B.A. in Art

The 46-unit bachelor of arts in art degree program provides innovative and rigorous concentrations in art history, studio art and art history/studio art. 

Student in figure drawing class.

The 46-unit bachelor of arts in art degree program provides innovative and rigorous concentrations in art history, studio art and art history/studio art. All art history and studio courses are integral to each of the concentrations, providing introductory experiences in selected areas, and are core prerequisites to all concentrations. They focus on perceptual skills, modes of consciousness, creative expression and critical thinking. Attention is given to traditions and heritage of the discipline, contemporary issues and forms, imaginative problem solving and written English proficiency within the discipline. Courses are designed to provide a broad experiential and conceptual orientation to the visual arts and art history.

Admission to the Undergraduate Program

Students are not required to submit portfolios for admission to the undergraduate programs. Lower-division courses are open to all interested students on a space available basis. Upper division courses generally have prerequisites for admission. Students should check the University bulletin for specific information about each course or speak with faculty advisers.  

Applications for admission to the art major are accepted by the University's Office of Enrollment Services only during the application filing periods of October 1 - November 30 (for admission the following fall) and August 1-31 (for admission the following spring). Applications received outside of these two filing periods will not be considered.

For undergraduate admission information please visit the SF State Admissions website.

Transfer Students

Lower-division art courses taken at community colleges may satisfy some of the requirements for the major program. Advanced courses taken at accredited colleges and universities may also be considered for transfer. Visit the transfer student page for more information.

Change of Major to Art

Please see the Change of Major page for detailed information.


A concentration allows for intensive study in one specialty in the visual arts, with a degree of breadth sufficient for understanding and awareness in other areas. Students are encouraged to decide on their area of concentration by their junior year, and to discuss their choice of concentration with an adviser. Concentrations may be structured to fit individual needs after conferring with an adviser and obtaining the adviser's approval. Students selecting the studio art concentration may declare an emphasis in ceramics, digital media and emerging technology, painting & drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture or textiles. Under special circumstances and under advisement of studio faculty, a dual emphasis may be selected in Studio Art. Six (6) units from other departments in the University may be included in the major with the adviser's approval.

Degree requirements can be found in the current SF State bulletin.

Concentration in Art History

The Bachelor of Arts in Art with a concentration in art history gives students the opportunity to learn about the visual cultures of the past and present around the globe. The 36 unit degree offers a series of increasingly focused courses—200 level survey courses, more specialized 300 and 400 level lecture courses, 500 level Advanced Topics and the 600 level senior capstone seminar—in which students learn how to analyze and interpret visual art within diverse historical, social, political, and cultural contexts. The program takes advantage of the Bay Area's rich cultural resources, galleries, and museums. The art history major prepares students for man kinds of careers, including administrative or curatorial positions in museums, galleries, and auction houses, writing editorial positions, or for graduate school in art history, museum/curatorial studies, or conservation. 

Degree requirements for the bachelor of arts in art with a concentration in art history can be found in the SF State bulletin (Art History).

Concentration in Studio Art

The concentration in studio art provides students with the framework to develop their own body of work through a variety of studio experiences supported by knowledge of past and contemporary art making practices.

Degree requirements for the bachelor of arts in art with a concentration in studio art can be found in the SF State bulletin (Studio Art).

Concentration in Art History and Studio Art

A concentration in art history and studio art is available for students with crossover interests in studio and art history. The concentration consists of a planned combination of courses in both areas, approved in advance by advisers in art history and studio. 

Degree requirements for the bachelor of arts in art with a concentration in art history and studio art can be found in the SF State bulletin (Art History and Studio Art).

Concentration in Art Education

Starting in Fall 2018, the School of Art will no longer offer a concentration in Art Education. However, the pathway to teaching in Art will remain available through the Art Major with a concentration in Studio Art. Current students who previously declared an Art Education concentration may continue in the program and receive a BA in Art with a Concentration in Art Education. New students who wish to pursue elementary and secondary education as a career are advised to major in Art with a concentration in Studio Art.  The Studio Art concentration is aligned with the Subject Matter Waiver Program in Art, which provides a waiver for the CSET exam in Art and prepares students to enter the Single Subject Credential Program in Art. Students are also encouraged to minor in Education and/or take courses in Education as part of complementary studies, in particular E ED 450: Art and Learning. Students who are considering teaching art, should see an Education adviser before planning the major. Specific courses and competency assessment are required for admission to the credential program in this area. See the requirements for the CSET Waiver in Art.

Complementary Studies

All candidates for the bachelor of arts in art (who entered 2014-15 or later) must complete 12 units of complementary studies from courses bearing a prefix other than ART, and not cross-listed with ART.

Students may satisfy this requirement in a variety of ways designed to facilitate timely graduation. Under advisement students may complete 12 units of coursework in a single foreign language, an approved study abroad program, partial completion of a second major, minor, or certificate program in a related area of study. Related areas include Museum Studies, Design and Industry, Cinema, Music and Dance, Theatre, and Business. Requirements vary for each of the four art concentrations (studio; art history, art education, and studio/art history) and students are strongly encouraged to work closely with their major adviser toward completion of this requirement.

Students who have earned AA-T or AS-T degrees and are pursuing a similar B.A. degree at SF State are required to fulfill the complementary studies requirement as defined by the major department. Students should consult with a major advisor about how transfer units and/or SF State units can best be applied to this requirement in order to ensure degree completion within 60 units.

Note: Students who complete two majors, or a major and a minor, automatically complete the complementary studies requirement.


Students should meet with a faculty adviser at least once a semester to remain on track for a timely graduation. Faculty advising is available during fall and spring semesters with limited advising during the summer and winter. Students can meet with an adviser prior to entering the University. Visit our advising page for detailed information.