The Visual Studies concentration offers a distinctive approach to the study of the history and theory of art (including painting, photography, film, new media, and performance) as well as the broader terrain of visual culture (including digital technologies, television, sound, and popular culture). Most courses in the Visual Studies curriculum are suitable for students at any level of artistic training and experience. Courses that require prerequisites are noted in the course descriptions.  

Concentration in Visual Studies

The Visual Studies concentration requires the following courses:

  • Skybridge curatorial class: LARS 2208 Skybridge Curatorial Project, LARS 2209 Skybridge Sound, or LARS 2250 Practicing Curating
  • LARS 3155 Methods of Art History
  • Four Art History or Visual Studies electives
  • Two practice-based Visual Arts courses
  • ULEC 2320 Aesthetics or another designated course in aesthetics
  • Three Integrative Arts courses identified by the subject code LINA (code LAIC before fall 2010)
  • Senior Capstone project, either the Senior Seminar or an individual or collaborative independent project

Arts in Context Concentration

Students interested in studying visual arts can also choose the Arts in Context concentration, in which they can combine study of the visual arts with study of a liberal arts subject. For example, a student can study fine art combined with art criticism and journalism by taking courses in Literary Studies. Other majors and minors, such as Psychology, Urban Studies, and Social Inquiry, can also provide wider contexts for visual art studies. 

Minor in Visual Studies

Undergraduate students from any division of the university who are not majoring in Liberal Arts can select the Visual Studies minor. Note, Arts majors can enroll in any minor of their choice, including an Arts minor different from the artistic discipline already being studied in their major. Interested students should review the curriculum below and speak with the program coordinator before declaring.

  • One introductory course (LARS 2216 Introduction to Art History and Visual Studies, LCST 2120 Cultural Studies, or PLVS 2500 Introduction to Visual Culture)
  • One course in methodology or theory (e.g., LARS 3155 Methods of Art History, PLAH 4098 Theories of Avant-Garde, LCST 4460 Cultural Criticism, LCST 4457 Current Controversies in Critical Theory, or LCST 3411 Cultural Studies)
  • Three electives in art history and visual studies (including media studies and film and LINA courses), listed or approved by the coordinator, at least two of which must be at the 3000 level or above. At least one of these electives must be a course with a global perspective.

In all concentrations of the Arts major, students must receive grades of C or higher in all courses taken to meet the requirements for a major or minor in The Arts.

Guided Area of Study

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts may not elect an academic minor. However, they may pursue a guided area of study in Visual Studies. Students interested in this option should consult with their advisor. 

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