May 19, 2024  
2023-2024 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2029 
2023-2024 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2029 [Archived Catalog]

Art (BA)

Affiliation: School of Arts & Letters


The objectives of the degree programs in the visual arts are defined by and were developed to:

  1. Offer programs of concentrated study that are sensitive to the needs of students and relate to the overarching goals of the University.
  2. Ensure well-organized, coherent programs that provide opportunities for synthesis and integration across courses within those programs.
  3. Help students assimilate the knowledge delivered within the programs and develop the capacity to focus on methods of inquiry and analysis that enables them to use that knowledge.
  4. Encourage students to develop a critical perspective that enables them to learn about and from the variety of views existing within their chosen field of study.
  5. Guide students in the cultivation of liberal learning by helping them perceive and appreciate the connections among courses in their major and those in other disciplines.
  6. Assure practical support and encouragement for students’ intellectual and creative growth and development by providing opportunities for interaction and dialogue in an environment conducive to learning.
  7. Present students with a culturally diverse approach to art and to acknowledge biases that may be inherent within the discipline.
  8. Prepare students for graduate study or employment opportunities within the field. 


In addition, all Art majors will significantly develop their skills as speakers and writers within their major courses. All majors are required to take Art History courses which develop a wide range of skills involved in research and writing and writing about research, and at least one of these courses is required to be a Writing-Enhanced (WE) course. Writing also occurs in many different forms throughout the curriculum including informal, creative, and professional modes – and via other Writing-Enhanced (WE) opportunities. All Art majors also engage in a wide range of oral communication activities including regular class critiques in studio contexts and formal class presentations in both studio and lecture courses.


Departmental Honors are only offered for the Art History track in this degree. Students in the Studio track seeking a degree with honors are encouraged to become an Honors Scholar in the Arts and Sciences.

Departmental Honors in the Art History track requires:

  • GPA: 3.50 or above cumulative.
  • GPA: 3.50 or above in the major.
  • Receive an “A” in both semesters of Senior Thesis (ART 436 - Art History Capstone: Thesis I  and ART 437 - Art History Capstone: Thesis II ); Senior thesis participation is by invitation of the Art History faculty.
  • Provide documentation to Honors Committee Chair of presentation at an off-campus conference, either regional or national (NCUR, Midwest Art History Society, or other venue).

Becoming an Honors Scholar in the Arts & Sciences

The requirements for becoming an Honors Scholar in the Arts and Sciences are: complete five approved courses in the areas of mathematics, science, humanities, and social science with at least one course from each area; and earn at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA overall and in these five courses. Only grades of “A” and “B” may count toward the 3.5 minimum grade point average requirement in the five approved Honors Scholar courses.


Special Requirements for the B.A. in Art Degree

Students who declare the B.A. in Art degree will also need to declare a track or concentration in the major: Art History, Ceramics, Fibers, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, or Inter-Specialty.

BFA and BA candidates in art must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in their major courses. Individual instruction courses are applied for through a written contract between the instructor, the advisor, and the student. Forms are available in the Office of the School of Arts & Letters or the Department Chair’s office. Consent of the instructor and the advisor are required. Independent study courses may not be substituted for existing courses. Transfer students who have satisfactorily completed studio art courses at another institution may, with a portfolio approved by the art faculty, be exempted from the studio prerequisites for some of the advanced studio courses.

The following required courses may not be transferred into the Art program or substituted:

Dialogues Requirements: 42-61 Credits

Missouri Statute: 0-4 credits

Bachelor of Arts Requirement: 0-8 Credits

  • Intermediate proficiency in ONE foreign language



Both Art History and Studio tracks are structured with the same Art Foundations requirements as well as a two-hour Capstone requirement, with distinctive core, track, and elective requirements.

Art Foundations: 7 Credits

Students may select from the Art History Track, the Studio Track Single Specialty, or the Studio Track Inter-Specialty.

Art History Track: 36 Credits

Art History Core: 6 Credits

Upper Level Art History: 18 Credits

  • Two 3-credit hour 300 or 400 level Art History courses on Art before 1800
  • Two 3-credit hour 300 or 400 level Art History courses on Art after 1800
  • One additional 3-credit hour 300 or 400 level Art History course
  • ART 429 - Historical Methods  

Major Electives: minimum 12 Credits

A minimum of 12 credit hours chosen from the following (aside from ART prefix courses, no more than two courses from any single discipline may fulfill this requirement):

Additional Requirements and Considerations

  • Students must complete a professional experience of at least 140 hours - this may be done for credit.
  • ART 436  and ART 437 , the research capstone, is offered only by invitation of the Art History faculty, and only as possible given staffing constraints, to students whose demonstrated capacity for research and writing make such an offering desirable. In such cases these courses will substitute for the one additional 3 credit hour 300 or 400 level Art History course listed under the Upper Level Art History section above and ART 495 - Art History Senior Capstone: Praxis , increasing the credit hours in the major by 1.

Studio Track: 36 Credits

Studio Core: 6 Credits

Art History: 9 Credits

  • Credit(s): 3
  • six (6) more credits of Art History; three (3) or more must be taken at the 300-level or above. One must be writing-enhanced.

Specialization Options:

Students may choose either one of the single Studio Specialties or the Inter-Specialty option within the Studio Track.

Single Studio Specialty and Art Electives: 21 Credits

Studio Specialty in one of the following areas: 12 Credits





Single Specialty Support and Art Electives: 9 Credits

Inter-Specialty Option: 21 Credits

Inter-Specialty combines coursework from two or more studio specialties (Ceramics, Fibers, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Photography).

Breadth: 9 Credits

Choose three (3) classes from this list:

Specialty: 9 Credits

  • Level II Course Credit(s): 3
  • Level III Course Credit(s): 3
  • Level IV Course Credit(s): 3

Support and Art Electives: 3 Credits

(Replaces the Support and Art Electives requirements for the BA Single Specialty option.)

  • One (1) Upper-Level Free Studio Elective Credit(s): 3

Capstone Requirements: 2 credits

Electives to Total: 120 Credits

NOTE: If successful completion of the Dialogues and major requirements total less than 120 credits, electives are taken to bring the total to 120 credits.