Dec 07, 2023  
2023 - 2024 College Catalog 
2023 - 2024 College Catalog

Art, BA

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Majors and Minors

View Art website

The Art major at SMCM provides a supportive environment in which a broad range of creativity is fostered.  Our curriculum introduces students to techniques and concepts that build progressively towards a self-determined artistic practice. In addition to developing art-making skills, students learn critical thinking, reflective self-evaluation, articulation of creative intentions, and art historical contexts. Because our curriculum values interdisciplinary thinking, many of our students complete second majors, and minors in other fields of study, and are encouraged to integrate these diverse interests into their work.

The core courses for the major teach basic technical skills, while emphasizing visual literacy and analysis as fundamental tools for both understanding and making art. Beyond this core, studio art majors choose electives from a range of mediums including drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, digital art, and photography.

Advanced courses expand students’ understanding of contemporary art and the interdisciplinary relationships between mediums, while continuing to improve their technical abilities. These upper-level courses include self-directed projects that lead to focused explorations of content relevant to each student. Students continue to build their historical understanding by taking additional courses in art history. The Art Major culminates in a yearlong capstone experience in which students create a body of work for exhibition or presentation accompanied by a written artist statement, and public talk.

The flexible requirements of the Art Major allow students to tailor their coursework to serve a variety of post-graduation goals. Our program prepares students for graduate school and careers in the arts including practicing artist, art education, community arts, graphic design, media production, and architecture, as well as a wide range of professional and personal activities for which practical skills, analytical abilities, and visual literacy are key components.

Learning Outcomes

  • Create works of art that effectively communicate through a coordinated use of form, content, and process
  • Execute basic art making techniques in a range of visual media, execute advanced artmaking techniques in at least one visual media area, and employ productive art-generating practices
  • Create artworks that demonstrate an artistic point of view, and explain their artistic intentions in context
  • Articulate their artistic intentions in effective written and oral form
  • Assess their work and the work of others through critical analysis
  • Explain the expressive effect of a work of art through visual analysis

Degree Requirements

General College Requirements

  • General College Requirements (see “Curriculum ” section), including the following requirements to satisfy the major:
  • At least 13 courses carrying art history, art theory or studio art credit and a minimum of 48 credit hours, in all of which the student must earn a grade of C- or better and a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.00, including the following:

Six Art Electives

Three courses in Art History

Senior Capstone Experience totaling 8 credit hours


With the exception of ARTH 100  and ART 205 , courses taken as part of the degree requirements for the art major will not count for a major or minor in art history.

Requirements for Teacher Certification

A master of arts in teaching degree with a concentration in art education can be earned at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Completion of the combined requirements for the art major and/or art history major and a minor in educational studies is recommended for any interested student; students could then pursue the college’s Masters of Arts in Teaching. Because careful attention to course selection is necessary as early as the first semester of the first year, students interested in teaching art should consult with the chair of the Department of Educational Studies and their art faculty advisers as soon as they are accepted for admission to the College. Completion of the following are highly recommended for any student preparing for graduate study in art education.


Careers in Design

Because many students who major in art at St. Mary’s College of Maryland express interest in a creative career in design, careful attention to course selection is necessary as early as the first semester of the first year. Students interested in design should consult with their art faculty adviser as soon as they are admitted to the college. Early declaration of an art major is suggested. In addition to the required courses for ART, we suggest including a combination of three classes from the following courses.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Majors and Minors