Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate Handbook

The BA Degree

What is a BA?

The BA is for students who have a dual focus: studio work with a strong academic component either in the liberal arts or in another discipline taught at the University. If you’re primarily interested in studio work, the BFA may be a better fit.

 
When can I decide to become a BA student?

Students may declare a BA in art and design after their first year or at the beginning of their second.  It’s best to do this by February 1 of your sophomore year, before you do the Sophomore Review.

 
BA Curriculum

BA credits - 128 (59 in Stamps, 69 outside of Stamps).

Here’s another way to look at the BA.
Stamps Courses 59 credits
Required Studio Courses 21
Elective Studio Courses* 21
Required Academic Courses 14
Elective Courses 3
Non-Stamps Courses 69 credits
Milestone Requirements no credit
Sophomore Review  
International Experience  
BA in Art & Design - Total 128 credits

 

​* One studio must be an Engagement Studio.

Internships do not count as studio credit for the BA.
BA students do not complete the Integrative Project Studio, but may choose the BA Capstone.

 
Sample Plan of Study: BA

Note: required courses are in red/underlined.

First Year
Fall Semester credits
Studio: Drawing 1 (ARTDES 100) 3
Studio: 2D (ARTDES 115) 3
Studio: 3D (ARTDES 120) 3
Art and Design in Context (ARTDES 150) 3
Academic Elective 3-4
Stamps Lecture Series (ARTDES 160) 1
Total 13-18
Winter Semester credits
Studio: Drawing 2 (ARTDES 105) 3
Studio: 4D (ARTDES 125) 3
Studio: Methods of Inquiry (ARTDES 130) 3
Art and Design History (ARTDES 151) 3
Academic Elective 3-4
Stamps Lecture Series (ARTDES 160) 1
Total 13-18

THE SUMMARY: The first year experience at Stamps is designed to help you explore new media, refine your foundational skills, and prepare you to chart your own customized path through the Stamps open curriculum starting in your sophomore year. You’ll be working closely with your advisor to address one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your college career: BFA or BA? We also recommend that you take the First Year Writing Requirement (FYWR) in your first year.

FIRST YEAR TIPS: Photo documentation of your work is critical. Trust us — it will pay off next year. 

 

Second Year
Fall Semester credits
Elective Studio (200 level) 3
Academic Elective 3
Academic Elective 3
Academic Elective 3
Academic Elective 3
Stamps Lecture Series (ARTDES 160) 1
Total 16
Winter Semester credits
Second Year Studio (ARTDES 220) 3
Elective Studio (200-300 level) 3
Academic Elective 3
Academic Elective 3
Academic Elective 3
Stamps Lecture Series (ARTDES 160) 1
Total 16
 

THE SUMMARY: This is the year to explore and define your academic studies. Think about subjects that matter to you and that fuel your creativity — your academic pursuits in year two will inform your creative work in the studio courses you’ll take in your third and fourth year. A milestone during this year is the Sophomore Review, a time for you to reflect on your work and get feedback and advice from faculty.

SECOND YEAR TIPS: The summer after your sophomore year is a good time to complete your International Experience requirement. Depending on your type of International Experience, application deadlines can range from December-March, so start planning in September

 

Third Year
Fall Semester credits
Elective Studio (200-400 level) 3
Elective Studio (200-400 level) 3
Academic Elective  3
Academic Elective 3
Academic Elective 3
Stamps Lecture Series (ARTDES 160) 1
Total 16
Winter Semester credits
Elective Studio (200-400 level) 3
Academic Elective 3
Academic Elective 3
Academic Elective 3
Academic Elective 3
Stamps Lecture Series (ARTDES 160) 1
Total 16

THE SUMMARY: This year, you’ll delve deeply into your academic pursuits. As you learn incredible new things about the world, you’ll begin to make connections between fields of study and your creative work. Before you know it, you’ll put the academic subjects that you’re most passionate about to service in the studio.

THIRD YEAR TIPS: If you haven’t already fulfilled your International Experience, the second semester of this year is also a very popular time — keep deadlines in mind when planning. Also, the summer after your junior year is a great time to do an internship. If you’d like to pursue a minor, this is the year to begin.

 

Fourth Year
Fall Semester credits
Elective Studio (300-400 level) 3
Academic Elective  3
Academic Elective 3
Academic Elective 3
BA Capstone or Elective Studio 1-3
Stamps Lecture Series (ARTDES 160) 1
Total 16
Winter Semester credits
Elective Studio (300-400 level) 3
Academic Elective 3
Academic Elective 3
Academic Elective 3
BA Capstone or Elective Studio 1-3
Stamps Lecture Series (ARTDES 160) 1
Total 16

THE SUMMARY: You’ve spent three years learning both in the studio and in the university classroom. You’re comfortable with a variety of medias, a number of creative techniques and approaches, and have strong academic interests that fuel your work. In your fourth year, your work will become truly transdisciplinary in nature. It will fuse your knowledge and creative perspectives in surprising and unique-to-you ways.

FOURTH YEAR TIPS: Senior year can be exhilarating, but it can also be stressful. Make sure you’re tending to your self care and your mental health during this hectic time of life (see the Academic Support section for information on in-house Stamps therapist, Karen Henry).

 
Checklist: BA

Here's a handy checklist to make sure you're on track to graduate.

PDF Icon  BA Checklist (PDF)