Students may declare a major by visiting the Major and Minor tool on TritonLink. For further instructions, see How to Declare or Change a Major. Residency Requirements 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. Visual Arts 111, Structure of Art, must be taken at UC San Diego by all students, including transfer students, in the art history, media, and studio majors. 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
Major Code: 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. In both cases, the foundation for study is proficiency in the languages of artistic expression. Through the study of art history, students learn to treat works of art as manifestations of human belief, thought, and experience in Western and non-Western societies from prehistory to the present day. Courses in criticism review the theoretical approaches which are used to understand artistic achievement. 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. Majors are encouraged to take relevant courses in allied disciplines such as History, Communication, Anthropology, and Literature, and in such area programs as Classics and Italian Studies. In addition, students who plan to apply to graduate schools are strongly advised to develop proficiency in one or more foreign languages, as is dictated by their area of specialization. The major is comprised of 5 lower division courses and 13 upper division courses, for a total of 18 courses. Click here for a printer friendly curriculum sheet and checklist.
Major Code: VA27 With a visual arts foundation, the 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. It should allow students to go on to more specialized graduate programs in the media arts, to seek careers in film, television, computing, or photography, or to develop as independent artists. All media majors should see the departmental advisor upon entrance into UCSD. The major is comprised of 6 lower division courses and 14 upper division courses for a total of 20 courses. Click the following links for a printer friendly curriculum sheet and checklist: For Students Declared Prior to Fall 2015 For Freshmen Declared Fall 2015-Spring 2016 For Transfers Declared Fall 2015-Spring 2016
Major Code: VA28 The major in studio arts is designed for students who intend to become creative artists or for those who are pursuing a career where a fine arts background is desired. The program 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. Advanced classes emphasize the intellectual and creative skills necessary for independent production and graduate study. The major is comprised of 5 lower division courses and 15 upper division courses for a total of 20 courses. Click here for a printer friendly curriculum sheet and checklist.
Major Code:VA29 The Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts major in the Music and Visual Arts Departments draws upon and aims to bring together ideas and paradigms from computer science, art, and cultural theory. It takes for granted that the computer has become a metamedium and that artists working with computers are expected to combine different media forms in their works. All of this makes the program unique among currently existing computer art or design programs which, on the one hand, usually focus on the use of computers for a particular media (for instance, specializing in computer animation, or computer music, or computer design for print) and, on the other hand, do not enter into a serious dialogue with current research in computer science, only teaching the students “off-the-shelf” software. 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. The major is comprised of 8 lower division courses and 12 upper division courses for a total of 20 courses. Click the following links for a printer friendly curriculum sheet and checklist: For Students Declared Prior to Fall 2015 For Freshmen Declared Fall 2015-Spring 2016 For Transfers Declared Fall 2015-Spring 2016
Major Code: VA30 The major structure includes required and elective courses at both the lower and upper division levels. It is designed to give Speculative Design majors within the Department of Visual Arts (1) a broad foundation in the historical and disciplinary issues within the Arts and Humanities, (2) rigorous history, theory, and methodology courses in Speculative Design, (3) unique studio-based courses in which studios develop original projects, both individually and in groups, and (4) the opportunity to customize their emphasis within the major to best suit their professional goals.
Click here for a printer friendly curriculum sheet and checklist.
The department offers an honors programs in Art History, Media, and Studio for outstanding students. Students interested in participating in an honors program should consult with the departmental advisor.
The Art History honors program will provide outstanding students with pre-professional experience. It consists of an issue-oriented seminar followed by a directed group study and will result in an exhibition with catalogue, a scholarly conference with a mock publication, and/or series of research papers. Admissions to the Art History Honors Program will be based on the following criteria:
1) Major GPA of 3.5 or greater 2) Cumulative GPA of 3.3 or greater 3) Completion of: all lower division art history requirements, all upper division distribution requirements, Art Historical Methods (VIS 112), and at least one additional art history seminar 4) Recommendation of a permanent faculty member
The Media honors program will help students develop high quality professional portfolios. The Honors Thesis project runs the length of an academic year (three quarters) to provide sufficient time for ideas to develop and critically-aware work to be produced. Admissions to the Media Honors Program will be based on the following criteria:
1) Major GPA of 3.5 or greater 2) Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater 3) Approval of the faculty advisor(s) whom they will work with each quarter 4) Recommendation of a permanent faculty member
Students interested in participating in Media Honors will need to: compile a portfolio of their recent work, write a 1-2 page outline of their proposed thesis project, and present these items to the permanent faculty member(s) that they would be interested in working with. If the faculty advisor(s) support the thesis project, come meet with academic advising to discuss the necessary paperwork in order to gain admission to the Media Honors Program.
The Studio honors program will provide an outstanding student with a clear and unified body of work. The Studio Honors sequence is to help refine and expand the student’s work and ideas and to build on critical and technical issues with the intention of giving the student as strong a technical, critical, and theoretical base as possible. Admissions to the Studio Honors Program will be based on the following criteria:
1) Major GPA of 3.5 or greater 2) Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater 3) Completion of all lower division studio requirements and all upper division groups I, II, III, IV 4) Recommendation of a permanent faculty member
Double Major with another department
Please see How to Declare a Double Major. Note that you MAY choose two majors within the Visual Arts Department; see below.
Double Major within the Department
There are three double majors within the Department of Visual Arts: Art History/Theory/ Criticism paired with either studio, media, or ICAM. Students interested in a double major within the department must have at least ten upper-division courses that are unique to each departmental major and the remaining courses may overlap with other major requirements. Students should consult with the departmental adviser for additional information.