Bachelor of Arts in Art

The 46-unit Bachelor of Arts in Art degree program provides innovative and rigorous concentrations in art education, art history, and 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. 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. Transfer information is available from the SF State Admissions Office. Department faculty can provide advisement about accepting transfer units to the major if students bring transcripts and course information with them to advising meetings.

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

To find out what art courses transfer to SF State please visit . This website will let you know what classes at your transfer institution are equivalent to classes offered in the Art major at SF State. If your institution is not listed you need to speak with a faculty adviser in your area of emphasis to find out what courses are equivalent and will transfer.For students transferring from other institutions, a minimum of twelve units in residence is required.

Change of major applicants

Any student interested in changing their major to art or adding the art minor must:

  1. Attend a degree information session to learn more about the major/minor.
  2. Attend a change of major/add minor session.
  3. Juniors and Seniors must complete course requirements outlined below.
Spring 2017 Degree Information Sessions

Thursday, February 9th, 12:30 – 1:30, FA 296
Thursday, April 27th, 12:30 – 1:30, FA 296
Thursday, May 25th, 1:00 - 2:00, FA 296

Spring 2017 Change of Major/Add Minor Paperwork Sessions (only students who have attended an information session can complete paperwork at the following meetings)

Thursday, February 16th, 12:30 – 1:00, FA 296
Thursday, May 18th, 12:30 – 1:00, FA 296

You must RSVP to attend sessions. Please email your name, rank (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) and whether you are interested in the major or minor. Students must attend an information session before they can RSVP and attend the paperwork session.

Juniors and Seniors (Change of Major)

In addition to attending the information session AND change of major paperwork session, Juniors and Seniors must complete 12 units of 200 level prerequisite core courses at SFSU or the equivalent at another institution with a grade of C or better in order to change their major to art:
6 units Visual Art Practice

  • ART 210, 222, 231, 232, 236, 240, 245 or 260

6 units Art History

  • ART 201, 202, or 205

If you have already earned 96 units and have not taken the 12 units required to take the major, you will not be able to change your major to art.

University Requirements:

Found on the registrars website.

Before advancing to the 300-level or higher courses or declaring a concentration in the art program, all declared ART majors must:

  1. Successfully complete 12 units of prerequisite 200 level core courses.
    The following courses/units are required in each concentration and are indicated on the road maps for each concentration fro the BA degree in Art:
  2. Studio
    Selected from: Art 210, 222, 231, 235, 240, 245, or 260 (6 units)

    Art History
    Selected from: ART 201, 202,or 205 (6 units)

  3. Complete their lower division requirements (including segment II) of the General Education requirements at SFSU or the equivalent at another institution.

Mandatory Advising

Students are strongly encouraged to consult with a major advisor on a regular basis as they advance through the program. Please visit the Academic Advising page for information about meeting with an adviser.

Students are also advised to consult with the Student Achievement and Resource Center in the College of Liberal and Creative Arts about General Education and other University requirements,

Complementary Studies

All candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree 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 advisor 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.


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.

Art Education Concentration

A program devoted to the place of the visual arts in elementary and secondary education and in general human development. A minimum of 46 units in art is required for the major and to prepare for the Single Subject Credential in Art. Students who are considering teaching art, should see an art education adviser before planning the major. Specific courses and competency assessment are required for admission to the credential program in this area.

Degree requirements for the bachelor of arts in art with a concentration in art education can be found in the SF State bulletin.

Art History Concentration

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. Students are encouraged to gain hands-on experience and practical knowledge of the field through an internship. 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.

Studio Art Concentration

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. Chose one, two or three studio areas to develop skills that will lead to developing a guided, personal directed body of work in a capstone course in the senior year.

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

Art History and Studio Art Concentration

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.