At which campus can I study this program?
Any Penn State Campus
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Art Studies offers students the opportunity to explore studio work in Art within the context of a broader liberal arts education. Students can learn fundamental techniques and concepts common to the Visual Arts. Emphasis is also put on creative problem solving through advanced investigations of artistic themes and issues. Coursework includes requirements (classes) related to the portfolio preparation necessary for employment in creative fields or for education at the graduate level.
What is Visual Art Studies?
Visual arts studies is the creative, theoretical, and critical exploration of making images, objects, and ideas through various artistic media. Visual Art Studies may be a good fit for you if are happiest drawing, painting, sculpting, designing, working with the computer or performing in unique ways. If you don’t have a lot of experience making art—no worries! Maybe you enjoy looking at art or writing or reading about it? Visual Art Studies may be for you! There are no required skillsets or portfolio reviews required for admission into Visual Art Studies. The faculty are experienced at introducing an array of tools, materials, and methods to beginning students.
You Might Like This Program If...
- You get a kick out of seeing how things are made.
- You have ideas and opinions about your world—big, small, and everything in between.
- You want to be a part of a vibrant inclusive community of creative thinkers and makers.
- You need to fill your artistic toolbox with more tools, technologies, and materials.
- You love making or fixing stuff.
- You customize the day-to-day things around you to make them more you.
Entrance to Major
Entry into the Visual Art Studies major requires an entrance interview. The entrance interview will be based on the student's work and academic interests and will take place during their first semester.
For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Art Studies, a minimum of 121 credits is required:
|Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements||24|
|Requirements for the Major||45|
6 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 6 credits of GA courses.
0-12 of the 45 credits for Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in Electives if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.
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 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.)
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)
- Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 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.
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
Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language. See the Placement Policy for Penn State Foreign Language Courses.
B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)
Other 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 General Education US/IL requirement.
Requirements for the Major
A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.
|Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|ART 165||Artistic Concepts of Space||3|
|ART 166||Artistic Concepts of Form||3|
|ART 168||The Digital Medium||3|
|ART 265||Artistic Concepts of Color||3|
|ART 266||Artistic Concepts of Light||3|
|ART 269||Methods and Materials I||3|
|ART 468||The Intermediate Digital Medium||3|
|ART 365||Themes and Issues I||3|
|ART 366||Themes and Issues II||3|
|ART 465||Individual Approaches I||3|
|ART 466W||Individual Approaches II||3|
|ART 469||Methods and Materials II||3|
|ARTH 111||Ancient to Medieval Art||3|
|ARTH 112||Renaissance to Modern Art||3|
|Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select 3 credits of 400-level ARTH courses||3|
Program Learning Objectives
- Critique technical, aesthetic, and conceptual competence in art works verbally an in written form.
- Apply problem solving techniques in art planning, art making and execution.
- Execute exhibition best practices, standards, and professional procedures when preparing artwork for display.
- Create professional portfolio of art work and supplemental materials suitable for gallery submission, graduate school admissions, or entrance level creative field application.
- Demonstrate competency in many forms of art making including 2D, 3D, and digital media.
- Operate rigorous and safe studio practice and material handling.
- Cite and inform upon historical and contemporary art movements in art work.
- Interpret issues in art, society, and culture via personal concepts in art work creation.
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.
Distinguished Professor of Visual Arts and Program Coordinator Visual Art Studies
131 Misciagna Building
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
Suggested Academic Plan
The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).
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.
|ART 165||3||ART 166||3|
|ARTH 111||3||ARTH 112||3|
|ENGL 15, ENGL 30, or ESL 15‡||3||ART 168||3|
|PSU 3||1||World Language Course Level 2||4|
|World Language Course Level 1||4||General Education Course (GQ)‡||3|
|ART 265||3||ART 266||3|
|ART 269||3||General Education Course||3|
|World Language Course Level 3||4||General Education Course||3|
|General Education Course||3||General Education Course||3|
|General Education Course||3||General Education Course||3|
|ART 365||3||ART 366||3|
|ART 468||3||General Education Course||3|
|General Education (GQ)‡||3||B.A. Other Cultures||3|
|CAS 100‡||3||General Education Course||3|
|ART 465||3||ART 466W||3|
|ART 469||3||Art History 400-level Course||3|
|ENGL 202B‡||3||General Education Course||3|
|General Education Course||3||Elective||3|
|Total Credits 121|
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 University 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.
GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.
Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.
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 Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.
With Penn State Altoona’s Visual Art Studies (VAST) program, you will be equipped with the conceptual, technical, and professional frameworks needed to be a confident and productive artist, as well as the skills necessary for employment in creative fields or admission into graduate study.
DIVISION OF ARTS AND HUMANITIES
131 Misciagna Building
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601