UMass SealUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst - 2007/08 Guide to Undergraduate Programs
[ Home ][ Undergraduate Admissions, Expenses, & Financial Aid ][ Academic Information ][ Schools & Colleges ]
[ Departments & Programs ][ Other Academic Opportunities & Services ][ General Information ][ Site Index ]
Department & Program Listings
[ Departments & Programs A-D ]
[ Departments & Programs E-L ]
[ Departments & Programs M-R ]
[ Departments & Programs S-Z ]
[ Departments & Programs - Show All ]


Art | Courses | Faculty

355 Fine Arts Center

Degrees: Bachelor of Fine Arts—Studio Art
Bachelor of Arts—Studio Art
Bachelor of Fine Arts—Art Education
Bachelor of Fine Arts—Design
Bachelor of Arts—Art History

Phone: (413) 545-1902

Chair of Department: Associate Professor William T. Oedel. Associate Chair: Professor Jeanette Cole. Professors Coblyn, Denny, Haney, Jahoda, Lasch, Lugosch, Michaud, Miller Pollin, Ozereko, Retz, Schreiber, Yarde; Associate Professors Galvis Assmus, Giloth, Krupczynski, LaFollette, LaPointe, Mann, Page, Rohan, Schmitter, Taunton; Assistant Professors Boyle, Luarasi, Macdonald, Moon, Ontiveros; Senior Lecturer Richardson; Visiting Lecturers Dillon, Holland, Merrigan; Adjunct Professor Yarlow.


457 Fine Arts Center

Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts—Design

Phone: (413) 577-0943

The Major

B.F.A. Design is an interdisciplinary major that integrates architecture and design. The program, housed in the Department of Art, has an interdepartmental curriculum including coursework in studio art, art history, environmental design, landscape architecture and regional planning, engineering, and building materials.

B.F.A. Design students enter into an Architectural Studies concentration. Design students gain broad exposure to aspects of building and material science as well as a variety of cultural, environmental, and historic perspectives, preparing them to make innovative and integrated contributions as architects and designers.

After graduation, students may enter directly into interior design or architecture offices. Graduates are consistently hired by well-respected design firms in Boston, New York, and other major cities. Those who continue their studies make excellent candidates for graduate programs in Interior Design or Architecture.

The university offers a Master of Architecture program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Students graduated from the Architectural Studies concentration of the B.F.A. Design program who are accepted into the Master of Architecture program will be able to complete their Master’s degree requirements in a minimum of two years.

In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board, which is the sole agency authorized to accredit U.S. professional degree programs in architecture, recognizes three types of degrees: the Bachelor of Architecture, the Master of Architecture, and the Doctor of Architecture. A program may be granted a six-year, three-year, or two-year term of accreditation, depending on the extent of its conformance with established educational standards.

Master’s degree programs may consist of a preprofessional undergraduate degree and a professional graduate degree that, when earned sequentially, constitute an accredited professional education. However, the preprofessional degree is not, by itself, recognized as an accredited degree.


The B.F.A. Design curriculum has three major components:

1. General Education Requirements: Some specific General Education courses are recommended.
2. Department Foundations, comprising required introductory classes in Studio Art, Architecture and Design, and Art History.
3. Core requirements:
The Design curriculum includes the following, which are ARCH-DES courses unless otherwise noted.

Studios and Workshops
300 Design I (4 cr)
301 Design II (4 cr)
400 Design III (4 cr)
401 Design IV (4 cr)
540 Analysis and Representation I
541 Analysis and Representation II

BMATWT 211 Energy Efficient Housing
BMATWT 313 Light Frame Construction

ART-HIST 343 20th Century Architecture
370 Junior Year Writing

Professional Electives (minimum of 5 courses or 15 credits).

Admission to the Major

There are several options for admission to the Design major:
1. High school seniors with exceptional visual arts backgrounds can apply directly to the Design major when they apply for admission to the university.
2. Students can also apply to the university as undeclared majors (or as majors in other fields) and apply to the Design major after completing specifically required foundations courses.
3. Transfer students with strong visual arts backgrounds can also apply directly to the major when applying to the university.

Note: Changes in the admissions process are under consideration. Interested applicants should contact the Admissions Office:, for the most current information.

Art History

317B Bartlett Hall

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Contact: Director of Undergraduate Studies
Office: 317B Bartlett Hall
Phone: (413) 545-3595

The Field

The discipline of art history examines visual culture and the built environment within their social and historical contexts. The Art History major at the university provides students with a solid foundation in the history of western art and architecture from the ancient world to the present, as well as a background in non-Western artistic traditions. Students learn not only how to analyze works of art as objects or monuments in their own right, but also to understand and interpret them in relation to the historical circumstances, endeavors, and conflicts of the culture and region in which they were made.

Courses cover major fields of western European art and architecture: Ancient Greek and Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, and the seventeenth through twenty-first centuries. Courses are also offered in American and Islamic Art and occasional undergraduate seminars address various topics. With the instructor’s consent, qualified undergraduates may enroll in graduate research seminars.

The Major

The major requires a minimum of 13 courses (39 credits) in Art History, distributed as follows:

Two out of the four survey courses:
100 Ancient to Renaissance
110 Baroque to Modern
115 Introduction to Art
191A Introduction to Architecture
(Majors are strongly encouraged to take 100 and 110)

One course at any level in each of the two areas: Non-Western, Architecture.

One upper-level course in each of the following five areas: Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance/ Baroque, Modern, American.

Three upper-level electives, all of which must be in Art History. Where appropriate, students will be encouraged to enroll in related courses in other departments as well.

A maximum of four courses taken outside the department may be counted toward the major.

All majors must take the departmental writing course, ART-HIST 370, in the fall semester of their junior year.

Courses in art history must be completed with a grade of C or above in order to be counted toward the major. All 300-level courses are open to undergraduates who have satisfied prerequisites.

Majors are encouraged to select courses in a wide range of media, historical periods, and geographical areas. They are also urged to gain a reading knowledge of at least two foreign languages; knowledge of languages is essential for further study, for research, and for many careers in the field.

For the degree with Departmental Honors, a student must meet the requirements for the major, maintain a high GPA, complete two honors courses in art history, and successfully complete a thesis or a two-semester-long independent study project.

Special Programs
Students are encouraged to enrich the required program of courses with study abroad and internships in related fields. A combination of practical, hands-on experience and rigorous academic study has contributed to the notable success enjoyed by majors continuing to work and study in the field after graduation.

Study Abroad: Many majors study abroad, especially in their junior year, either individually or in exchange programs sponsored by the University. International Programs, tel. (413) 545-2710, has information about study in various programs outside the United States for one semester, for the year, or during the summer. Among the countries in which students have studied are Italy, France, England, Germany, and Turkey.

Internships: Dealing directly with works of art in museums or galleries, consulting special collections related to art history in libraries, or working in the field of historic preservation can be essential parts of an undergraduate education. Students in the department have recently interned at the Museum of Fine Arts and Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Cloisters and Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, and Historic Deerfield, as well as museums in cities as distant as Cincinnati and Indianapolis. Art History students should contact faculty members in particular fields, the Director of Undergraduate Studies, and the Field Experience Office for information about internships.

Career Opportunities

With its broad emphasis on culture and history and its focus on writing, analysis, and research, Art History is an excellent liberal arts major for students seeking flexible but rigorous training for a variety of careers. The Art History major not only prepares students to work in arts-related fields, but also fosters the kinds of skills necessary in any profession involving visual culture in its broadest sense, historical and cultural understanding, critical analysis, persuasive argumentation, thorough research, and effective writing.

Among graduates of the program are college and high school teachers, an art therapist, an architectural historian specializing in historic preservation, an arts foundation consultant, numerous museum staff members, private art dealers, specialists at auction houses, slide librarians, art program officers at private charitable foundations, and arts administrators at state, local, and federal agencies. Art History majors have gone on to graduate study at Berkeley, Columbia, Delaware, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Princeton, Rutgers, Virginia, and other universities. Their areas of specialization, aside from Art History, have included art education, anthropology, archaeology, sculpture, conservation, museum training, management, and library science. Students should consult their adviser and the Director of Undergraduate Studies for information on M.A. and Ph.D. programs in art history and such related areas as museology, conservation, archaeology, and arts management. All Ph.D. programs in Art History require reading knowledge of German and French.

The Minor

Students must complete five courses (15 credits) in art history, as follows:

Two 100-level surveys:
100 Ancient to Medieval
110 Renaissance to Modern
Three upper-level courses


115 Introduction to the Visual Arts

Four upper-level courses

Courses must be completed with a grade of at least C to be counted toward the minor.

Studio Art

128 Studio Arts Building

Phone: (413) 545-1903


Art Education
Digital Imaging

The undergraduate major in Studio Art is a general degree that provides a broad background in the fine arts. The B.F.A. Studio Art programs prepare students for many art-related occupations as well as for graduate school. Many students go on to graduate schools. Students who concentrate in Art Education are qualified to apply for certification in teaching at the elementary or secondary level. Students with a B.F.A. emphasis in animation, or art education, may go directly into professional positions. All B.F.A. students may pursue further study at the graduate level.

Art majors may study abroad for one or two semesters in a domestic, international or summer program. Internships are encouraged and available to students.

The Majors

The major in Studio Art leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Studio Art or the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Studio Art. The B.A. degree major incorporates more courses outside the Art Department and is designed to provide an aesthetic and historical knowledge of the visual arts while affording an opportunity to develop creative ability in several media. Students completing the B.A. need to fulfill the foreign language and other requirements of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, which include university General Education courses in addition to departmental requirements. Students completing the B.F.A. degree must meet university General Education course requirements and departmental requirements, but not the foreign language requirement.

The B.F.A. Studio Art degree offers eight concentrations: Animation, Art Education, Ceramics, Digital Imaging, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture.

During the first year all majors take courses in the Foundations Program. This two-semester experience evolves through a weekly seminar which provides concepts, art history, demonstrations, guest artists, and field trips to major museums in New York City, Boston, and throughout the area. The Foundations Program helps students develop their proficiency in drawing, two- and three-dimensional design, and color, while providing an introduction to a variety of media and techniques basic to all the upper-level major disciplines. All Art majors are required to take a minimum of four Art History courses. It is recommended that students take introductory Art History survey courses while they are taking Foundations courses.

Acceptance to the university as a B.F.A. student does not guarantee acceptance into any particular concentration within the Art Department. Upon successful completion of the Foundations Program with a minimum overall GPA of 3.000, B.F.A. students are then eligible to apply to their selected concentration. Final acceptance into a concentration is dependent upon achieving an overall GPA of 3.000 and a portfolio review by faculty. Students pursuing a B.A. do not apply to a specific concentration and therefore do not go through a second review of their portfolio.

Art students are encouraged to take advantage of course offerings and faculty beyond the boundaries of the department. The university and the Five College consortium offer rich opportunities for expansive study in the arts.

All B.F.A. candidates are required to complete a B.F.A. Degree Project in their senior year.

Admission to the Majors
Undergraduate application to the department’s Studio Art programs is a two-part process. Applicants submit an application to the Undergraduate Admissions Office and submit a portfolio directly to the Department of Art. For acceptance into the studio programs (both the B.A. and the B.F.A.), applicants must be accepted by both the Admissions Office and the Portfolio Review Committee of the Department of Art. For more information about this process, visit, email the Director of Undergraduate Programs at or call the department’s main office, tel. (413) 545-1902.

Transfer students are not automatically accepted into the Art major. Interested applicants should plan to submit their portfolios directly to the department, observing university application deadlines, to ensure timely review of their portfolios and avoid delay in academic progression. For more details, visit Certain local Massachusetts community colleges’ transfer students are accepted directly into the department if they have fulfilled their Foundations requirements. Contact the university’s Admissions Office for more details.

B.F.A. students interested in Art Education must pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure as a prerequisite for admission.

Students already attending the university should contact the department for more information on application to the department.

Career Opportunities

A fine arts studio background provides excellent opportunities in related areas such as information design, motion graphics and animation, textiles, publications, advertising, and gallery work. Continued professional work in specific areas of concentration and exhibitions remain a major career goal for many artists.

Graduates who concentrate in Art Education teach at levels from elementary through high school, in public and private schools, in education departments of museums and in community art programs. They often become art supervisors through additional training at the graduate level. In addition, they enroll in advanced degree programs (M.A. and Ed.D or Ph.D.) and develop and refine skills in research to further their training in studio art or choose to specialize in fields related to art education. While teaching, they continue in their own art production, exhibition, and research.

Other art-related careers include museum/gallery director or curator, recreation director, architect, photographer, display artist, stage designer, art critic, educational media director, package designer, art editor, jeweler, art therapist, textile designer, film animator.

The Minor

The Studio Art Minor is intended for students who have a strong interest in art and who major in an unrelated area. A total of 18 credits is required: 3 in Art History, 6 in Foundations, and 9 in upper-level studio courses. A portfolio is required for acceptance to a Studio Art Minor.

Additional information is available at


Art | Courses | Faculty