The Studio Art Major

Our core mission is to introduce students to tools and processes of artmaking, and help them develop their own creative abilities.  Whether they go on to pursue careers as artists or teachers, or take other paths, the combination of hands-on technical skills in a variety of media and critical and conceptual skills emphasized in all studio courses serve them well whatever they choose to do after college.  We share a commitment to the value of traditional manual skills while encouraging experimentation and an expansive and expanding idea about art’s role in the broader culture.

Course Requirements

The studio art major course requirements are located in the academic catalog and are listed below the requirements for Art History on the catalog pages.


Most 200 level classes in studio arts require a prerequisite class. ARTS 110 Observational Drawing may be used as the prerequisite for most 2D courses. For 3D courses, please check the course listings carefully.  ARTS 130 Beginning Ceramics and ARTS 122 Introduction to Sculpture may be used as prerequisites for 3D courses in each respective area. ARTS 252 Metalsmithing: Casting and Color accepts most 100 level courses as a prerequisite.

Integrative Exercise (“Comps”)

The studio comps consists of an independent studio project which runs from the beginning of fall term through an exhibition in the Perlman Teaching Museum in the second half of spring term. Students register for six credits of Integrative Exercise in fall term. Most of the requirements are fulfilled during fall. The process gives the opportunity to develop art work over a good period of time, with the close advice and support of the studio faculty. The full group of studio faculty conduct a series of individual meetings with students to offer guidance and feedback. Students are also encouraged to work closely with individual faculty members. The department brings in a least one outside examiner to critique student work. See an overview of the comprehensive exercise.

Art Education

Students are able to complete their training and certification for teaching during the completion of the Studio Art major. No specific art education courses are taught within the Studio Art Department. Students seeking certification must complete the required courses within the Educational Studies Department, including observed student teaching within the public schools and a course in methods of teaching art.