Jul 14, 2024  
Undergraduate Record 2024-2025 
Undergraduate Record 2024-2025

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 Digital Art, Filmmaking, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, or Sculpture.

The minimum 30 credits required for the major are:

  • 6 credits of introductory courses at the 2000-level
  • 3 ARTH credits of modern/contemporary art history course (ARTH 2451, ARTH 2470, ARTH 2471, ARTH 2472, ARTH 2751, ARTH 3545, ARTH 3951)
  • 12 additional ARTS credits at the 2000-level or above (including at least 3 credits in a concentration area)
  • 6 ARTS credits at 3000- or - 4000 level in concentration area
  • 3 elective departmental credits (ARTH at 2000- to 4000-level or ARTS 3000- to 4000-level)

A concentration is required of all majors, and it is made up of at least three courses (9 credits) in a concentration area, with a minimum of two of those courses (6 credits) at the 3000- or 4000- level. Students may fulfil their concentration requirement with credits from their introductory, workshop, advanced, general, or elective credits. Special Topics courses may meet concentration requirements. 

Please note: ARTS 4450 (Advanced Major Project), ARTS 4452 (Advanced Major Project), and ARTS 4900 (Independent Study in Art) do 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 Undergraduate Program, students may transfer up to 9 credits to the major.

Descriptions of Concentrations

Digital Art

Digital Art 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.


Filmmaking 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.


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.

Advanced Major Project

The Advanced Major Project is a year-long seminar class designed for majors in their fourth year who 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 in the second. Advanced Major Project credits are taken in addition to the 30 credits required of the major.

Distinguished Majors Program

Studio Art majors in their third year with superior academic performance and who will graduate with a 3.4 GPA or better are encouraged to apply for the Distinguished Majors Program (DMP). On admission to the program, students take six credits of Advanced Major Project seminar (ARTS 4450 in the first semester, followed by ARTS 4452 in the second) beyond the 30 credits required of the major. A DMP student’s major concentration must include a 4000-level course. DMP theses require 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; www.virginia.edu/art.