The Department of Art at The Catholic University of America offers two baccalaureate courses of study: one leading to a B.A. in Art History, another leading to a B.A. in Studio Art. Together, these programs are devoted to nurturing the production and understanding of artistic expression with the belief that art and culture are one, and that exposure to the visual arts is an essential component of every liberal education.
Through courses both within and outside the Department of Art, art majors are provided with a broad introduction to the humanities, as well as a sophisticated initiation into the practice, theory, and appreciation of the arts. The major in the studio art program takes two courses each in the fundamentals of design, drawing and composition and art history, followed by a three-course sequence in either painting, sculpture or digital arts, plus two additional studio art electives. Studio art majors are also required to take Contemporary Art History. The major in the art history program takes survey courses in the history of art and architecture, one studio course and a selection of specialized courses from each of the three following periods: ancient and medieval, Renaissance and baroque, modern and contemporary. Majors in both programs take the senior seminar. Art history majors take comprehensive examinations in their senior year. Studio art majors produce a creative project under the direction of an art faculty member to fulfill this requirement. Seniors in art history who qualify for honors have the opportunity to earn further distinction by writing a senior honors thesis under the supervision of their faculty adviser.
To be accepted as a major, an applicant for the program in Studio art must have a "B" average in Art 101 and 102, 207 and 208 (formerly 201 and 202), and 211 and 212. An applicant for the program in art history must have a "B" average in Art 211 and 212, and one other art history course. Students who have not completed these courses by the end of their sophomore year may be accepted conditionally until the courses are completed.
Double majors (B.A. in art plus one other major) are encouraged and may be arranged through the Department of Art, the other department and the dean. Minors in studio art and art history are also available.