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BA in Art & Design

The BA in Art & Design is an ideal course of study for students whose educational goal is a major in art and design that incorporates more substantive study in the liberal arts than the BFA allows.

Like the BFA degree, the BA focuses on cre­ativ­ity, crit­i­cal think­ing, project devel­op­ment, com­mu­nity engage­ment and col­lab­o­ra­tion, and mas­tery of tech­nique and craftsmanship.

The BA degree is well-suited to stu­dents who antic­i­pate grad­u­ate or pro­fes­sional school not directly related to art and design; to stu­dents whose inter­ests in art and design and other edu­ca­tional pur­suits are equally strong; or to those stu­dents who wish to inte­grate other edu­ca­tional pur­suits with their visu­ally cre­ative work.


Stamps Courses59 cred­its
Required Stu­dio Courses21
Elec­tive Stu­dio Courses21
Required Aca­d­e­mic Courses14
Stamps Elec­tive Course3
Non-Stamps Courses69 cred­its
Elec­tive Aca­d­e­mic Courses69
Mile­stone Require­mentsno credit
Sopho­more Review
Inter­na­tional Experience

Total Cred­its: 128

Required Stu­dio Courses

Foun­da­tion Studios

Dur­ing the first and sec­ond years, BA stu­dents com­plete a series of required Foun­da­tion Stu­dio courses. These courses pro­vide a foun­da­tion of skills in a wide vari­ety of phys­i­cal mate­ri­als and processes. 

Course TitleCourse #Cred­its
Stu­dio: Draw­ing 1ART­DES 1003
Stu­dio: Draw­ing 2ART­DES 1053
Stu­dio: 2DART­DES 1153
Stu­dio: 3DART­DES 1203
Stu­dio: 4DART­DES 1253
Meth­ods of InquiryART­DES 1303
Sec­ond Year StudioART­DES 2203
SVB 7502

Elec­tive Stu­dio Courses

Stu­dents begin tak­ing Elec­tive Stu­dio courses dur­ing their sec­ond year. These courses allow stu­dents to explore and develop spe­cific areas of inter­est. The seven Elec­tive Stu­dios (21 cred­its) are 200 to 400 level courses taken from the sec­ond through the fourth years of study.

  • One course must be an Engage­ment Stu­dio (ART­DES 310 – 319)
  • Two courses must be at the 200- level
  • Two courses must be at the 300- level
  • One course must be at the 400- level
  • The one remain­ing elec­tive stu­dio can be any level

Three cred­its (1 course) of Elec­tive Stu­dios may come from other UM schools or depart­ments. Stu­dio courses taken abroad dur­ing the required Inter­na­tional Expe­ri­ence are con­sid­ered as ART­DES credits.

Elec­tive Stu­dio courses vary each semester

SVB 7421

Required Aca­d­e­mic Courses

Stamps aca­d­e­mic and expe­ri­en­tial require­ments are designed to engage stu­dents in both the his­tory of art and design and the cur­rent prac­tice of emerg­ing artists. The Penny Stamps Speaker Series brings respected emerg­ing and estab­lished artists/​designers to the School to con­duct a pub­lic lec­ture and engage with students. 

Stu­dents in the BA pro­gram must take three required Stamps Aca­d­e­mic courses. To view more infor­ma­tion about Stamps Aca­d­e­mic courses for upcom­ing semes­ters, visit our course guide.

Course TitleCourse #Cred­its
Art & Design in ContextART­DES 1503
Art & Design HistoryART­DES 1513
Stamps Lec­ture SeriesART­DES 1608

Stamps Elec­tive Course

Stu­dents choose one addi­tional three-credit Stamps course to ful­fill their BA degree require­ments. This elec­tive can be selected from any Stamps aca­d­e­mic or stu­dio course.

Elec­tive Aca­d­e­mic Courses

Stu­dents in the Stamps School par­tic­i­pate in the rich intel­lec­tual and aca­d­e­mic life of a top tier uni­ver­sity by tak­ing Uni­ver­sity Aca­d­e­mic courses. The Stamps School requires lib­eral arts course­work, but also allows for elec­tive choices. Stu­dents may under­take course­work to com­plete a minor in an aca­d­e­mic area or they may tai­lor their aca­d­e­mic selec­tions to com­ple­ment their stu­dio prac­tice or other career goals. 

U‑M’s Lib­eral Arts Require­ments are designed to develop basic famil­iar­ity with the three tra­di­tional com­po­nents of lib­eral arts — human­i­ties, social sci­ences and nat­ural sci­ences; to enhance ana­lyt­i­cal rea­son­ing; to encour­age empa­thy with other cul­tures; and to under­stand con­tem­po­rary envi­ron­men­tal issues. Stu­dents must earn at least three cred­its in each spe­cific area of the lib­eral arts, but may use one course to meet two or even three require­ments. Stu­dents may use required and elec­tive courses in their pur­suit of a minor. Stu­dents may use AP/IB credit to ful­fill any of the aca­d­e­mic require­ments with the excep­tion of First Year Writ­ing. Ques­tions about spe­cific require­ments should to be directed to the Smucker • Wagstaff Aca­d­e­mic Pro­grams Cen­ter staff.

First Year Writ­ing (FYWR)3
Social Sci­ence (SS)3
Nat­ural Sci­ence (NS)3
Ana­lyt­i­cal Rea­son­ing (MSA, QR/1, QR/2)3
Envi­ron­men­tal Stud­ies (ENV­I­RON)3
Race and Eth­nic­ity (RE)3
Upper-Level Writ­ing (ULWR)3
2 Art or Design History/​Theory/​Criticism electives6 – 8

Use the code next to the title (SS, NS, MSA, QR/1, QR/2, ENV­I­RON, RE, FYWR, ULWR) to locate courses that sat­isfy Lib­eral Arts Require­ments on Wolver­ine Access.

VAG 1935

Sopho­more Review

At the end of their sec­ond year stu­dents present their work to date before a com­mit­tee of three fac­ul­ty mem­bers. In prepa­ra­tion for the sopho­more review, stu­dents take Sec­ond Year Stu­dio, a course that encour­ages reflec­tion on their cre­ative devel­op­ment to date and allows time to cre­ate new work for their review. Many resources are avail­able to help stu­dents prepare.

A suc­cess­ful Sopho­more Review is required for con­tin­u­a­tion in the pro­gram. Stu­dents who per­form unsat­is­fac­to­rily on their Sopho­more Reviews may be asked to re-review at a des­ig­nated date; some may be asked to take time off or improve defi­cien­cies prior to advanc­ing; and a small minor­ity may be directed to leave the pro­gram. These reviews are a sig­nif­i­cant assess­ment com­po­nent of the program.

Inter­na­tional Experience

The Inter­na­tional Expe­ri­ence pre­pares Stamps grad­u­ates to enter the glob­al­ized econ­omy, makes them more com­pet­i­tive for grad­u­ate study, fel­low­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties, and employ­ment, and helps them to become informed global cit­i­zens. Inter­na­tional study pro­vides first-hand knowl­edge of other cul­tures, fos­ters cre­ative insights and new life expe­ri­ences, encour­ages inde­pen­dence and flex­i­bil­ity, and pre­pares stu­dents to nego­ti­ate dif­fer­ence, adapt to chang­ing sit­u­a­tions, and to solve prob­lems from a new perspective.

Stu­dents are required to par­tic­i­pate in a Stamps School approved Inter­na­tional Expe­ri­ence dur­ing their under­grad­u­ate study. The expe­ri­ence need not be credit bear­ing, but must occur after the stu­dent has matric­u­lated. Stu­dents whose per­ma­nent address is not in the United States are exempt from this require­ment. Requests for an excep­tion to this pol­i­cy should be direct­ed to the Direc­tor of Inter­na­tional Study Programs.

Learn more about the BA Inter­na­tional Expe­ri­ence Requirement.