Requirements

B.A. in Studio Art B.A. in Studio Art with Honors BFA in Studio Art Minor in Studio Art

Bachelor of Arts, studio art

Wendy Ruan
Wendy Ruan, '21

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 must select a major concentration for the B.A. degree; ceramics, painting and drawing, photography, printmaking, or sculpture.

The B.A. degree consists of 12 courses or 36 hours in art history, studio art, and design: 27 hours in studio art and/or design plus two courses in art history.

Requirements vary slightly for students who enrolled in Notre Dame prior to fall 2018. Please contact the DUS for details.

Course requirements (12 courses, 36 hours)

 
 

 

  • Drawing 1
  • 2D Foundations
  • 3D Foundations
  • Art history (any period)
  • Art history (any period)
  • ARST elective 20000+
  • ARST elective 20000+
  • ARST elective 30000+
  • ARST elective 30000+
  • Studio art or design elective
  • Studio art or design elective
  • Department 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 of their junior year. For approval, students must have:

  • a minimum 3.25 GPA among all departmental courses
  • a portfolio of exceptional quality demonstrating their ability to work independently
  • the approval of a department faculty member who will serve as the student's thesis advisor during their senior year

Once a student has been accepted into the honors track, they will register for B.A. Thesis with their thesis advisor, and must meet with their respective advisor by the end of junior year to establish a thesis topic and set research goals for the summer prior to their 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/BFA/MFA student exhibition in the spring semester.

Course requirements (13 courses, 39 hours)

  • Drawing I
  • 2D Foundations
  • 3D Foundations
  • Art history (any period)
  • Art history (any period)
  • ARST elective 20000
  • ARST elective 20000+
  • ARST elective 30000+
  • ARST elective 30000+
  • Studio art or design elective
  • Department elective*
  • B.A. Thesis (fall)
  • B.A. Thesis (spring)


*For the second required departmental elective, students may choose to take an art history, studio, or design course. This option should be carefully considered with regard 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 is intended for students who wish 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.

Bill Kremer Pottery Wheel Demonstration

Each student has an opportunity to explore a variety of curricular options before choosing an intensive and professional major concentration. In addition to a primary concentration, BFA students are encouraged to select a secondary area of interest to broaden their thinking and to enrich their creative study.

BFA candidates share a close working relationship with the department’s faculty who are active professional artists and designers.

The program pairs intensive studio work with academic courses that have a strong art history and liberal arts component. The BFA degree consists of 66 credit hours in art, of which 54 are in studio and 12 are in art history. For further information, please read the BFA Handbook to guide you through the BFA curriculum and requirements.

BFA freshman and sophomore years

Students pursuing a BFA 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
  • 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 BFA degree. Students who do not qualify are eligible for the B.A. degree.

BFA junior and senior years

By the beginning of junior year, BFA candidates must have completed the majority of the program's core requirements while maintaining the minimum grade point average of 3.25 in all art department courses. Each semester, the entire studio and design faculty reviews all BFA students' work, and thesis directors share the feedback with their advisees.

Seniors meet regularly with their thesis director throughout the year and enroll in the thesis seminar for the fall and spring semesters. 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.

Full BFA requirements 

  • Drawing I (CORE)
  • 2D Foundations (CORE)
  • 3D Foundations (CORE)
  • Photography I (CORE)
  • Figure Drawing (CORE)
  • Art history (any period)
  • Art history (any period)
  • Art history (any period)
  • Studio Art/Design-2D
  • Studio Art/Design-3D
  • ARST concentration 20000
  • ARST concentration 20000+
  • ARST concentration 30000+
  • ARST concentration 30000+
  • ARST concentration 40000+
  • Studio art/design elective
  • Studio art/design elective
  • Studio art/design/art history elective
  • Senior Seminar
  • 3-cr. BFA Thesis (fall)
  • 6-cr. BFA Thesis (spring)

*For the departmental elective, students may choose to take an art history, studio, or design course. This option should be carefully considered in regard 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

Riley Hall Clay Sculpture

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 the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Elyse Speaks.

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 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)

Notes about the 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 Ways of Knowing University 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 studio art 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.