Prospective Undergraduate Art Students 


1. What is the difference between a BA Art and a BFA Art?

First, the similarities! They are both 4-year degrees and allow you to choose your own custom mix of art and design classes across the different art areas: 2D/3D Design, Photography/Video, Painting/Drawing and Sculpture/Ceramics.

Now the differences! The BFA is an immersive, focused visual art program that aside from the USC-mandated General Education core courses, concentrates entirely on art and/or design classes. Can you add a minor? Yes, but it may take you longer than four years to graduate with the BFA. The BA is a humanities degree and allows for the selection of a wider variety of courses across the university; it has a foreign language requirement and room for a minor outside of Art, all in four years! Double majors are possible with the BA; you usually graduate in five years.


2. Does Roski have foundation courses?

Not really, though we do want incoming art students to have a good grounding in 2D and 3D techniques. So unless you’ve already taken equivalent courses elsewhere and can demonstrate certain competencies, we do require one semester of Drawing, one semester of Sculpture and one semester of 2D Design in your first year. Those are the only required studio courses that are required of art majors. So you can start choosing your customized mix of art and design classes as early as the second semester in your first year!


3. What about the other requirements?

All USC students are held to the same core GE classes, regardless of their major, and students start taking them along with their major classes in their first year at USC. See a listing of GE requirements here: http://dornsife.usc.edu/general-education-requirements/. If you are in the BA Art program, you need to take three semesters of a foreign language, unless you can prove competency in a language by taking a test or submitting a score of 4 or 5 in AP foreign language. Note: all USC students planning to study abroad in Italy in junior year need to take at least one semester of Italian before their travel. '


4. What makes a Roski art education different from other schools?

  1. We take a very individual approach to a student’s art education; it’s not a structured, cookie-cutter approach where one size fits all like most art schools. Each student has the freedom to explore and choose the courses that are right for them, according to their personal interests and/or career goals.
  2. We do not offer specific majors in individual art areas so there is no need to pigeon-hole our art students into one dominant art area: all students, regardless whether their chosen emphasis is in photography, painting or design, are simply “art majors.”
  3. Instruction in Design is integrated with instruction in Art; we feel both disciplines enrich one another and are instrumental for a vital art education today.
  4. USC supports an interdisciplinary approach to education and art and design students are most comfortable taking courses in the physical, biological and social science, the humanities as well as art. Again, all of these disciplines enrich and inspire the artist and the designer.


5. Studio Access

Unless there is dangerous equipment (like table saws for instance) or expensive equipment (like cameras and computers) most Roski studios are accessible to art majors 24/7 with a swipe of their USC ID card. Painters are assigned semesterly to specific small-group painting studios. Studios manned by technicians, such as the digital labs, photo darkrooms, and wood shop are usually open 7 days are week until at least 5pm.


6. What about minors or double majors?

YES to both! See #1 above. The choice for double majors or minors is endless. They are usually added in your second year. They can help give you a competitive edge in the job market, expand your scope of interest in a subject or enhance your career options after graduation.


7. Do AP or IB scores count?

Scores on AP tests of 4 and 5 award 4 units of credit toward your BA or BFA degree. Certain AP tests can waive certain GEs or the foreign language requirement. http://www.usc.edu/dept/ARR/services/articulation/examcredit.html


8. Study Abroad Opportunities

Each major at USC offers a range of different programs in different countries for study abroad semesters, that offer coursework for credit toward an undergraduate degree. Roski offers programs for art students in the following cities and countries: London, England; Canberra, Australia; Capetown, South Africa; and Florence and Cortona, Italy.


9. What about Jobs/Careers?

Professionalization for artists and designers begins around the junior year with our one-of-a-kind Arts Internship program, where the skills and techniques learned in art and design classes are applied to real-world settings. The Roski School has partnered with over 400 art and design-related companies in and around Los Angeles to offer internships in a variety of professional venues for qualified students, from museums, galleries, advertising firms, fashion companies, sports franchises, entertainment companies, animation and game design companies, start-ups, and established big name companies. Our students tell us that it’s an experience of a lifetime to be mentored by a professional in their chosen field, and to participate in client meetings and presentations. Meaningful connections are made and significant resume-building experiences are achieved.


10. Visits

Please come for a campus visit with Explore USC or attend one of our USC receptions in cities across the US and Asia in April. The Roski Open Studio tour and reception for Admitted Students is Sunday April 24th. Come meet our faculty and students! Make a reservation here: http://www.usc.edu/admission/undergraduate/firstyear/admittedfall/


11. More Questions?

Please contact Penelope Jones in the Roski admission office 213-740-9153 or penelope@usc.edu