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Visual Arts Major

The Visual Arts Major offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree with specializations in Fine Art, Graphic Design, and Photography/Video. All three areas approach the profession as an interdisciplinary, cross-media field rooted in the fine arts. Students will develop their unique personal visions and cultivate a sense of social responsibility as designers, artists, and image creators contributing to our culture as they become creators and interpreters of the environment in which we live.

Our programs offer flexibility and permeability between or among disciplines and mediums and prepare students for multiple career opportunities and studio practices. The BFA in Visual Arts is grounded in a strong foundation of core courses. It allows students to narrow and intensify their focus as they acquire more diverse skills and mature as professional artists. After completing the Fine Art, Graphic Design, and Photography Video specializations, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and skills in the following areas: creative problem solving, use of technology and relevant traditional skills, understanding of history and contemporary issues, visual and critical research, writing and communication skills. Additionally, they will have begun a prolific creative practice. The Visual Arts BFA program takes advantage of the College’s proximity to major museums, galleries, and collections in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington to broaden students’ exposure to current trends and traditional concepts and techniques.

Advanced studio courses may be repeated for credit to gain the desired depth in the studio areas. Independent study is available to upper-level art majors with three courses in a studio or lecture area in which they have earned a minimum 3.33 GPA. A minimum of 12 course units must be taken in the Art Department at The College of New Jersey. Personal advisement and portfolio preparation counseling are available to those students who wish to prepare for graduate school.

Major Core (6 courses)

  • AAV 102/Visual Thinking
  • AAV 111/Drawing
  • AAV 112/2-D
  • AAV 113/3-D
  • AAV 130/Photography
  • AAV 140/4-D

Art History Core (4 courses)

  • AAH 252/ 20th Century European and American Art
  • AAH XXX/ 200 or 300-level Art History course in European Tradition
  • AAH XXX/ Non-Western Art History
  • AAH XXX/ varies by specialization
    • Graphic Design: AAV 350/ History of Graphic Design
    • Photo/Video: AAH 254: History of Photography
    • Fine Art: course selection by advisement

Major Requirements vary by specialization. See the individual specializations in the Academic Programs menu above.

Visual Arts (All Specializations) Recommended First-Year Program of Study

First Semester

  • FSP First Seminar – 1 course unit
  • AAV 111/Drawing – 1 course unit
  • AAV 112/2-D or AAV 113/3D – 1 course unit
  • AAV 130/Photo I – 1 course unit

Second Semester

  • AAV 102/Visual Thinking – 1 course unit
  • AAV 112/2-D or AAV 113/3D – 1 course unit
  • AAV 140/4-D – 1 course unit
  • WRI 102/Academic Writing (if not exempted)* – 1 course unit

*It is recommended that students exempt from this course take another liberal learning course.