Becoming an Art Major
Thanks for your interest in majoring in art at the Roski School of Fine Arts. We live at a time when visual literacy—the ability to analyze, conceive, and produce visual imagery—is one of the most important and sought-after skills one can have. Roski students learn not only how to make things, but how to make things happen—how to make art and how to be artists. As such, they are uniquely prepared to take on the challenges of the twenty-first century in an increasingly image-based culture. Read on to find out more about joining them.
What's the difference between the BA and the BFA degree options?
The Bachelor of Arts, or BA, is a liberal arts degree. The BA requires the USC Core, plus 3 semesters of foreign language. Major requirements include 28 units of required courses (3 lower-division studio courses, 3 visual-literacy courses, and 1 art-history course); 12 units of lower-division art courses of your choosing; 24 units of upper-division art courses of your choosing; and at least 16 units of electives.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts, or BFA, is a professional arts degree. The BFA requires the USC Core, but no foreign-language or elective requirements. Major requirements include 32 units of required art courses (3 lower-division studio courses, 4 visual-literacy courses, and 1 art-history course); 24 units of lower-division art courses of your choosing; and 40 units of upper-division art courses of your choosing.
Is one degree better than the other?
Neither degree is inherently better than the other—but, depending on what you feel is important, one may be be better suited to you than the other. The BA is more flexible: you'll be able to take electives, minor, or even double major in other departments in the University. The BFA, on the other hand, offers an immersive, studio-intensive experience, so options for non-art courses are more limited, but you're likely to finish school with a larger or more thoroughly developed portfolio. Also, the BA requires fewer art courses than the BFA, so it's typically faster to complete.
What are the requirements for being admitted into the Fine Arts major?
· Current USC students need to submit an application, current copies of their USC transcripts, a personal statement, and a portfolio of 10 to 15 images of artwork, on CD.
· To be competitive, your cumulative USC GPA must be at least 3.00. If you have not completed one semester at USC yet, please wait until your grades have posted.
· For preparation, we require that you complete 8 to 12 units of Fine Arts courses before you apply. Please select from the following: FADW 101 Drawing, FADN 102 Design Fundamentals, FASC 106 Sculpture, FACS 150 Visual Culture and Literacy. This is to familiarize yourself with the classes at USC Roski School of Fine Arts, and to insure your intent.
When can I apply?
The application deadlines are March 1st for the fall semester, and October 1st for the spring semester.
Can I take USC Roski School of Fine Arts classes if I am not a major?
Yes. You can actually take up to 20 units of Fine Arts classes as a non-major. We welcome students from other schools and departments. All classes are available to non-majors except those specifically designated for Fine Arts majors, such as FA 450x Senior Seminar. Priority for departmental authorization to enroll in certain courses goes to current Fine Arts Majors and Minors. You can request to be put on our non-major/minor waitlist for these courses by coming into Watt Hall 116, calling (213) 821-1290, or emailing us at email@example.com.
What are the requirements for the FA major?
The best source for degree requirements is the USC Course Catalogue you received when you first entered USC as a student. Online at www.usc.edu/catalogue.
Don't I follow the current requirements?
No. Usually you follow the requirements of the year that you entered USC. If you were a freshman in 2009 and are now signing up for the major, you'll be held to the requirements from 2009.
Who can I talk to if I have more questions?
Direct questions to Penelope Jones, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at the Roski School of Fine Arts: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 213-740-9153, or leave a note in her mailbox in WAH 104.