Visual Arts Program Overview

The Visual Arts program encourages a holistic exploration of the arts, in combination with a practical understanding of many of the languages and traditions of visual expression.

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2020-2021, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on April 1, 2020. Access the catalog of record at https://catalogs.sandiego.edu.

The Visual Arts Major

The Visual Arts major requires eleven 4-unit classes, three 3-unit classes, and one 1-unit class to complete. It is recommended that the student choose their classes in consultation with an advisor in the Visual Arts program within the Department of Art, Architecture + Art History.

Preparation for the Major

Select three lower-division (100- or 200-level) 4-unit Visual Arts (ARTV) courses12
Select one lower-division Art History (ARTH) course3
Total Units15

Visual Arts students are strongly encouraged to complete the above four courses by the end of their sophomore year.

The Major

Select six upper-division (300- or 400-level) 4-unit Visual Arts (ARTV) courses24
Select two upper-division Art History (ARTH) courses6
ARTV 395Junior Seminar (second semester junior year)4
ARTV 490Senior Thesis Studio Seminar (first semester senior year)4
ARTV 495Senior Thesis (second semester senior year)1
Total Units39

Concentration: Film + Media Art Studies

Film + Media Art Studies is the interdisciplinary study of film, art and culture, supporting a wide range of projects and practices, in partnership between Art History, Architecture, Visual Arts, Film, Music and Theatre departments. It is structured to encourage students to apply multiple media and disciplines into new forms of expression. Integrating the production of film, art and critical studies, the requirements are drawn from a greater ratio of history/theory courses to studio production courses than with the general Visual Arts Major. It is designed specifically for creative uses of media that encompass photography, film/video, sound, music, sculpture, performance and theater.

Students choosing a concentration in Film + Media Art Studies must complete the following requirements:

Film + Media Art Studies: Lower-Division Courses

Lower-Division Requirements
Students are required to take the following two courses:8
Introduction to Video Studio
Introductory Photography
as well as select one of the following:3-4
Fundamentals of Drawing
Color
Design Foundations
Introduction to Sculpture
Fundamentals of Theatrical Design
Acting I
as well as select two of the following:6
Introduction to the History of Art
Introduction to Asian Art History
Introduction to Cinema
Introduction to Sound Art
Total Units17-18

Film + Media Art Studies: Upper-Division Courses

Upper-Division Requirements
Students are required to select four of the following:13-16
Video Studio: Special Project
Intermediate Video Studio
Advanced Video Studio
Interdisciplinary 2D Studio
Color Photography
Intermediate Photography
Advanced Photography
Intermediate / Advanced Sculpture
Designing for Social Space
Digital Audio Composition
Interactive Digital Music and Arts
Scenic Design
as well as select three of the following:9
History and Theory of Photography
The Avant-Garde and Mass Culture: Art and Politics
Architecture and Film: The Space of the Screen
Race, Ethnicity, Art and Film
Art and the Soundscape
Introduction to Film Theory
Performance Studies
Additional Requirements:
ARTV 395Junior Seminar (to be completed during the second semester of the Junior year)4
ARTV 490Senior Thesis Studio Seminar (to be completed during the first semester of the Senior year)4
ARTV 495Senior Thesis (to be completed during the second semester of the Senior year)1
Total Units31-34

Please note that some courses may be taken more than once for course credit and that under certain circumstances substitution of classes will be allowed with advisor approval.

Visual Arts Study Abroad

No more than a total of two ARTV 275 and/or ARTV 375, can be counted toward Visual Arts major credit. ARTV 275 or ARTV 375 can be repeated once for credit. Two sections of ARTV 275 or ARTV 375 can be taken concurrently during a study abroad semester or summer.

Recommended Program of Study, Visual Arts Majors

First Year
Semester IUnits
ARTV 101, 102, 103, 105, 108,
or 160
Fundamentals of Drawing
Color
Design Foundations
Introduction to Sculpture
Introduction to Video Studio
Introductory Photography
4
Core or electives11-12
Semester IIHours
ARTV 102, 101, 103, 105, 108,
or 160
Color
Fundamentals of Drawing
Design Foundations
Introduction to Sculpture
Introduction to Video Studio
Introductory Photography
4
Select one lower-division Art History (ARTH) class3
Core or electives8-9
Sophomore Year
Semester IHours
ARTV 105, 101, 102, 103, 108,
or 160
Introduction to Sculpture
Fundamentals of Drawing
Color
Design Foundations
Introduction to Video Studio
Introductory Photography
4
Core or electives11-12
Semester IIHours
Upper-division ARTV electives (NOTE: ARTV350 is intended for Liberal Studies majors and should not be taken by Visual Arts majors)4-8
Upper-division ARTH elective3
Core or electives 
Junior Year
Semester IHours
Upper-division ARTV electives4-8
Upper-division ARTH elective3
Core or electives 
Semester IIHours
ARTV 395Junior Seminar4
Upper-division ARTV electives4-8
Core or electives 
Senior Year
Semester IHours
ARTV 490Senior Thesis Studio Seminar4
Upper-division ARTV electives4-8
Core or electives 
Semester IIHours
ARTV 495Senior Thesis1
Upper-division ARTV Electives4-8
Core or electives