Art, B.A. (Abington)

Program Code: ARTAB_BA

Program Description

The B.A. degree in art provides a comprehensive liberal education coupled with professional resident instruction in art. Depending on each student's objectives and course choices, this degree provides preparation for a professional career, a foundation for graduate studies, or a liberal arts education in art. Each student must elect an area of concentration from one of the following: ceramics, drawing and painting, new media, photography, printmaking, or sculpture.

What is Art?

Art is an individual and social practice that makes an impact. When people create or respond to art, they make connections between themselves and the experiences of others. In some cases, art provides a private encounter whereby individual thoughts and feelings are expressed through art, or recognized in the art of someone else. In other cases, art gives form to ideas and issues that concern entire communities. It is because art extends personal and public awareness that it is highly valued as a cultural activity. Those who make art and write about art offer imaginative insights that challenge us to see things differently. By creating artworks yourself, and enhancing your capacity to interpret artworks made by other individuals, communities, and cultures, you contribute to one of the most important purposes of art, which is to celebrate this unique human form of social communication that shapes the way we see ourselves.

You Might Like this Program If...

You are excited and challenged by the diverse and profound impact art and culture can have in the everyday life of individuals and communities. Art and culture ‘workers’ take on many creative roles in everyday life and respond imaginatively to the continuous rush of social and cultural change around them by exploring issues, and expressing and communicating ideas using all forms of image, text, and social media.

Entrance Procedures

Detailed information about entrance procedures for incoming first-year students, transfer students, and current Penn State students can be found at on the Penn State Abington website.

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Art, a minimum of 120 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 5
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements 24
Requirements for the Major 52

6 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes 6 credits of General Education GA courses.

3 of the 24 credits for Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in the Requirements for the Major, General Education, or Electives and 0-12 credits are included in Electives if world language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ART 11First-Year Seminar- School of Visual Arts1
ART 110Ideas as Visual Images3
ART 111Ideas as Objects3
ART 122YCommentary on Art3
ARTH 111Ancient to Medieval Art Keystone/General Education Course 13
ARTH 112Renaissance to Modern Art Keystone/General Education Course 13
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 15 credits of the following:15
Introduction to Digital Art and Design Criticism
Figure Drawing
Drawing: Techniques, Materials, and Tools
Beginning Sculpture
Beginning Printmaking
Beginning Oil Painting
Water Media
Beginning Ceramics
Independent Studies (3 credits)
Special Topics (3 credits)
Foreign Study--Art (3 credits)
2D Digital Art & Computer Graphics
Web Design and Visual Web Development
Introduction to Photography Keystone/General Education Course
A Chronological Survey of Photography
Supporting Courses and Related Areas 2
Select 6 credits in art history6
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 15 credits from one of the following areas of concentration: ceramics, drawing and painting, new media, photography, printmaking, and sculpture15

These credits may also be counted toward the General Education Arts requirement.


Include at least 15 credits at the 300 or 400 level.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required and Inter-Domain courses do not meet this requirement.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Breadth in the Knowledge Domains (Inter-Domain courses do not meet this requirement.)

  • Arts (GA): 3 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 3 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits

Integrative Studies

  • Inter-Domain Courses (Inter-Domain): 6 credits


  • GN, may be completed with Inter-Domain courses: 3 credits
  • GA, GH, GN, GS, Inter-Domain courses. This may include 3 credits of World Language course work beyond the 12th credit level or the requirements for the student’s degree program, whichever is higher: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

B.A. Degree Requirements

World Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one world language in addition to English. This proficiency must be demonstrated by either examination or course work. See the Placement Policy for Penn State World Language Courses.

B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, World Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; world language credits in this category must be in a second world language in addition to English or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language). Credits must be selected from the list of approved courses.

World Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the University Cultural Diversity (US/IL) requirement.​

Program Learning Objectives

  • Communication:
    • By creating work which evokes a spectator's response that resonates with, without necessarily duplicating, the artist's personal response, understanding through discussion and critique how a spectator arrives at a particular inspiration interacting with one's work.
    • By planning and implementing exhibitions of work, understanding the process from curatorial conceptualization through promotion, preparation and physical installation.
    • By creating and maintaining ongoing documentation of work through portfolio, resume, website and other visual and verbal means of communicating professional development.
  • Craft:
    • By mastering tools used in traditional and contemporary art and design making contexts, with particular emphasis on a chosen media concentration: Drawing and Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Ceramics or New Media.
    • By making intelligent media application decisions to achieve appropriate form in support of intended content.
  • Creative and Critical Thinking:
    • By synthesizing and evaluating creative output, contributing to critical discourse, responding positively to feedback and understanding how to use critique as part of the creative process.
    • By experimenting with and expanding the use of media with an eye toward future possibilities not prescribed by current standards.
  • Professionalism:
    • By understanding how art making relates to aspirations for career, further study at the graduate level, or personal growth.
    • By understanding the ethical and professional responsibilities of an artist or designer.
  • Research:
    • By recalling, understanding, applying and analyzing art history, aesthetic theory, contemporary topics and a liberal arts framework as components of the creative process, all used as foundation for deep, methodical study of the subject of creative investigation.
    • By employing a vocabulary of spoken and written word to clearly express the relevance, motivation and discoveries of the research.
  • Vision:
    • By creating original, conceptually compelling works of art or design relevant to individual experience and using a personal visual vocabulary.
    • By creating work that evokes a personally meaningful intellectual and emotional response to a zone of personal concern.
  • Visual Literacy:
    • By recalling, understanding and applying basic visual elements and principals of visual design across two-, three- and four-dimensional media expressions.
    • By using a variety of media to develop an articulate, unique visual expression of the world as it is actually seen, abandoning iconic visual classifications and symbolic stereotypes.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.



Yvonne Love
Program Chair, Art
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001

University Park

Liz Agler
Academic Adviser
104 Borland Building
University Park, PA 16802

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2024-25 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition.

Art, B.A. at Abington Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
ART 110*3ART 111*3
ARTH 111* †3ARTH 112* † 3
ENGL 15 or 30H3ART 122Y3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
World Language level 14World Language level 24
 16 16
Second Year
ART 200 level Studio*3ART 200 level Studio*3
ART 200 level Studio*3ART 200 level Studio*3
ARTH Course*3General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
World Language level 34General Education Course3
 16 15
Third Year
ART 200 level Studio*3ART 300/400 level Studio (Concentration)*4
ARTH Course*3ART 300/400 level Studio (Concentration)*3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
CAS 100A or 100B3ENGL 202B3
B.A. Knowledge Domain3 
 15 13
Fourth Year
ART 300/400 level Studio*4ART 300/400 level Studio*4
General Education Course3Elective3
B.A. Knowledge Domain3Elective3
B.A. Requirement (World Cultures)3B.A. Knowledge Domain3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 14.5 14.5
Total Credits 120

Course requires a grade of C or better for the major

Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education


Course is an Entrance to Major requirement

Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy Cultural Diversity Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ), Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS) and Integrative Studies (Inter-domain) requirements. N or Q (Honors) is the suffix at the end of a course number used to help identify an Inter-domain course, but the inter-domain attribute is used to fill audit requirements. Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of 'C' or better.

Bachelor of Arts Requirements:

Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.

Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in World Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as World Cultures courses.

Advising Notes:

Change of major requirements: A minimum grade point average of 2.0 and a successful portfolio review are required.

Note: Many ART Studio courses are repeatable.

Career Paths

As a B.A. graduate with a broad interest in the individual and collective power of the arts to enrich human understanding, you have artistic skills and critical sensibilities that can become life-long assets. Just as art can awaken us to new experience, exploring new ways to integrate knowledge from diverse sources helps make these experiences concrete and alerts us to noticing things not otherwise obvious. Broadening learning to embrace studio-based practices of making and critical reflection opens up options for linking personal and professional career interests, and these can have an enduring impact on what and how one learns.


The B.A. experience collects and collates many different modalities of thinking and knowing, re-positions them around what we know, and helps us see gaps and what we don’t know. The B.A. art experience takes these familiar and new understandings and provides an environment for helping you to discover your personal voice in the work you create. Contemporary studio art practice embraces any conceptually appropriate material and method that best articulates your artistic intention. In addition, professional practice opportunities are embedded into the program that can lead to future accomplishments after school.

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Due to the emphasis put on developing your personal vision and distinctive artistic voice, a B.A. art graduate will have a heightened sense of individual perspective and an understanding of multiple ways of engaging with ideas, and these dispositions become foundational skills in assessing future educational and professional directions.


Professional Resources



1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001

University Park

210 Patterson Building
University Park, PA 16802