All incoming undergraduate students are initially enrolled in the B.A. or B.S. programs, depending on their interests. Those who wish to apply to the B.F.A. program do so no earlier than the first semester during their sophomore year.
The School of Art expects regular class attendance and supports faculty members who choose to reduce course grades for lack of participation, including excessive absences.
Students seeking admission to the Major in Art must comply with criteria established by the School of Art, including submission of a portfolio of work for review by the School. Students interested in the Art History Sequence will submit a statement explaining their interest in the field, in lieu of the portfolio. Specific requirements for the portfolio and statement may be obtained from the School office.
To graduate with a Major in Art (B.A., B.S.) students must complete all requirements of one of the School of Art’s Sequences: Studio Arts, Graphic Design, Art History, or Teacher Education. They must also earn grades of C or better and maintain a 2.50 GPA in all courses taken in the School of Art, in addition to maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00. Individual sequences may have higher requirements. Courses in the Major may be repeated no more than once for the purpose of attaining the necessary minimum grade. Students may not enroll for the next course in a related series until the minimum grade in the prerequisite course is achieved. Incoming transfer students must retake courses considered equivalents to courses in the Major for which they earned lower than a grade of C. Students who do not meet these criteria will be placed on probation with the School of Art; a student placed on probation more than once will be dropped from the School.
Admission to some Sequences in Art may be restricted by the lack of available School resources, especially in times of oversubscription.
In times of oversubscription and limitations on resources within the School of Art, some Discipline Areas may require faculty screening of students’ supportive materials before allowing individual students to enroll in the second course in that Discipline.
All Sequences in the Major in Art require successful completion of the Art History Core, the Foundations program appropriate to that sequence, a series of courses specific to the chosen sequence, and electives in Art. Students must complete all Sequence Foundations courses before being permitted to continue in one of the sequences in the Art major; gifted students may be allowed to take 200-level courses in their areas of interest during the freshman year, pending approval of the School. Students must also complete all Art History Core courses before they may enroll in 300-level Art History courses.
Students must make every effort to complete the required Foundations courses in their first three semesters in the program. Under most circumstances students will formally declare intention to enter a particular sequence in the Art major by the second semester of the sophomore year. Students will arrange to participate in screening requirements for their preferred sequence; those not accepted into competitive sequences may be reconsidered the following semester and should consult with appropriate faculty for advice before rescreening. Also in the sophomore year, students will begin enrolling in courses appropriate to their sequence of interest. In the case of the Studio Arts Sequence, this also requires declaring a specific Discipline Area in consultation with the School’s academic advisor.
Students can begin to take Graphic Design courses after they have completed the Art History core and Studio Art Foundation courses. There is no portfolio review for admission but students must have and maintain a major and cumulative 2.5 GPA. Students whose cumulative or major GPA falls below 2.5 will not be allowed to register for Graphic Design courses until the GPA has been raised to a 2.50 or higher. Consult the School of Art for further information on admission and retention in the Graphic Design sequence.
Students will be admitted to the Art History Sequence with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 and grades of B or better in ART 155 and ART 156. See the School of Art office for more information. Students will be allowed to continue in the sequence if they maintain a minimum cumulative and major GPA of 2.50.
All Art majors planning to become licensed teachers must apply for and be admitted to the University Teacher Education program. Grades of C or better in all Art and Education courses, and a 2.50 cumulative and major GPA are required for admission and retention in this sequence. Continuation in the Art Teacher Education Sequence is not automatic. Students’ performance will be evaluated each semester.
The sequence in Teacher Education may also be combined with a sequence in Studio Arts, Graphic Design, or Art History. Pursuing a double sequence may require additional semesters. However, this option is strongly recommended to prepare students for teaching art. Students are also encouraged to take coursework in Urban Education and Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.
Students may apply to the B.F.A. Degree program beginning in their sophomore year. Students seeking admission to the B.F.A. program must have a minimum 3.00 cumulative and major GPA and must submit a portfolio of creative work to the School of Art for the competitive review that is part of the admission process. Further information on admission requirements for the B.F.A. program is available from the School's undergraduate academic advisor. Students will be allowed to remain in the program if they maintain a minimum cumulative and major GPA of 3.00.
To graduate with a B.F.A., all Studio Arts sequence students are also required to organize and present a solo exhibition of their work during the final year. This exhibition must be accompanied by a public oral presentation, an exit portfolio and a written supportive statement approved by the student's B.F.A. faculty mentors.
Students seeking admission to the B.F.A. program with a Sequence in Graphic Design must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative and major GPA and must submit a portfolio of creative work to the Graphic Design faculty for a competitive review. If a student drops below a 3.0 GPA or fails a required design course, the student will no longer be able to continue in the BFA sequence, but will be able to shift their design studies to the B.A./B.S. degree offering. Further information on admission requirements for the B.F.A. program is available from the School's undergraduate academic advisor.
To graduate with a B.F.A., all Graphic Design sequence students are also required to participate in and help organize a group exhibition with the other B.F.A. Graphic Design students.
Art majors and B.F.A. candidates with superior academic records are invited to apply for admission to the School of Art Honors Program. Students successfully completing the Honors Program will receive the designation of Honors in Art in their field of study upon graduation. The student’s official academic transcript and diploma will be so noted.
For more information on Honors in Art, including admission and retention standards, please visit the Honors website.
The School of Art contributes to the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. For more information on the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, refer to the Interdisciplinary Studies Program section.
Major in Art (B.A., B.S.)
Students in the Art major must complete one of the following sequences.
Studio Arts Sequence
The Studio Arts Sequence emphasizes both breadth and depth of competence in Studio-based Art disciplines. It expands students’ horizons beyond the Foundations level with work in a variety of media and disciplines. By requiring intensive study, it develops depth within at least one Studio Discipline Area (ceramics, drawing, glass, intaglio, lithography, metalwork and jewelry design, painting, photography, sculpture, video, wood/metal or expanded media) through the completion of a specific series of courses. It likewise encourages exploration of new genres that break through traditional boundaries between disciplines and media. This sequence prepares students to work as visual arts professionals or pursue graduate studies.
Graphic Design Sequence
Students in the Graphic Design sequence develop an understanding of topics such as design research, branding and identity, information design, typography, book arts, interactive design, image making, time-based narratives, multicultural design, and civic engagement. In addition, students may gain professional experience in a graphic design internship. Internships will require a competitive portfolio review.
Art History Sequence
The Art History Sequence provides students a solid grounding in the history of art on both introductory and advanced levels. In addition, the sequence includes exposure to related disciplines outside the visual arts, training in foreign language, and experience in advanced research and writing skills. Together, these requirements prepare students for effective graduate work in Art History or other fields and for positions in a variety of art- and non-art-related fields.
In special circumstances, students may satisfy the Art History language requirement with a language or languages other than “French, German, Italian or Spanish.” In such cases, the language(s) must be appropriate to the student’s plan of study and career goals. Alternate plans of language study must be approved by the Art History faculty in order to receive credit toward the sequence.
It is recommended that students select electives in courses related to Art History offered by the following departments/schools: Anthropology; English; Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; History, Music; Philosophy; Theatre and Dance. Students are encouraged to consult with the Art History faculty for advice on choosing electives in Art History and other departments that will complement their own areas of interests. Faculty are also available for consultation on preparing for graduate school.
Students may combine Art History and Studio by declaring a second Sequence in Studio Arts and fulfilling all requirements for both sequences. This will include submitting a portfolio of art work for admission.
Art Teacher Education Sequence
The Art Teacher Education Sequence is a program that emphasizes a comprehensive approach that supports state and national student learning standards and teaching performance standards in the visual arts. Also stressed are creative and critical thinking, studio techniques, understanding the learner and developing skills to become an effective teacher. Students completing this sequence are eligible to apply for teaching licensure with a K-12 endorsement for teaching art in the State of Illinois.
Minor in Art History
Students must earn grades of C or better and maintain a 2.50 GPA in all courses taken in the School of Art, in addition to maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00. Individual sequences may have higher requirements. Courses in the minor may be repeated no more than once for the purpose of attaining the necessary minimum grade. Students may not enroll for the next course in a related series until the minimum grade in the prerequisite course is achieved. Incoming transfer students must retake courses considered equivalents to courses in the minor for which they earned lower than a grade of C. Students who do not meet these criteria will be placed on probation with the School of Art; a student placed on probation more than once will be dropped from the School.
24 total hours required
12 hours Art History Foundations
6 hours of electives in 200-level Art History courses, from the following
- ART 240
- ART 241
- ART 242
- ART 244
- ART 263
- ART 264
- ART 265
- ART 266
- ART 267
- ART 279
- ART 280
- ART 281
- ART 283
6 hours of electives in 300-level Art History courses from the following
Major in Art (B.F.A.)
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree program is a highly selective program oriented towards advanced professional study in the studio arts and graphic design. Students accepted into this program have additional opportunities beyond those of the B.A./B.S. programs to specialize in a particular studio art discipline and graphic design in preparation for graduate study for the M.F.A., the terminal degree in this field, and/or careers in professional art and graphic design fields. Further information on the B.F.A. program can be found in the School of Art office.