Degree Standards

Measures by Degree Programs reflect accordance to national standards by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), our national accreditation organization.

Competencies to be assessed for the BA Degree as determined by NASAD, Tracks I & III-Studio Art/Graphic Design

The curriculum should aim primarily toward breadth of experience and understanding rather than professional specialization. Competencies students are expected to have:

(a) A developed visual sensitivity;

(b) The technical skills, perceptual development, and understanding of principles of visual organization sufficient to achieve basic visual communication and expression in one or more media;

(c) Ability to make workable connections between concept and media; and

(d) Some familiarity with the works and intentions of major artists/designers and movements of the past and the present, both in the Western and non-Western worlds.

(e) Students should understand the nature of contemporary thinking on art and design, and have gained at least a rudimentary discernment of quality in design projects and works of art.

Competencies to be assessed for the BFA-Studio as determined by NASAD

Creative work includes, but is not limited to, conceptualization, process, product, and critique. Irrespective of major or specialization, students must:

1. Studio

(a) Gain functional competence with principles of visual organization, including the ability to work with visual elements in two and three dimensions; color theory and its applications; and drawing.

(b) Present work that demonstrates perceptual acuity, conceptual understanding, and technical facility at a professional entry level in their chosen field(s).

(c) Become familiar with the historical achievements, current major issues, processes, and directions of their field(s).

(d) Be afforded opportunities to exhibit their work and to experience and participate in critiques and discussions of their work and the work of others.

2. Art and Design History, Theory, and Criticism. Through comprehensive courses in the history of art/design, students must:

(a) Learn to analyze works of art/design perceptively and to evaluate them critically.

(b) Develop an understanding of the common elements and vocabulary of art/design and of the interaction of these elements, and be able to employ this knowledge in analysis.

(c) Acquire the ability to place works of art/design in historical, cultural, and stylistic contexts.

3. Technology.

(a) Students must acquire a working knowledge of technologies and equipment applicable to their area(s) of specialization.

4. Synthesis

(a) While synthesis is a lifetime process, by the end of undergraduate studies students should be able to work independently on a variety of art and/or design problems by combining, as appropriate to the issue, their capabilities in studio, analysis, history, and technology.

Competencies to be assessed for the BFA-Graphic Design as determined by NASAD

Creative work includes, but is not limited to, conceptualization, process, product, and critique. Irrespective of major or specialization, students must:

1. Studio

(a) The ability to solve communication problems, including the skills of problem identification, research and information gathering, analysis, generation of alternative solutions, prototyping and user testing, and evaluation of outcomes.

(b) The ability to describe and respond to the audiences and contexts which communication solutions must address, including recognition of the physical, cognitive, cultural, and social human factors that shape design decisions.

(c) The ability to create and develop visual form in response to communication problems, including an understanding of principles of visual organization/composition, information hierarchy, symbolic representation, typography, aesthetics, and the construction of meaningful images.

(e) An understanding of design history, theory, and criticism from a variety of perspectives, including those of art history, linguistics, communication and information theory, technology, and the social and cultural use of design objects.

(f) An understanding of basic business practices, including the ability to organize design projects and to work productively as a member of teams.

2. Art and Design History, Theory, and Criticism. Through comprehensive courses in the history of art/design, students must:

(a) Learn to analyze works of art/design perceptively and to evaluate them critically.

(b) Develop an understanding of the common elements and vocabulary of art/design and of the interaction of these elements, and be able to employ this knowledge in analysis.

(c) Acquire the ability to place works of art/design in historical, cultural, and stylistic contexts.

3. Technology

(a) An understanding of tools and technology, including their roles in the creation, reproduction, and distribution of visual messages. Relevant tools and technologies include, but are not limited to, drawing, offset printing, photography, and time-based and interactive media (film, video, computer multimedia).

3. Technology

(a) Students must acquire a working knowledge of technologies and equipment applicable to their area(s) of specialization.

4. Synthesis

(a) While synthesis is a lifetime process, by the end of undergraduate studies students should be able to work independently on a variety of graphic design problems by combining, as appropriate to the project, their capabilities in design, analysis, history, and technology.

Competencies to be assessed for the BA Degree-Art History as determined by NASAD

Upon completion of the major, graduates must have attained the following:

(a) A general knowledge of the monuments and principal artists of all major art periods of the past, including a broad understanding of the art of the twentieth century and acquaintance with the art history of non-Western cultures. This knowledge should be augmented by study in greater depth and precision of several cultures and periods in the history of art and concentration in at least one area to the advanced seminar level. Study at the advanced level should include theory, analysis, and criticism;

(b) A general knowledge of world history;

(c) Knowledge of the tools and techniques of scholarship. Active research and the writing of analytical and critical essays should continue throughout the program; and

(d) Functional knowledge of the creative process. Normally, this is accomplished through one or more foundation or other studio courses; however, there are many methods of ensuring this competence.