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Registration in Studio Art Courses

Since Department of Art courses, especially foundation-level courses, are extremely popular, students often find it difficult to enroll for these courses. Students seriously considering a studio art major and experiencing such difficulty should see the Undergraduate Advisor for Studio Art. The department reserves a small number of spaces in these courses for exceptional students intending to major in studio art. In some cases, the student may be asked to demonstrate commitment to the major with some examples of artwork. Students who are committed to studying studio art should declare the major at the earliest opportunity.

Course Descriptions

Time Commitment

Students should anticipate spending at least four (for foundation-level courses) and up to nine (for upper-level courses) hours outside of class each week for each studio art course they take.

Variable Credit

Some intermediate and advanced courses may be taken for variable credit with instructor permission. Students may also pursue independent study course work with individual faculty. Such work may be undertaken only with permission of the sponsoring faculty and is appropriate only after the typical sequence of courses has been completed.

Students must consult with individual instructors to outline and contract specific requirements for variable credit hour study. Students taking variable credit should expect to engage in a minimum of two hours of supervised work and an additional two hours per credit outside of class work per week.

Independent Study

Students may pursue independent study course work with individual faculty. Such work may be undertaken only with permission of the sponsoring faculty and is appropriate only after the typical sequence of courses has been completed. Students should consult individual faculty prior to registration to secure permission. Most faculty require a written plan for the semester’s work. Students should submit a proposal outlining technical and conceptual motivations and goals for production for the semester.

Advanced Standing

Students who earn a score of at least 4 on the College Board Advanced Placement Portfolios in Drawing, 2-Design and /or 3-D Design will receive credit for Basic Drawing (ARTS 104), Basic Design (ARTS 102) and/or Basic 3-D Design/Introduction to Sculpture (ARTS 103) respectively. Students who earn a score of 6 or higher on the International Baccalaureate Exam in Art will receive credit for Basic Drawing (ARTS 104).

Students who have not pursued the above advanced placement programs but with substantial experience in studio practice may petition to have some foundation coursework waived. The department will conduct a portfolio review to assess proficiency. After a preliminary appointment with the Director of Undergraduate Studies for Studio Art, students may submit portfolios containing required elements for Drawing: 2-D Design, 3-D Design and/or Beginning Photography. The portfolio requirements mirror the final portfolio requirements for these courses at UNC and are modeled on the College Board AP Portfolios. Successful evaluation allows students to bypass the foundation level class and replace credit hours with upper level studio coursework. Portfolio evaluations are final.

Transfer Students

The Art Department will accept up to half of the required credit hours for a student’s degree option (BA- 20 credit hours, BFA 30 credit hours) taken at another institution (including Study Abroad), providing that there is a match in the UNC Art Department curriculum. Courses taken that do not have a match in the UNC curriculum, may be presented to the appropriate Undergraduate Advisor in Studio or Art History or designated faculty for consideration.

Changing Majors

Students who change from a studio art major to an art history may lose credit for any studio art courses taken beyond the General College requirements. Studio art and art history are a single department, and there are a limited number of allowable credit hours that a student can elect in a single department. Thus, students considering changing from one major to the other may want to consider the BFA. with an Art History Emphasis instead. Also, switching from a BFA or BA to the BFA/AH degree may incur some credit loss. For further information, students considering such changes should see the should speak with appropriate College and Director of Undergraduate Studies for Studio Art.

Extracurricular Programs

The extracurricular programs offered by the Department of Art are significant experiences for all studio art students, allowing them to interact with professional artists and their work through exhibitions in the Allcott Galleries, installations of sculptural works in the Alumni Sculpture Garden, the Guest Artist in Printmaking Program, and the Hanes Visiting Artist Lecture Series.

The Undergraduate Art Association is also a valuable resource for students in the department. The UAA provides a voice for undergraduate majors within the Art Department community. The UAA sponsors many activities that contribute to the visual culture at UNC. One of the group’s primary endeavors and contributions to the ArtDepartment is the programming for the John and June Allcott Undergraduate Gallery located along the main hallway of the HanesArtCenter.


In completing degree requirements for graduation, students should maintain contact throughout their time at UNC with the College of Arts and Sciences Advisors (Team 95) who oversee their entire UNC degree. Once a student declares a major in Art with the College advisors, s/he should also regularly see departmental advisors who are responsible for assisting the student’s progress through the major. Departmental worksheets and planning guides are available to assist personal planning and also become a part of the student’s departmental file.

For more information please see the UNC Undergraduate Bulletin.