In addition to providing student support and personalized feedback at various stages in their study, the program requirements for the B.A. in Art degree in Art History, Graphic Design, and Studio and Digital Art are designed to meet National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) standards. They include a first-year, mid-four-year curriculum, and senior capstone assessment. While internship opportunities are available to all students in the program, only those concentrating in Art History and Graphic Design are required to complete one.
Students pursuing the B.A. in Art major must meet the following requirements for successful completion of the degree. To see other applicable information about the degree and program, see the UofSC Aiken Bulletin.
During the spring or second semester (whichever comes first), B.A. in Art majors complete a first-year review with their academic advisor and the Art and Art History faculty. The first-year review is designed to be supportive and provide personalized advisement on student progress in the program. In addition to helping students identify specialized interests and curricular needs, the faculty review student portfolios and other related materials. Students should declare a concentration in Art History, Graphic Design, or Studio and Digital Art before their first-year review. The first-year review is typically scheduled during the spring semester on a Friday.
Mid-Four-Year Curriculum Review
After completing four full-time semesters (approximately sixty credit hours of relevant coursework) and all required foundation courses, B.A. in Art majors complete a mid-four-year review with their academic advisor and the Art and Art History faculty. Before majors specialize in one of the three concentrations, the following foundation courses are required:
- ARTS A102 Digital Foundations
- ARTS A103 Foundations in 2D Design
- ARTS A104 Foundations in 3D Design
- ARTS A111 Drawing I
- ARTH A105 History of Western Art I: Prehistory to 1400
- ARTH A106 History of Western Art II: 1400 to the Present
As with the first-year review, the mid-four-year review is designed to be supportive and provide personalized feedback on student progress in the program. During the mid-four-year review, B.A. in Art majors will review their portfolios and completed work from their foundation courses with the Art and Art History faculty. Additional opportunities to address personal and professional goals during the review are encouraged. The purpose of the review is to provide students an opportunity to “demonstrate their ability to form and defend value judgements about art and design and to communicate art/design ideas, concepts, and requirements to professionals and laypersons related to the practice of the major field.” As mentors, faculty advisors in the Art and Art History Program help students prepare for their mid-four-year review, offering workshops on portfolio organization, writing and critique sessions, and other preparatory meetings.
Students should meet with their academic advisor before submitting the following materials:
- An organized portfolio of completed work from foundation courses and other studio courses (if applicable)
- A sketchbook containing work in progress, sketches, storyboards, and other applicable materials
- A personal statement (500-1000 words) covering one’s creative and technical process, and career interests/goals.
The mid-four-year review is also used to determine merit-based scholarships awarded by the Art and Art History faculty. Transfer students should meet with their academic advisor and the Art and Art History Program Coordinator to determine when they should complete their mid-four-year review. The mid-four-year review is typically scheduled during the spring semester on a Friday.
Professional opportunities are essential to helping students transition into careers in the arts. Internships offer students opportunities to participate in field-based work and demonstrate advanced conceptual understanding and technical facility. While internships are part of the Art History and Graphic Design curriculum, all B.A. in Art majors are encouraged to complete an internship—preferably during their senior year. An internship may count toward a major emphasis requirement for the Studio and Digital Art concentration.
In their senior year, B.A. in Art majors in the Art History concentration take ARTH A403 Art History Practicum (contract required)—an internship in Art History in one of the following:
- Gallery Practicum: This practicum is designed for students interested in gaining firsthand knowledge of the work involved in operating a gallery, museum, and/or other exhibition venues. Such work may include (but are not limited to) assisting the director in grant writing, working with artists, marketing, and mounting exhibitions. Students may only enroll with instructor's permission.
- Learning Assistant Practicum: This practicum experience is designed for students interested in learning about pedagogy. In addition to assisting the instructor in the classroom throughout the semester, the student will have opportunities to address instructional methods and best practices. Coursework includes attending all scheduled classes for the assigned course, assisting students during study sessions, and taking an active role in classroom critiques, discussions, and studio maintenance. Students may only enroll with instructor's permission.
- Research Practicum: This practicum experience is designed for students interested in learning more about the research process--including (but not limited to) grant writing, archival research, manuscript preparation, and publishing. Students work with scholars and faculty to assist with ongoing research projects. For B.A. - Art in Art History majors; other students may enroll with instructor's permission.
In their senior year, B.A. in Art majors in the Graphic Design concentration complete ARTS A549 Directed Internship, a supervised professional experience (contract required). Graphic Design students may incorporate completed work during their internship into their capstone projects. Our alumni are often hired by companies they interned with after graduation.
All students in the B.A. in Art major must complete a capstone project, demonstrating advanced conceptual understanding, technical facility, and the ability to participate in field-based activities. Capstone courses also help students prepare professional application materials for graduate school and employment. View examples of student work.
Students in the Graphic Design and Studio and Digital Art concentrations must create and exhibit a cohesive body of work with supporting materials (at the B.A. in Art Capstone Exhibition).
Students in the Art History concentration must complete ARTH A499 Art History Capstone, producing an individualized research project—for example, an undergraduate conference paper, publishable article, curated exhibition, exhibition catalogue, catalogue essay, or a combination thereof. A recent example of a published Art History capstone project can be found in the undergraduate academic journal Metamorphosis.
Evaluation and Assessment
The Program Objectives, Student Learning Outcomes, and Methods of Assessment align with National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) standards
Student Learning Outcomes Aligned to Program Objectives
Methods of Assessment
To provide a strong foundation core in 2-D Design, 3-D Design, and Digital Media
Students will demonstrate a proficiency in 2-D Design, 3-D Design, and Digital Foundations; Students will “demonstrate their ability to form and defend value judgements about art and design and to communicate art/design ideas, concepts, and requirements to professionals and laypersons related to the practice of the major field.” (VIII.B.3)
Mid-four-year Curriculum Portfolio Review (after all Core Foundation courses are completed) and evaluation by Art Faculty advisors; Studio Art, Graphic Design, and Art History practicums and internships
To impart an understanding of the chronology and methodology of art history, including basic knowledge about the characteristics of various art historical periods and cultural styles
Students will demonstrate an understanding of overview of artistic traditions (from prehistory to the present) important to the development of Non-Western and Western civilization; Students will demonstrate skills in close looking and visual analysis (or “visual literacy”).
Completion of ARTH 105 History of Western Art I and ARTH 106 History of Western Art II with a C or better; ARTH A108 History of Non-Western Art with a C or better
To provide students with expertise in the technologies and equipment applicable to their area(s) of specialization
Students will “acquire a working knowledge of the technologies and equipment applicable to their area(s) of specialization.” (VIII.B.3)
Completion of upper-level art Major Requirements with a C or better; Completion of 12 credits (4 courses) with a substantial technology/digital component with a C or better
To provide areas of emphasis/concentrations for mastery of medium/media and opportunities to fine-tune craft
Students will demonstrate the following: critical thinking, analytical, and evaluative skills; the ability to engage in critique; and mastery of areas of emphasis/concentration.
Completion of upper-level art history and Major Requirements with a C or better
ARTS 499 Studio Art Capstone or ARTH 499 Art History Capstone
To demonstrate advanced conceptual understanding, technical facility, and the ability to participate in field-based activities
Students will create and exhibit a cohesive body of work with supporting materials; Students will complete a required senior project or final presentation in the major area.
ARTS 499 Studio Art Capstone or ARTH 499 Art History Capstone Studio; Art Internships and Art History Practicums; Exit Interview
To demonstrate an understanding of pedagogies, learning theories, and topics related to art education
Students will model best practices in art education throughout practicums and internship.
Students are evaluated by faculty throughout pre-professional and professional program courses; Students are evaluated during their student teaching assignments
Other Student Resources
Art and Art History Student Handbook
Art and Art History Student Writing Handbook
Art and Art History Program Safety Manual