May 26, 2024  
Undergraduate Record 2023-2024 
Undergraduate Record 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Studio Art

Requirements for Major

Studio Art majors acquire essential artistic skills as well as experience in the handling of a wide variety of ideas and methods. Through critical thinking, students gain experience with the problems of creation and with the ideas and practice of artists in the contemporary world. The Studio Art major requires a concentration in Cinematography, New Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, or Sculpture, culminating in a thesis exhibition in the spring of the fourth year.

The minimum 30 credits required for the major can be broken down as follows:

  • 3 credits ARTS 2000 Into to Studio Art
  • 3 ARTH credits of modern/contemporary art history course (ARTH 2451, ARTH 2470, ARTH 2471, ARTH 2472, ARTH 2751, ARTH 3545, ARTH 3951).
  • 15 additional ARTS credits at the 2000 level (with 6 of those 15 credits in the student’s concentration area). 
  • 3 ARTS credits at 3000 level in concentration area
  • 3 ARTS credits at 4000 level in concentration area
  • 3 elective credits (ARTS or ARTH)

ARTS 2000 is required for entry into all studio courses, except for Drawing I (ARTS 2610) or Special Topida courses. A modern/contemporary art history course (ARTH) is required for the major. Painting and Printmaking concentrations require ARTS 2610 (Drawing I) as prerequisite to all classes. 

The minimum requirements for a concentration are the 2000 level intro courses in the chosen concentration area along with one 3000-level and one 4000-level course in that same area. The 4000 level course will be taken in the spring of the Fourth year during which the student will develop his or her thesis exhibition.

Three additional courses at the 2000 level are required for the major and at least one of those classes must be in an area other than the student’s concentration. 

An elective is also required for the Studio Art major and consists of either an additional ARTH course, an ARTS Special Topics course, or an additional course at the 3000/4000 level.

Special Topics courses do NOT meet concentration requirements but can meet 2000 level or elective requirements. 

This program is designated for students who declare in their second year. To have the best chance of obtaining all of the necessary requirements for the major in time for graduation, students should have taken ARTS 2000 in advance of their third year. Painting and Printmaking students should also have taken ARTS 2610 in advance of their third year. 

Please note: ARTS 4900 (Advanced Project in Art) does not count toward major credit.

Majors must have a minimum GPA of 2.000 in all 30 credits of Studio Major courses or be dropped from the program. A grade of C- or below does not count for major credit. With approval of the Director of the Undergradaute Program, students may transfer up to 9 credits to the major. 


Descriptions of Concentrations


Cinematography students study technical, historical, and theoretical issues that apply to cinematography and its relationship to the traditional visual arts. It introduces experimental 16mm film production as a practice of visual art. The student work ranges in filmmaking, videography, both cinematic and theatrical lighting, making documentaries, moving camera, etc. Students work with faculty who are professionals in film production and film history, including award-winning filmmakers and internationally recognized film scholars.

New Media

New Media is informed by experimentation and critique. It introduces digital techniques in the context of fine art. Courses explore technologies including digital animation, motion graphics, video art and installation.


Painting provides students with the opportunity to explore material, technical, historical, and theoretical issues that reflect the diversity of painting today. Student work ranges in understanding and response, embodying a multiplicity of creative concerns and values. Encourages both medium-specific and interdisciplinary approaches that revolve around material, concept, discursive dialogue, and community building in a studio-based environment.  


Photography provides students with a broad knowledge of photographic techniques and their applied methods for contemporary artmaking. The concentration introduces students to a diverse range of contemporary and historic practices in the medium, from traditional silver-based analog photography and alternative photo processes to innovative approaches in digital image making and processing.


Printmaking exposes students to both traditional and innovative methods in print media. It introduces students to various technical possibilities, including relief, intaglio, monotype, and lithography printmaking processes. All levels of printmaking also explore examples from the historical and contemporary worlds of fine art, and include readings including art, philosophy, and science. 


Sculpture studies technical, historical, and theoretical issues that apply to the discipline and its relationship to the traditional visual arts. It investigates the sculptural process through modeling, carving, fabricating, and casting. The student work ranges in mold making, metal casting, and non-traditional sculpture materials as assigned. It offers the student a program of study to explore interdisciplinary exchanges that revolve around material study, concept, and critical dialogue in a studio-based environment.

Requirements for Minor

The minor in Studio Art requires 18 credits in ARTS courses including ARTS 2000 and 15 credits of ARTS 2000-level or above courses in at least two concentration areas. ARTS 4900 (Advanced Project in Art) does not count toward minor in Studio Art.

Minors must have a minimum GPA of 2.000 in all 18 credits of Studio Minor courses. No ARTS course graded C- or below may count for minor credit. With Approval of the Director of the Undergraduate Program, students may transfer up to 6 credits to the minor.

Distinguished Majors Program

Studio Art majors in their third year with superior academic performance are encouraged to apply for the Distinguished Majors Program (DMP).  This year-long seminar class is designed for majors in their fourth year who will graduate with a 3.4 GPA or better. They have demonstrated exceptional engagement with their studio work and wish to undertake an extended project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. On admission, students register for ARTS 4450 in the first semester of the program, and for ARTS 4452. A DMP thesis requires the University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval; this should be acquired with the help of the primary faculty advisor before beginning the fieldwork. DMP thesis work is exhibited in the spring of the fourth year.

Additional Information

For more information, contact the Director of Undergraduate Program in Studio Art, McIntire Department of Art, Program in Studio Art, Ruffin Hall, 179 Culbreth Road, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4130; (434) 924-6123; Fax: (434) 982-4699;

Course Descriptions