fall and spring of senior year)

*The 10000-level Art History course is our USEM course (art history only).

Supplementary Major, Art History

Students with a first major in another department can complete a supplementary major in art history.

Course Requirements (8 courses, 24 hours)

Enrolled before 2019

2 ARHI courses at the 20000-level
4 ARHI courses at the 30000-level or higher
1 ARHI 40000-level course
1 ARHI elective courses at any level


Enrolled 2019 and beyond

*1 ARHI course at the 10000-level or higher
1 ARHI course at the 20000-level 
3 ARHI courses at the 30000-level or higher
2 ARHI course at the 40000-level 
1 ARHI elective course at any level

*The 10000-level Art History course is our USEM course (art history only).

**Courses taken for the supplementary major or the minor cannot be counted in more than one university program but may be used to fulfill the University Fine Arts requirement (for students enrolled before 2019).

***Only one course (three credits) in Art History taken in a foreign program, exclusive of the Rome Program, may be counted towards fulfilling the major or minor requirement. This course may only be used as an “Option.” If a student participates in a full-year Foreign Study program (e.g. Angers and Bologna), then up to 6 credits may be counted towards the major. These will normally be considered as “Options.” 

Art History Minor

Students wishing to minor in art history can do so by taking 5 art history courses. The student must be currently enrolled or have taken an art history course to declare the minor.

Course Requirements (5 courses, 15 hours)

Enrolled before 2019

2 at the 2000-level
3 at the 3000-level

Enrolled 2019 and beyond

*1 at the 10000-level or higher
1 at the 20000-level
3 at the 30000-level or higher


*The 10000-level Art History course is our USEM course (art history only).

Bachelor of Arts, Design, Industrial Design Concentration

The Bachelor of Arts degree program in industrial design is defined as a general liberal arts degree. The B.A. degree is ideal for the student who desires a liberal education with a strong emphasis in industrial design. Students enrolling in the B.A. degree program are required to complete a five-course core curriculum during their first three semesters. These courses are Drawing I, 2-D Foundations, 3-D Foundations, and 2 art history courses.

The B.A. degree consists of 12 courses or 36 hours in art history, studio art, and design, of which 27 courses are in design and/or studio art and 2 courses in art history. For students enrolled pre-Fall 2018, the College Fine Art Elective is not met by the B.A. degree. B.A. students must take an additional fine arts course. This can be in other fine arts areas such as FTT or music. Select studio, design, or art history courses may count towards this requirement as well, but it may not be double-counted with a student's major; the course must be in addition to a student's major curriculum. 

Course Requirements (12 courses/36 hours)

Drawing 1
 ID: Rapid Visualization

2D Foundations
 ID 1: Intro to Product Design

3D Foundations
 Digital Solid Modeling
Art History (any period) ID 2 or ID 3

Art History (any period)
 Studio Art or Design Elective

Department Elective Studio Art or Design Elective


Bachelor of Arts with Honors, Design, Industrial Design Concentration

With similar requirements to the general B.A. degree, the Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree program in industrial design is a liberal arts degree comprised of 39 credit hours which includes a thesis project during a student’s senior year. It is a special two-semester course sequence designed for the most talented and motivated department majors who wish to develop a capstone project during their senior year. Students who wish to add the honors track to their B.A. must submit a thesis application to the department office by the 3rd Friday in April and be approved by the end of their junior year. For approval, students must have a minimum 3.25 GPA among all departmental courses. Students must also have a portfolio of exceptional work demonstrating their ability to work independently. Students must also have the approval of a department faculty member who will serve as their thesis advisor for their senior year. Once a student has been accepted, they will register for B.A. Thesis with their thesis advisor, and must meet with their respective advisor by the end of the junior year to establish a thesis topic and proposed goals for summer research prior to the beginning of the fall semester of senior year. All students completing a thesis project are required to install and exhibit their project during the dates of the annual B.A. Honors/B.F.A./M.F.A. student exhibition in the spring semester.

Course Requirements (13 courses, 39 hours)

Drawing I ID: Rapid Visualization
2D Foundations ID 1: Intro to Product Design
3D Foundations Digital Solid Modeling
Art History (any period) ID 2 or ID 3
Art History (any period) B.A. Honors Thesis (fall)
Studio Art or Design Elective B.A. Honors Thesis (spring)
Department Elective  

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Design, Industrial Design Concentration

B.F.A. Freshman and Sophomore Years

Students beginning in the program are required to complete a seven-course studio core curriculum during their first two years. Five of these courses are mandated: Drawing I, Advanced Visualization or Figure Drawing, 2-D Foundations, 3-D Foundations and Photography I. The remaining two design or studio courses are optional, based on the student’s interest. This intensive curriculum establishes a base for the design practices and principles for all visual art expression. At the end of the fourth semester, students who have earned a minimum 3.25 grade point average in their studio and design courses will be accepted as candidates for the B.F.A. degree. Students who do not qualify are eligible for the B.A. degree. For students enrolled prior to Fall 2018, B.F.A. candidates are waived from the second History/Social Science requirement and the University Fine Arts requirement.

B.F.A. Junior and Senior Years

By the beginning of the students' junior year in the program, they must have completed the majority of the core requirements of the program and have received a minimum grade point average of 3.25 and all studio art, art history, and design courses. Students are reviewed each semester by the entire studio and design faculty. Students receive feedback from their thesis director from these review sessions. Students meet regularly with their thesis director during their senior year. During their senior year, students are rolled in a B.F.A. thesis seminar each semester. The seminar addresses both academic and professional issues. Each student is required to write an design statement on his or her thesis project. The thesis project is exhibited in the AAHD Gallery (214 Riley Hall). Each student has a thesis defense with the entire studio and design faculty and a vote is taken on whether the thesis project passes.

Course Requirements (21 courses, 66 hours)

Art History (any period) ID: Rapid Visualization
Art History (any period) ID1: Intro. to Product Design
Art History (any period) Digital Solid Modeling
Drawing I (CORE) ID 2: Intermediate Product Design
2D Foundations (CORE) ID 3: Advanced Product Design
3D Foundations (CORE) Studio Art or Design Elective
Photography I (CORE) Studio Art or Design Elective
Figure Drawing or Advanced Visualization (CORE) Senior Seminar
Studio/Design Elective - 2D 3-cr. BFA Thesis (fall)
Studio/Design Elective - 3D 6-cr. BFA Thesis (spring)
Department Elective  


*For the departmental elective, students may choose to take an art history, studio, or design course. This option should be carefully considered in regards to your plans after graduating. Students should consider whether gaining further historical and contemporary context for the making of images and objects, or taking an additional studio or design course would best support their individual interests and career pursuits.

Bachelor of Arts, Design, Visual Communication Design Concentration

The Bachelor of Arts degree program in visual communication design is defined as a general liberal arts degree. The B.A. degree is ideal for the student who desires a liberal education with a strong emphasis in visual communiation design. Students enrolling in the B.A. degree program are required to complete a five-course core curriculum during their first three semesters. These courses are Drawing I, 2-D Foundations, 3-D Foundations, and 2 art history courses.

The B.A. degree consists of 12 courses or 36 hours in art history, studio art, and design, of which 27 courses are in design and/or studio art and 2 courses in art history. For students enrolled pre-Fall 2018, the College Fine Art Elective is not met by the B.A. degree. B.A. students must take an additional fine arts course. This can be in other fine arts areas such as FTT or music. Select studio, design, or art history courses may count towards this requirement as well, but it may not be double-counted with a student's major; the course must be in addition to a student's major curriculum. 

Drawing 1
 VCD 1

2D Foundations
 VCD Elective 20000+

3D Foundations
 VCD Elective 20000+
Art History (any period) VCD Elective 30000+
Art History (any period)
 Studio or Design Elective

Department Elective Studio or Design Elective


Bachelor of Arts with Honors, Design, Visual Communication Design Concentration

With similar requirements to the general B.A. degree, the Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree program in visual communication design is a liberal arts degree comprised of 39 credit hours which includes a thesis project during a student’s senior year. It is a special two-semester course sequence designed for the most talented and motivated department majors who wish to develop a capstone project during their senior year. Students who wish to add the honors track to their B.A. must submit a thesis application to the department office by the 3rd Friday in April and be approved by the end of their junior year. For approval, students must have a minimum 3.25 GPA among all departmental courses. Students must also have a portfolio of exceptional work demonstrating their ability to work independently. Students must also have the approval of a department faculty member who will serve as their thesis advisor for their senior year. Once a student has been accepted, they will register for B.A. Thesis with their thesis advisor, and must meet with their respective advisor by the end of the junior year to establish a thesis topic and proposed goals for summer research prior to the beginning of the fall semester of senior year. All students completing a thesis project are required to install and exhibit their project during the dates of the annual B.A. Honors/B.F.A./M.F.A. student exhibition in the spring semester.

Course Requirements (13 courses, 39 hours)

Drawing I VCD 1
2D Foundations VCD Elective 20000+
3D Foundations VCD Elective 20000+
Art History (any period) VCD Elective 30000+
Art History (any period) B.A. Honors Thesis (fall)
Studio Art or Design Elective B.A. Honors Thesis (spring)
Department Elective  

 

Bachelor of Fine Arts, Design, Visual Communication Design Concentration

B.F.A. Freshman and Sophomore Years

Students beginning in the program are required to complete a seven-course studio core curriculum during their first two years. Five of these courses are mandated: Drawing I, Advanced Visualization or Figure Drawing, 2-D Foundations, 3-D Foundations and Photography I. The remaining two design or studio courses are optional, based on the student’s interest. This intensive curriculum establishes a base for the design practices and principles for all visual art expression. At the end of the fourth semester, students who have earned a minimum 3.25 grade point average in their studio and design courses will be accepted as candidates for the B.F.A. degree. Students who do not qualify are eligible for the B.A. degree. For students enrolled prior to Fall 2018, B.F.A. candidates are waived from the second History/Social Science requirement and the University Fine Arts requirement.

B.F.A. Junior and Senior Years

By the beginning of the students' junior year in the program, they must have completed the majority of the core requirements of the program and have received a minimum grade point average of 3.25 and all studio art, art history, and design courses. Students are reviewed each semester by the entire studio and design faculty. Students receive feedback from their thesis director from these review sessions. Students meet regularly with their thesis director during their senior year. During their senior year, students are rolled in a B.F.A. thesis seminar each semester. The seminar addresses both academic and professional issues. Each student is required to write an design statement on his or her thesis project. The thesis project is exhibited in the AAHD Gallery (214 Riley Hall). Each student has a thesis defense with the entire studio and design faculty and a vote is taken on whether the thesis project passes.

Course Requirements (21 courses, 66 hours)

Art History (any period) VCD 1
Art History (any period) VCD Elective 20000+
Art History (any period) VCD Elective 20000+
Drawing I (CORE) VCD Elective 30000+
2D Foundations (CORE) VCD Elective 40000+
3D Foundations (CORE) Studio Art or Design Elective
Photography I (CORE) Studio Art or Design Elective
Figure Drawing or Advanced Visualization (CORE) Senior Seminar
Studio or Design Elective - 2D 3-cr. BFA Thesis (fall)
Studio or Design Elective - 3D 6-cr. BFA Thesis (spring)
Department Elective  

Collaborative Innovation Minor

The Minor offers a five-course sequence starting with Design Matters, a large, introductory, lecture-based design-thinking. Declared minors will then cycle through a series of four additional courses introducing students to the various skillsets implicated in design thinking including research methods, visualization, and entrepreneurship. The Minor culminates in the capstone course Collaborative Product Development, bringing the minor’s various disciplines (1st majors) together in fruitful collaboration with design majors to address industry sponsored projects addressing real world questions. Working in teams with corporate partners, students will get a chance to solve a variety of problems—from global distribution to product innovation to community outreach.

Design thinking is a dynamic, iterative, and deeply human process that prepares students for the type of collaborative, cross-disciplinary work they will encounter after graduation—no matter what career paths they pursue. Established companies and entrepreneurs in fields as diverse as healthcare, sustainability, education, urban planning, and economic development are increasingly employing design thinking methodology to produce innovative results.

The gateway course, Design Matters: Introduction to Design Thinking, features a hybrid seminar format with lectures and case studies followed by hands-on exercises and practical applications of design thinking methodology in the form of team projects.Notre Dame's collaborative innovation program welcomes a broad and diverse group of students, from within the College of Arts and Letters, as well as from business, science, engineering, and architecture—all of whom play a vital role in bringing successful solutions to fruition.

Declaration of the Minor will require enrollment in or completion of DESN 20203 (Design Matters). Students may contact the department Director of Undergraduate Studies or the Innovation Minor’s Director for information, or declare the Minor in the departmental office. Design majors will not be permitted to declare in the Minor.

Course Requirements (5 courses, 15 hours)​​​​​

1. Gateway - Introduction

  • DESN 20203 – Design Matters

Introduction to Design Thinking
Articulate the tenets of the design thinking methods and apply methodologies to identify problems and developing service, product and experience solutions.

2. Inspiration - Research, discovery, reframing

  • DESN 20204 – Design Research Practices

Principles of user-centered research
Overview of design research methodologies, planning strategies, interviewing, observing and participatory techniques, and data analysis and synthesis for the development of insights and implications informing the
development process.

  • DESN 20205 – The Anthropology of Your Stuff

Explore the nature and breadth of peoples' relationships with their things.
Learn why and how people make and use different types of objects, and how the use of these material goods resonates with peoples' identities in the past, recent history, and today. What new stuff will people invent and sell next?

3. Ideation - Design, brainstorming

Select one of the following:

  • DESN 20200 – Rapid Visualization*

Principles of visual ideation
A studio course introducing rapid sketching, rendering and presentation techniques as a tool for development, refinement and tangible communicating of concepts, ideas, objects and stories to others.

  • DESN 20101 – VCD 1: Fundamentals of Design**

Principles of visual expression
Creating, planning and executing ideas and experiences with visual and textual content, physical or virtual, including images, words, or graphic forms.

*Rapid Visualization is a prerequisite for ID1: Intro to Product Development and suggested for Digital Solid Modeling
**VCD1: Fundamentals is a prerequisite for VCD7 and VCD

4. Implementation – Prototyping, delivery

Select one of the following:

  • DESN 20201 – ID 1: Intro to Product Development*
    Forms & Physical Model Development
     
  • DESN 30209 - ID Digital Solid Modeling
    3D CAD Modeling and Rapid Prototyping
  • DESN 30140 - VCD 7: Interaction Design
    User Interface and Interaction
     
  • DESN 40100 - VCD 8: Social Design: Initiatives, Challenges & Innovation
    Visual Communication for change

5. Capstone – Putting it all together

  • DESN 40201 - Collaborative Design Development

Cross-Disciplinary Problem Solving
Industry-sponsored design briefs to challenge interdisciplinary teams to deploy design thinking for successful innovation and implementation.

*Department approval required to override the prerequisite