The highly ranked Department of Art’s degree programs provide creative students with the critical and artistic skills needed to excel in contemporary, multidisciplinary art and design practices. The art curriculum fosters positive collaboration, the creation of innovative and technically advanced art works, and encourages the sharing of diverse points of view.
Degree programs feature a rigorous foundation program, a set of six courses that students often complete by participating in the popular Contemporary Art & Artists First-Year Interest Group (FIG), before branching out into one or more specialized areas such as book arts, ceramics, comics, digital animation, glass and neon, graphic design, performance/video, photography, sculpture, social practices, etc.
Potential Careers for Artists include: animation, ceramics, glassblowing, metal fabrication, graphic and multi-media design, illustration, videography, photography, teaching and as a gallery artist. Our graduates also work as community arts organizers, user experience designers, medical imagists, technical assistants for major film companies, jewelry designers and fabricators, book designers, and more.
The department offers five ways to complete a degree:
- The Bachelor of Science in Art degree
- The Bachelor of Science in Art degree with Graphic Design option
- The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree
- The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with Graphic Design option
- The Bachelor of Science in Art Education degree
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree differs from the B.S.–Art degree by requiring a larger number of studio and aesthetic courses. The BFA degree is often selected by students wishing to develop a refined visual art portfolio in preparation for a career as a professional artist or designer, and/or for graduate study. Studio art majors begin their undergraduate career in the B.S.-Art program. After completing the foundations and studio breadth coursework, students can declare one of the other art programs, if desired.
The Bachelor of Science in Art Education degree program licenses students to teach in both elementary and secondary schools.
The Department of Art believes that hardworking students who learn to harness and nurture their creative energies today will be the people influencing progress tomorrow. Come join us!
Program Admission Overview
Students interested in the Art–BFA degree, or Art-BFA with the Graphic Design named option, initially enroll in the Art–B.S. degree or Art-B.S. with the Graphic Design named option while completing prerequisite coursework and establishing other criteria for BFA eligibility. A portfolio review is part of the BFA selection process. Students will typically apply to the BFA program in their junior year and must have attained a minimum of junior standing. For the BFA, an application may be submitted during the semester that the required courses will be completed. For the BFA: Graphic Design named option, an application may be submitted during the semester that the required courses will be completed, with the exception of ART 102 Two-Dimensional Design and ART 107 Introduction to Digital Forms, which must be successfully completed.
Application and Admission
New freshmen and off-campus transfers are admitted directly to the Art–B.S. degree program and receive an ART classification. All art degree programs currently admit on-campus students to begin in the fall, spring, and summer. Requirements and selection criteria may be modified from one application/admission period to the next. Potential applicants should consult the School of Education's Undergraduate Admissions page for updates to eligibility requirements prior to submitting an application.
Prospective UW–Madison Applicants
Prospective applicants to UW–Madison are strongly encouraged to submit a portfolio to the Department of Art for review. Though a portfolio is not required, it does provide the art department an opportunity to make a recommendation on the applicant's behalf to UW–Madison's Office of Admissions and Recruitment. The Office of Admissions and Recruitment makes final determinations regarding the admission status of all applicants. Additional information, including submission guidelines, is available on the How to Apply page of the art department's website.
CURRENT UW–MADISON STUDENTS
On-campus students interested in pursuing the BFA must first apply to the Art–B.S. degree program. A meeting with an undergraduate advisor in the Department of Art is required, and can be scheduled using Starfish, or by contacting the Department of Art at 608-262-1660. Upon successful completion of the BFA portfolio review (see details below), students will complete an application signed by an undergraduate advisor in the Department of Art to move into the BFA program.
Applicants not already enrolled on the UW–Madison campus must be admissible to the university to enroll in a School of Education program. Admission to UW–Madison requires a separate application and admission process. See UW–Madison Office of Admissions and Recruitment for application information. Note that off-campus transfer students will be held to the UW–Madison admission GPA requirements. BFA candidates cannot transfer directly into the BFA program; instead, they will be admitted to campus as if pursing a B.S.–Art degree (ART classification) and can apply for the BFA program once enrolled on campus. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to meet with the Department of Art advisor prior to coming to campus; call 608-262-1660 to schedule an appointment. Prospective transfer students are strongly advised to meet with an advisor in the School of Education Student Services office in advance of their application; to schedule, call 608-262-1651.
STUDENTS WITH A PREVIOUS DEGREE
Prospective applicants who already hold an undergraduate degree are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor in the School of Education Student Services office in advance of their application. Consultations with advisors are available in person or via telephone; to schedule, call 608-262-1651.
Applicants who already hold an undergraduate degree are admitted to the School of Education as either an Education Special student or a second degree student, depending on their interests and academic background. Admission as an Education Special student indicates that that the student has an interest in pursuing certification in a subject area studied during the initial degree; another degree is not awarded for this "certification only" coursework. Second degree students are seeking a second, unrelated degree from the School of Education, which may, or may not, include teacher certification. Candidates for limited enrollment programs must meet all admission eligibility requirements for the program and must compete with the eligible applicants for program admission. More information is available here.
Criteria for Admission
- Previous Art–B.S. or Art-B.S. Graphic Design named option degree program status.
- Cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.5 based on UW–Madison campus coursework, as modified by the Last 60 Credits Rule (detailed below).
- For the BFA degree and the BFA degree with the Graphic Design named option, successful completion or concurrent enrollment in the following courses:
Course List Code Title Credits ART 102 Two-Dimensional Design 3 ART 104 Three-Dimensional Design 3 ART 107 Introduction to Digital Forms 3 ART 108 Foundations of Contemporary Art 3 ART 208 Current Directions in Art 3 ART 212 Drawing Methods & Concepts 3 One course from each of the following. See Requirements section for course options:2D Studio3D Studio4D StudioGraphics
- For the Graphic Design named option, must have successfully completed ART 102 Two-Dimensional Design and ART 107 Introduction to Digital Forms.
- Minimum 3.0 Art studio course GPA.
- Portfolio review.
- The portfolio must be submitted only after all prerequisite coursework has been completed or during the semester the courses will be completed. The portfolio must contain images of work completed in college art courses. Specific portfolio requirements will be announced prior to scheduled reviews, held near the end of the fall and/or spring semesters. Students not accepted into the BFA program will be encouraged to continue in the B.S.–Art program and will be allowed to present their portfolio for review one additional time.
Last 60 Credits Rule
Two grade point averages will be calculated to determine candidates' eligibility to programs. GPAs will be calculated using
- all transferable college level coursework attempted, and
- the last 60 credits attempted.
The higher GPA of these two will be used for purposes of determining eligibility. If fewer than 60 credits have been attempted, all credits will be used to calculate the GPA. Graded graduate coursework will also be used in all GPA calculations. ("Attempted" coursework indicates coursework for which a grade has been earned.) For more information on this rule, see this link.
- University General Education Requirements
- School of Education Liberal Studies Requirements
- Program Structure
- Art Foundations Program
- Aesthetics Requirements
- Major Requirements
- GPA and Other Graduation Requirements
- University Degree Requirements
University General Education Requirements
All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.
|General Education|| |
* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.
School of Education Liberal Studies Requirements
All students are required to complete a minimum of 40 credits of Liberal Studies coursework. This requirement provides an opportunity to do some academic exploration beyond the scope of the major. Students take courses in areas of particular interest and also have an opportunity to sample the wide selection of courses offered across the university. Coursework is required in humanities, social studies, science, and cultural and historical studies. Some elective coursework is also needed to reach the required number of credits.
The School of Education’s Liberal Studies Requirements automatically satisfy most of the University General Education Requirements outlined above, including ethnic studies, humanities/literature, social studies, and science. Students pursuing most School of Education degree programs may also complete Communication Part B, Quantitative Reasoning Part A, and Quantitative Reasoning Part B through courses required by their degree program. If a student cannot complete a General Education Requirement within the curriculum of their chosen School of Education program, academic advisors can offer suggestions for courses that meet the requirement and augment the student’s primary area of study.
A basic outline of the liberal studies is included below. Students must consult the detailed version of the requirements for information about course selection and approved course options.
Humanities, 9 credits
All students must complete a minimum of 9 credits to include:
- Fine Arts
- Humanities Electives
Social Studies (Social Science)
All students must complete a minimum of 9 credits. Teacher certification programs and Kinesiology have unique requirements in this category.
All students must complete a minimum of 9 credits to include:
- Biological Science
- Physical Science
- Laboratory Science
- Science Electives
Cultural and Historical Studies
All students must complete three requirements (9 credits) met by separate courses. Any of these courses can also be used to meet the Humanities or Social Studies (Social Sciences) requirements if it has the relevant breadth designation.
- Ethnic Studies
- U.S./European History
- Global Perspectives
Complete Liberal Studies Electives to total 40 Credits.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree program in art has four components:
- Liberal studies courses expose students to a broad range of academic disciplines. The university-wide General Education requirements also encourage this breadth of study.
- The Foundations Program requires six interrelated studio and aesthetics courses designed to prepare first-year students for further study in studio art and design.
- Aesthetics coursework gives students an opportunity to study both the history of art and contemporary developments in the visual arts.
- Major requirements permit in-depth studies of studio art. After taking courses in the Foundations area, students complete coursework in each of the four studio areas: 2D, 3D, 4D, and Graphics. BFA students are required to reach an advanced level in two studio disciplines.
Art Foundations Program
The Art Foundations Program is a series of interrelated studio and lecture courses to be taken by art and art education 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 drawing, 2D and 3D design, digital media, and art historical lecture classes are designed to expose, broaden, and challenge students' understanding of contemporary art production.
Art Foundations classes are meant to be taken concurrently and the information covered in them is interrelated. Students completing the Foundations Program should enroll in ART 102 Two-Dimensional Design, ART 212 Drawing Methods & Concepts, and ART 108 Foundations of Contemporary Art for the fall semester and complete ART 104 Three-Dimensional Design, ART 107 Introduction to Digital Forms, and ART 208 Current Directions in Art in the spring.
Most freshman art majors complete their foundations courses through participation in the very popular Contemporary Art and Artists First-Year Interest Group (FIG), which also creates a network of corresponding experiences and a peer community that will continue throughout the program and often beyond graduation. Students in FIGs enjoy studying with instructors dedicated to serving first year students, the opportunity to integrate related ideas from all three classes, and the ready-made opportunities to form support networks and lasting friendships.
Additional information about the Foundations Program is available on the departmental website.
The BFA programs require a total of 18 aesthetics credits, including four required courses. The remaining credits will be met by selecting from a list of aesthetics electives. Liberal studies coursework in fine arts and literature can also can count as aesthetics electives. Additional courses may be approved by the art department advisor.
Required Aesthetics Courses
|ART 108||Foundations of Contemporary Art (component of the Foundations Program)||3|
|ART 208||Current Directions in Art (component of the Foundations Program)||3|
|Select two additional courses from the following:||8|
|History of Western Art I: From Pyramids to Cathedrals|
|History of Western Art II: From Renaissance to Contemporary|
|History of Graphic Design and Typography 1|
If taken prior to summer, 2018, ART 438 may count toward either the aesthetics or studio requirements, but not both. Effective summer, 2018, it may only count toward the aesthetics requirement. This course is designed for students pursuing graphic design.
Select from the following to complete the required 18 credits. Liberal studies coursework in fine arts and literature can also double count as aesthetics electives.
|AFRICAN/FOLKLORE 210||The African Storyteller||3|
|AFRICAN/AFROAMER/ANTHRO/GEOG/HISTORY/POLI SCI/SOC 277||Africa: An Introductory Survey||4|
|AFRICAN/ASIAN/RELIG ST 370||Islam: Religion and Culture||4|
|AFROAMER 151||Introduction to Contemporary Afro-American Society||3|
|AFROAMER 155||They: Race in American Literature||3|
|AFROAMER/GEN&WS 222||Introduction to Black Women Writers||3|
|AFROAMER 231||Introduction to Afro-American History||3|
|AFROAMER/ART HIST 241||Introduction to African Art and Architecture||3|
|AFROAMER/ART HIST 242||Introduction to Afro-American Art||3|
|AFROAMER/ANTHRO/C&E SOC/GEOG/HISTORY/LACIS/POLI SCI/SOC/SPANISH 260||Latin America: An Introduction||3-4|
|AFROAMER/GEN&WS 267||Artistic/Cultural Images of Black Women||3|
|AFROAMER/AFRICAN/ANTHRO/GEOG/HISTORY/POLI SCI/SOC 277||Africa: An Introductory Survey||4|
|AFROAMER/GEN&WS 323||Gender, Race and Class: Women in U.S. History||3|
|AFROAMER/HIST SCI/MED HIST 523||Race, American Medicine and Public Health||3|
|AFROAMER 631||Colloquium in Afro-American History||3|
|AFROAMER/ENGL 672||Selected Topics in Afro-American Literature||3|
|AFROAMER 673||Selected Topics in Afro-American Society||3|
|ANTHRO 102||Archaeology and the Prehistoric World||3|
|ANTHRO 104||Cultural Anthropology and Human Diversity||3|
|ANTHRO/AFROAMER/C&E SOC/GEOG/HISTORY/LACIS/POLI SCI/SOC/SPANISH 260||Latin America: An Introduction||3-4|
|ANTHRO/AFRICAN/AFROAMER/GEOG/HISTORY/POLI SCI/SOC 277||Africa: An Introductory Survey||4|
|ANTHRO 300||Cultural Anthropology: Theory and Ethnography||3|
|ANTHRO/AMER IND 314||Indians of North America||3|
|ANTHRO 321||The Emergence of Human Culture||3|
|ANTHRO 391||Bones for the Archaeologist||3|
|ANTHRO 424||Historical Anthropology||3|
|ANTHRO/LINGUIS 430||Language and Culture||3-4|
|ART 236||Bascom Course||3|
|All Art History courses|
|ASIAN AM 101||Introduction to Asian American Studies||3|
|ASIAN AM/SOC 220||Ethnic Movements in the United States||3-4|
|ASIAN AM/ENGL 270||A Survey of Asian American Literature||3|
|CLASSICS 322||The Romans||3|
|COM ARTS 250||Survey of Contemporary Media||3|
|COM ARTS 260||Communication and Human Behavior||3|
|COM ARTS 350||Introduction to Film||3|
|COM ARTS 351||Television Industries||3|
|COM ARTS 352||Film History to 1960||3|
|COM ARTS 354||Film Genres||3|
|COM ARTS 355||Introduction to Media Production||4|
|COM ARTS 357||History of the Animated Film||3|
|COM ARTS 358||History of Documentary Film||3|
|COM ARTS 450||Cultural History of Broadcasting||3|
|COM ARTS 454||Critical Film Analysis||3|
|COMP LIT 201||Introduction to Pre-Modern Literatures/Impact on the Modern World||3|
|COMP LIT 202||Introduction to Modern and Contemporary Literature||3|
|COMP LIT 203||Introduction to Cross-Cultural Literary Forms||3|
|COMP LIT 990||Research and Thesis||1-12|
|DANCE 255||Movement Composition for the Performing and Visual Arts||2|
|DANCE 265||Dance History I: Western Theatrical Dance from the Renaissance through the 1920s||3|
|ENGL 207||Introduction to Creative Writing: Fiction and Poetry Workshop||3|
|ENGL 219||Shakespearean Drama||3|
|ENGL 236||Bascom Course||3|
|ENGL/ASIAN AM 270||A Survey of Asian American Literature||3|
|ENGL/HISTORY/RELIG ST 360||The Anglo-Saxons||3|
|ENGL 417||History of the English Language||3|
|DS 221||Person and Environment Interactions||3|
|DS 355||History of Fashion, 1400-Present||3|
|DS 421||History of Architecture and Interiors I: Antiquity through 18th Century||3|
|DS 422||History of Architecture & Interiors II: 19th and 20th Centuries||3|
|FOLKLORE 100||Introduction to Folklore||3|
|FOLKLORE/MUSIC 103||Introduction to Music Cultures of the World||3|
|FOLKLORE/AFRICAN 210||The African Storyteller||3|
|FOLKLORE 220||The Folk Tale||3|
|FOLKLORE 230||Introduction to American Folklore||3|
|FOLKLORE 320||Folklore of Wisconsin||3|
|FOLKLORE/MEDIEVAL/RELIG ST/SCAND ST 342||Nordic Mythology||3|
|FOLKLORE/MUSIC 401||Musical Cultures of the World||3|
|FOLKLORE/SLAVIC 444||Slavic and East European Folklore||3|
|FOLKLORE 460||Folk Epics||3|
|GEN&WS 101||Gender, Women, and Cultural Representation||3|
|GEN&WS 102||Gender, Women, and Society in Global Perspective||3|
|GEN&WS/AFROAMER 222||Introduction to Black Women Writers||3|
|HISTORY 101||Amer Hist to the Civil War Era, the Origin & Growth of the U S||4|
|HISTORY 102||American History, Civil War Era to the Present||4|
|HISTORY/CLASSICS 110||The Ancient Mediterranean||4|
|HISTORY 115||Medieval Europe 410-1500||4|
|HISTORY 119||Europe and the World, 1400-1815||4|
|HISTORY 120||Europe and the Modern World 1815 to the Present||4|
|HISTORY 142||History of South Asia to the Present||3-4|
|HISTORY 200||Historical Studies||3|
|HISTORY 201||The Historian's Craft||3-4|
|HISTORY/INTL ST/LACIS 242||Modern Latin America||4|
|HISTORY/ASIAN/GEOG/POLI SCI/SOC 244||Introduction to Southeast Asia: Vietnam to the Philippines||4|
|HISTORY/GEOG/POLI SCI/SLAVIC 253||Russia: An Interdisciplinary Survey||4|
|HISTORY/AFROAMER/ANTHRO/C&E SOC/GEOG/LACIS/POLI SCI/SOC/SPANISH 260||Latin America: An Introduction||3-4|
|HISTORY/AFRICAN/AFROAMER/ANTHRO/GEOG/POLI SCI/SOC 277||Africa: An Introductory Survey||4|
|HISTORY 302||History of American Thought, 1859 to the Present||3-4|
|HISTORY 303||A History of Greek Civilization||3-4|
|HISTORY/MEDIEVAL/RELIG ST 309||The Crusades: Christianity and Islam||3-4|
|HISTORY 336||Chinese Economic and Business History: From Silk to iPhones||3-4|
|HISTORY/ASIAN 341||History of Modern China, 1800-1949||3-4|
|HISTORY 344||The Age of the American Revolution, 1763-1789||3-4|
|HISTORY 351||Seventeenth-Century Europe||3-4|
|HISTORY/GEN&WS 353||Women and Gender in the U.S. to 1870||3-4|
|HISTORY 359||History of Europe Since 1945||3-4|
|HISTORY 361||The Emergence of Mod Britain: England 1485-1660||3-4|
|HISTORY/ED POL 412||History of American Education||3|
|HISTORY 418||History of Russia||3-4|
|HISTORY 425||History of Poland and the Baltic Area||3-4|
|HISTORY 434||American Foreign Relations, 1901 to the Present||3-4|
|HISTORY/CHICLA 435||Colony, Nation, and Minority: The Puerto Ricans' World||3|
|HISTORY/ASIAN/RELIG ST 438||Buddhism and Society in Southeast Asian History||3-4|
|HISTORY/ECON 466||The American Economy Since 1865||3-4|
|HISTORY 500||Reading Seminar in History||3|
|HISTORY/HIST SCI/MED HIST 508||Health, Disease and Healing II||3-4|
|HISTORY/JOURN 560||History of U.S. Media||4|
|HISTORY 600||Advanced Seminar in History||3|
|HISTORY 680||Honors Thesis Colloquium||2|
|HISTORY 681||Senior Honors Thesis||1-3|
|HISTORY 682||Senior Honors Thesis||1-3|
|HISTORY 690||Thesis Colloquium||2|
|HISTORY 691||Senior Thesis||1-3|
|HISTORY 692||Senior Thesis||1-3|
|ILS 201||Western Culture: Science, Technology, Philosophy I||3|
|ILS 202||Western Culture: Science, Technology, Philosophy II||3|
|ILS 204||Western Culture: Literature and the Arts II||3-4|
|ILS 205||Western Culture: Political, Economic, and Social Thought I||3|
|ILS 206||Western Culture: Political, Economic, and Social Thought II||3|
|ILS 251||Contemporary Physical Sciences||3|
|LINGUIS 101||Human Language||3|
|LITTRANS 202||Survey of 19th and 20th Century Russian Literature in Translation II||3|
|LITTRANS/ENGL 223||Vladimir Nabokov: Russian and American Writings||3|
|LITTRANS 234||Soviet Life and Culture Through Literature and Art (from 1917)||3-4|
|LITTRANS 236||Bascom Course-In Translation||3|
|LITTRANS 240||Soviet Literature in Translation||3-4|
|LITTRANS/MEDIEVAL/RELIG ST 253||Of Demons and Angels. Dante's Divine Comedy||3|
|LITTRANS 262||Survey of Chinese Literature in Translation||3|
|LITTRANS 264||Survey of Japanese Literature in Translation||3|
|LITTRANS 274||In Translation: Masterpieces of Scandinavian Literature-the 20th Century||3-4|
|LITTRANS 275||In Translation: The Tales of Hans Christian Andersen||3-4|
|LITTRANS/GERMAN 276||Special Topics in German and World Literature/s||3|
|LITTRANS/GERMAN/JEWISH 279||Yiddish Literature and Culture in America||3|
|LITTRANS/THEATRE 335||In Translation: The Drama of Henrik Ibsen||3-4|
|LITTRANS 410||In Translation: Special Topics in Italian Literature||3|
|LITTRANS 473||Polish Literature (in Translation) since 1863||3|
|JEWISH/GERMAN/LITTRANS 279||Yiddish Literature and Culture in America||3|
|JEWISH/HEBR-MOD 301||Introduction to Hebrew Literature||3|
|JOURN 201||Introduction to Mass Communication||4|
|JOURN/HISTORY 560||History of U.S. Media||4|
|JOURN 561||Mass Communication and Society||4|
|MEDIEVAL/HISTORY/RELIG ST 309||The Crusades: Christianity and Islam||3-4|
|MEDIEVAL/HIST SCI 322||Ancient and Medieval Science||3|
|MEDIEVAL/SCAND ST 408||Intermediate Old Norse||3|
|MEDIEVAL/GERMAN 651||Introduction to Middle High German||3|
|MUSIC 101||The Musical Experience||3|
|MUSIC/FOLKLORE 103||Introduction to Music Cultures of the World||3|
|MUSIC 105||Storytelling on Stage: Introduction to Musical Theater and Opera||3|
|MUSIC 106||The Symphony||3|
|MUSIC 113||Music in Performance||1|
|MUSIC 211||Survey of the History of Western Music||3|
|PHILOS 101||Introduction to Philosophy||3-4|
|PHILOS 201||Introduction to Philosophy for Juniors and Seniors||3-4|
|PHILOS 341||Contemporary Moral Issues||3-4|
|PHILOS 430||History of Ancient Philosophy||3-4|
|PHILOS 432||History of Modern Philosophy||3-4|
|PHYSICS 109||Physics in the Arts||3|
|RELIG ST 361||Early Christian Literature: Pauline Christianity||3|
|RELIG ST/AFRICAN/ASIAN 370||Islam: Religion and Culture||4|
|RELIG ST/ASIAN 444||Introduction to Sufism (Islamic Mysticism)||3|
|SOC 125||American Society: How It Really Works||3-4|
|THEATRE 327||History of Costume for the Stage||3|
The requirements listed here are effective for students admitted to the Art or BFA program effective summer, 2016. 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 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 BFA program requires the completion of (or concurrent enrollment in) ART 102, ART 104, ART 107, ART 108, ART 208, ART 212, and one course in each of the 2D, 3D, 4D and graphics areas. 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. Successful participation in 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 How to Get In for details about the application process.
Major residency requirement. 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. Note: Some courses are offered for 3 or 4 credits; it is preferred that the course be taken for 4 credits.
Required Studio Foundations Courses
Complete the following:
|ART 102||Two-Dimensional Design||3|
|ART 104||Three-Dimensional Design||3|
|ART 107||Introduction to Digital Forms||3|
|ART 212||Drawing Methods & Concepts||3|
Required Studio Breadth Courses
Select one course in each of the 2D, 3D, 4D, and Graphics areas. Students will also take ART 508 at least once and complete a 500-level or 600-level art studio course in at least two disciplines. BFA candidates are required to participate in an exhibit and concurrently enroll in a capstone course.
Select one of the following:
|ART 222||Introduction to Painting||3-4|
|ART 232||Life Drawing I||4|
|ART 242||Watercolor I||3-4|
|ART 312||Intermediate Drawing I||3-4|
Select one of the following:
|ART 214||Sculpture I||4|
|ART 224||Ceramics I||4|
|ART 244||Art Metal I||3-4|
|ART 334||Wood Working||3-4|
|ART 343||Metal Fabrication and Welding in Sculpture||3-4|
Select one of the following:
|ART 309||Digital Art and Code||4|
|ART 318||Introduction to Video, Performance & Installation Art||4|
|ART 338||Service Learning in Art||2|
|ART 409||Digital Fabrication Studio||4|
|ART 428||Digital Imaging Studio||4|
|ART 429||3D Digital Studio I||4|
|ART 470||Special Topics in 4D Art||3-4|
|ART 521||Installations and Environments||4|
|ART 531||Screen Performance||3-4|
Select one of the following:
|ART 306||Relief Printmaking||3-4|
|ART 346||Basic Graphic Design||4|
|ART 348||Introduction to Digital Printmaking||4|
|ART 446||Artists' Books||4|
Complete the following:
|ART 508||Colloquium in Art (Students are encouraged to enroll in this visiting artist lecture series multiple times)||1|
Advanced Studio Requirement
BFA students must participate at least once in the department-sponsored exhibit, held in the spring semester. Requires concurrent enrollment in the professional practices/capstone course.
Professional Practices/Capstone Course
BFA students must enroll in this course during the required semester of participation in the department-sponsored exhibit. Currently, offered as ART 448 section 10; a unique course number will be forthcoming.
Elective Studio Courses
Select elective studio courses to reach the minimum of 72 credits.
Areas of Concentration
Although a specific emphasis is not required, students may wish to develop an area of interest within the requirements of the BFA program. Concentrations in multi-media, 2D studio, 3D studio, and printmaking are some of the available tracks listed on the art department's website. Students wishing to concentrate in graphic design should declare the Graphic Design Named Option when eligible.
GPA and Other Graduation Requirements
These requirements are based on UW–Madison coursework.
- 2.5 minimum cumulative grade point average. This may be modified by the Last 60 Credits Rule.
- Cumulative major grade point average: 3.0 cumulative grade point average in all major studio coursework.
- Upper-level major coursework: 3.0 cumulative grade point average in all upper-level major coursework (Art courses numbered 214 and above, excluding ART 236 Bascom Course and ART 338 Service Learning in Art).
- Major Residency: Students must complete at least 36 major credits while enrolled in residence on the UW–Madison campus.
- Senior Residency. Degree candidates must complete their last 30 credits in residence on the UW–Madison campus, excluding retroactive credits and credits granted by examination.
- Total Credits: A minimum of 126 credits are required for graduation in the Art–BFA degree program.
Degree Audit (DARS)
UW–Madison uses “DARS” to document a student's progress toward the completion of their degree, including any additional majors and certificates. A DARS (Degree Audit Reporting System) report shows all the requirements for completing a degree and, against courses that are planned or completed, shows the requirements that have been met, and those that are unmet. A report can offer suggestions about courses that may be taken to meet specific requirements and can assist in the academic planning and enrollment process. Students can access a DARS report in the Course Search & Enroll app or Student Center via My UW.
DARS also has a "what-if" function. This feature makes it possible to request a DARS report as if pursuing another program, major or certificate. It is an excellent tool if considering a new or additional area of study. School of Education students in a pre-professional classification such as Pre-Elementary (PRE), or Pre-Kinesiology should request a "what if" DARS report of their professional program of interest.
More information on how to request a DARS report is available on the registrar’s website.
DARS is not intended to replace student contact with academic advisers. It creates more time in an advising appointment to discuss course options, research opportunities, graduate school, or issues of personal interest or concern to students.
DARS is used as the document of record for degree program, major and certificate completion in the School of Education.
University Degree Requirements
|Total Degree||To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.|
|Residency||Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.|
|Quality of Work||Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.|
- Learn the fundamentals of art and design through investigation of form, technology and concept within a cohort of like-minded and diverse artists and designers.
- Develop skills in research, creative problem solving, and professional practices.
- Expand knowledge of historical, thematic, critical, and theoretical issues as a means of strengthening verbal and visual vocabulary.
- Demonstrate a broad understanding of distinct concepts and practices in two-dimensional media, three-dimensional media, four-dimensional media, printmaking, photography, or graphic design media.
- Demonstrate competency at an advanced level in at least two disciplines of student's choice. (Graphic design named options: one of the two disciplines must be in graphic design.)
Bachelor of Fine Arts: Art - Sample Four-Year Plan
This four-year sample graduation plan is designed to guide your course selection throughout your academic career; it does not establish a contractual agreement. Use it along with your DARS report, the Guide, and the Course Search and Enroll app to create a four-year plan reflecting your placement scores, incoming credits, and individual interests. Consult with your academic advisor(s) to develop a personalized plan of study and refer to the Guide for a complete list of requirements. You will likely revise your plan several times during your academic career here, based on your activities and changing academic interests.
A minimum of 126 credits are required. Six credits of liberal studies course work must be aesthetics-related and will count toward both liberal studies and aesthetics requirements.
|Communication A (fall or spring)||3||Communication A (fall or spring)||3|
|ART 108||3||ART 208||3|
|ART 102||3||ART 104||3|
|ART 212||3||ART 107||3|
|ART 508||1||Additional Studio Elective (ART 508 recommended)||1|
|Liberal Studies course work||2-5||Liberal Studies course work||2-5|
|Aesthetics Elective||4||Aesthetics Elective||4|
|Two Art Studio Breadth courses from 2D, 3D, 4D or GR categories||8||Two Art Studio Breadth courses from 2D, 3D, 4D or GR categories||8|
|Additional Studio Elective (ART 508 recommended)||1||Communication B||3|
|Quantitative Reasoning A||3||Liberal Studies course work||3|
|BFA Application||Art Studio Elective course work||8|
|Art Studio Elective course work||12||Quantitative Reasoning B||3|
|Liberal Studies course work||4||Ethnic Studies||3|
|Liberal Studies course work||3|
|Area 1 Advanced Studio Elective||4||Participate in BFA Group Exhibition|
|Studio Elective course work||8||Capstone Professional Practice Course||2|
|Additional Studio Elective (ART 508 recommended)||1||Area 2 Advanced Studio Elective||4|
|Liberal Studies course work||3||Additional Studio Electives||2|
|Liberal Studies course work||5|
|Total Credits 126|
Art Department Advising
Prospective freshmen and art studio/graphic design certificate students will meet with undergraduate art program advisor Matthew Mauk, email@example.com. Students declared in the B.S.–Art or BFA–Art major, as well as potential transfers into art, will meet with an undergraduate art program advisor; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Advisors are located at 6241 Humanities Building, 455 North Park Street.
Current students can schedule an appointment with Matthew online through the Starfish app in MyUW. Appointments can also be made via email or, by calling 608-262-1660. Students are also strongly encouraged to confer with an advisor in the School of Education Student Services office on a regular basis, see below.
School of Education Advising
Dedicated to supporting and promoting student success, the School of Education Student Services staff is here to assist students with the adjustment to college, understanding their degree and career goals, and connecting to resources. ESS supports prospective and current School of Education students in all programs through:
- academic and career advising
- mentoring and advocacy for underrepresented and international students
- requirements monitoring
- interpreting academic policy
- and more!
Students in the School of Education are encouraged to make Student Services a vital part of their academic and employment journey.
To schedule an appointment: Current students can schedule an appointment online through the Starfish app in MyUW. Appointments can also be made through email at email@example.com, by calling 608-262-1651, or in person.
Career Advising in the School of Education
The School of Education Career Center provides students with the knowledge needed for connecting their classroom experiences with real-world application. Through individual appointments, events, and online resources, the Career Center provides students and alumni with the tools needed to be successful in their career development. From building resumes, conducting job and internship searches, developing interview skills, and negotiation strategies, the Career Center provides a foundation for developing the essential skills for the ever-changing world of work.
Students can set up their profile on Handshake, the campus online career management system, to find open internships, jobs, and career events. In addition to Handshake, there are many other job search sites to consult, such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and some that are industry-specific. BFA students have searched for titles such as Art Conservator, Art Therapist, Antiques Dealer, Cinematographer, Graphic Designer, Interior Designer, Museum Curator, Photographer, Photojournalist, and Video Editor.
Current School of Education students can make an appointment with a Career and Internship Advisor by logging into Starfish from the MyUW dashboard and selecting a day and time that works best with their schedule.
School of Education Alumni can schedule an appointment by completing the appointment request form.
Information about faculty, staff, and other contributors to the Department of Art can be found on the department's website.
Information about scholarships, academic and career advising, study abroad opportunities, student diversity services, and other resources for students in the School of Education can be found on the school's Resources page.
Accreditation status: Accredited. Next accreditation review: 2025-2026.