Students may declare a major via the Major and Minor tool on TritonLink. A minimum of two-thirds of the course work completed for the major must be taken at UC San Diego. Students who transfer to UC San Diego in their second or third year may petition to substitute courses taken at other colleges and universities for major requirements within the Visual Arts department. All courses taken to satisfy major requirements must be taken for a letter grade, and only grades of C– or better will be accepted in the visual arts major.
Art History Theory and Criticism (VA26)
The major in art history, theory, and criticism is designed both for students who desire a broadly-based education in the humanities and for those who plan to pursue a career in an art-related profession. By combining art historical and critical study, the program promotes in the student an awareness of the cultural traditions which have shaped his or her intellectual outlook and provides a framework for informed judgment on the crucial issues of meaning and expression in contemporary society. Art History honors available for qualified students.
The Media program is designed for students who want to become creative videomakers, filmmakers, photographers, and computer artists, encouraging the hybridity of media. The curriculum combines hands-on experience of making art with practical and theoretical criticism, provides historical, social and aesthetic backgrounds for the understanding of modern media, and emphasizes creativity, versatility, and intelligence over technical specializations. Media honors available for qualified students.
The major in studio arts addresses painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, installation, media and new genres in a manner that supports cross-disciplinary practices. The curriculum combines hands-on experiences with the development of technical and conceptual skills considered in the context of art history, criticism, theory, and the issues and ideas explored in contemporary art practice.
The Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts major draws upon and aims to bring together ideas and paradigms from computer science, art, and cultural theory. The goals of the program are to prepare the next generation of artists who will be functioning in a computer-mediated culture; to give students necessary technical, theoretical and historical backgrounds so they can contribute to the development of new aesthetics for computer media; to prepare students to mediate between the worlds of computer science and technology, the arts, and the culture at large by being equally proficient with computing and cultural concepts; and to give students sufficient understanding of the trajectories of development in computing so they can anticipate and work with the emerging trends, rather than being locked in particular software currently available on the market.
SPECULATIVE DESIGN (VA30)
The Speculative Design major teaches open-ended creative thinking, debating values, possibilities and outcomes, understanding human contexts and mobilizing interests, and exploring ambiguous problems in an unexpected way. Speculative Design is a 21st century mix of art, science, and emerging technology focused on aesthetic, entrepreneurial and activist intervention. Bringing together laboratory and field research in a creative studio setting, Speculative Design works from nano to urban scales to stimulate new ideas and solutions.
Students may apply for permission to double major. There are two options for double majoring: both majors within the Visual Arts department or one major from outside of the Visual Arts department. All students interested in a double major need to meet with an academic advisor and complete the necessary form.
Within the Visual Arts Department-
Students may choose to combine the Art History major with any other major within the department: Media, Studio, ICAM, or Speculative Design. The areas and total amount of overlap is determined by the combination selected and can be explained by a Visual Arts advisor.
Outside of the department-
Students may choose to combine their Visual Arts major with a major from another department. The specific requirements and possible areas of overlap will depend on the major combination and will need to be discussed with academic advisors from both departments.