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Major Requirements: B.S.–Art and BFA–Art

Foundations Program

The Foundations Program is a series of related studio and lecture courses to be taken by art majors in their first year as preparation for further study in studio art and design. The program addresses the fundamentals of art through investigation of formal, technical and conceptual issues. The classes are meant to be taken concurrently and the information covered in them is interrelated, creating a network of corresponding experiences and a peer community allowing students to make connections that often continue throughout the program. Students completing the BFA or B.S. degrees in Art should enroll in Art 107, 112, and 108 for the fall semester and complete Art 104, 212, and 208 in the spring.

Students are encouraged to complete the foundations courses by enrolling in the Art and Artists: Foundations of Contemporary Practice First Year Interest Group (FIG) during their orientation and advising session (SOAR).

The lecture classes are designed to expose, broaden, and challenge students' understanding of contemporary art production. Foundations of Contemporary Art and Current Directions in Contemporary Art introduce historical, thematic, critical and theoretical issues to foundation students, contextualizing and augmenting their studio assignments and expanding their verbal and visual vocabulary.

Major Requirements

The requirements listed here are effective for students admitted to the Art or BFA program summer 2012 and later. Students admitted prior to this time can find their major requirements listed in previous editions of the Undergraduate Catalog and on their DARS reports.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Program: Complete a minimum of 45 studio credits, including the specific coursework below. No more than 58 studio credits will be counted toward the minimum 120 credits required for the B.S. degree. Thus, if a student wishes to graduate with the minimum of 120 credits, 62 of these credits must be "non-studio" coursework.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Program: Complete a minimum of 72 studio credits, including the specific coursework below. The BFA degree requires 126 total credits. Admission to the program requires completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, the following courses: Art 107 and 104, 108 and 208, 112 and 212, and one course in each of the 2D, 3D, 4D and graphics studios. Students must have a 3.0 GPA in their studio coursework to be considered for the BFA program and have attained a minimum of sophomore standing. A portfolio review is also part of the selection process. Application may be made during the semester that the required courses will be completed. See Application and Admission section for details about the application process.

Major residency requirement for both options. Students completing the B.S. degree must complete at least 24 credits of major studio coursework in residence on the UW–Madison campus. The BFA program requires that at least 36 credits of major studio coursework be completed in residence at UW–Madison.

Art and BFA degree students have priority access to studio courses. Courses are Art listings unless otherwise indicated. Note: Some courses are offered for 3 or 4 credits; it is preferred that the course be taken for 4 credits.

Studio Foundations. Complete the following courses:
107 Introduction to Digital Forms, 3
104 Three-Dimensional Design, 3
112 Drawing I, 3
212 Drawing II, 3
(Art 108 and 208 are the aesthetics components of the Foundations Program)

2D Studio. Complete ONE of the following courses:
222 Introduction to Painting, 3–4
232 Life Drawing I, 3–4
302 Color, 4
312 Intermediate Drawing I, 3–4

3D Studio. Complete ONE of the following courses:
214 Sculpture I, 3–4
224 Ceramics I, 3–4
244 Art Metal I, 3–4
334 Woodworking, 3–4
354 Glassworking, 4

4D Studio. Complete ONE of the following courses:
318 Introduction to Video, Performance & Installation Art, 4
521 Installations and Environments, 4
429 3D Digital Studio I, 4

Special Topics in 4D Studio, 3–4

Graphics. Complete ONE of the following courses:
306 Relief Printmaking, 3–4
316 Lithography, 4
326 Etching, 4
336 Serigraphy, 3–4
346 Typography and Communication Design, 4
376 Photography, 3–4
446 Artists’ Books, 4

Art Colloquium. Complete Art 508 Colloquium in Art. Students are encouraged to enroll in this visiting artist lecture series multiple times.

Advanced Studio Requirement

  • B.S. Program: Complete a 500-level or 600-level Art studio course in at least one discipline. Art 508, 608, and 699 will not fulfill this requirement.
  • BFA Program: Complete a 500-level or 600-level Art studio course in at least two disciplines. Art 508, 608, and 699 will not fulfill this requirement. 

Elective Studio Courses

  • B.S. Program: Additional studio courses to total at least 45 credits.
  • BFA Program: Additional studio courses to total at least 72 credits.

Additional BFA Program Requirements

  • Exhibit Participation. BFA students must participate in the annual BFA group exhibit at least once before graduating.

Areas of Concentration. Although a specific emphasis is not required, students may wish to develop an area of interest within the requirements of the B.S. or BFA program. Concentrations in graphic design, multi-media, 2D studio, 3D studio, and printmaking are some of the available options listed on the Art department's website.