The School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University offers two fine arts degrees, the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts, and supports three interdisciplinary degrees known collectively as the BXA Intercollege Degree Program, which facilitates a progressive educational model for artists working across multiple fields. The integration of practice and theory occupy the core of each degree program, with emphasis on the development of strong conceptual and critical thinking. The School of Art student progresses from foundational coursework to an advanced and individualized study of art that fosters a personal practice informed by rigorous technical, theoretical, and ideological knowledge.

Located within one of the world's leading research universities, the School of Art serves students with diverse and synergistic interests, fostering unique opportunities for collaborations that bridge the arts, humanities, and sciences unlike any other program in the nation. Providing a small and intimate learning environment, the faculty and staff of the School of Art and its partner programs provide mentorship and guidance that merge the boundaries of scholarship, medium, and creative inquiry. With renowned faculty, abundant studio space, exceptional fabrication facilities, and generous access to new technologies, the School of Art aims to offer its students an unparalleled experience of learning, questioning, and creating contemporary art in the twenty-first century.

The School of Art’s broad-based Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program aims to develop each student’s knowledge of and commitment to the skills necessary to work as contemporary artists in a rapidly changing global culture. The program is a vehicle for the exploration of technique, critique, theory, and practice through rigorous academic and studio-based coursework, closely engaged faculty, and expansive opportunities for collaboration across both the school and the university’s spectrum of research areas.
CURRICULUM

Within the BFA program there are four primary concentrations which allow students to pursue particular areas of media-based study or to combine areas of interest to create hybrid or specialized practices.

Drawing, Painting, Print Media, and Photography: addresses an array of two-dimensional processes, ranging from traditional to emerging or unconventional media, applied to perceptual and conceptual issues. Coursework in this area considers historical approaches to contemporary issues through the exploration of manual, mechanical, and electronic image making.

Sculpture, Installation, and Site-Work: offers students the opportunity to investigate the dynamics of three-dimensional objects and environments. Coursework embraces the challenging and ever-evolving definition of sculpture, placing great value in process as a way to discover the capabilities of material and the phenomena of space. Students are pushed to explore myriad methods for fabrication including digital, virtual, and human-computer interactivity, in addition to time-honored tools for building and assemblage.

Electronic and Time Based Media: explores the creative potential of emerging technologies and the critical impact they have on contemporary culture. Curriculum implicitly encourages cross-disciplinary study and as such, many students merge fine art and computer science based interests either within the BFA program or through the unique BCSA degree program. Areas of focus include animation, video and performance, tactical media, computational and interactive art, bioart, tangible media, and game arts. Students particularly interested in the intersection of art and technology can take advantage of expanded course offerings through the IDeATe Program.

Contextual Practice: is the first such undergraduate program of its kind in the United States, engaging students in the study and production of socially engaged art projects that respond to specific public contexts and audiences. All Art majors are required to take at least one Contextual Practice class during their time at CMU. The area offers a range of exciting experimental approaches to making art including: street art, participatory art, urban interventions, interactive social media, public installations, and politically engaged art.

Work by graduating seniors in the BFA and BXA programs is showcased in a final group exhibition presented in the Miller Gallery at the close of each spring semester.

For complete details on all aspects of the program and curriculum please download the School of Art Handbook.

The BXA Intercollege Degree Programs at CMU are rigorous hybrid programs that enable students to develop an individual course of study and work towards one of three unique degrees: the Bachelor of Humanities and Arts (BHA), the Bachelor of Science and Arts (BSA), and the Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA).
CURRICULUM

Each BXA degree program consists of approximately 40 courses.
BXA curriculum has three main components:

  • General core requirements
  • Fine arts concentration requirements
  • Requirements dictated by the partner academic area (humanities, sciences, or computer science)

BXA students have equal access to School of Art courses and each course of study is designed so that it can be completed in four years.

BXA student's ratio of art to non-art coursework is substantially different than BFA students, who take at least 30 fine art courses and approximately 10 non-art courses. BXA students' fine art requirements are 11 fine art courses for BHA, BSA, and BCSA, with the remainder of coursework comprised of non-art courses.

That said, many BXA students choose to take additional art courses beyond what is required with most taking one or two classes in art each semester.

With guidance from academic advisors in each of their concentrations as well as the BXA program advisors, students in the BXA programs balance and blend their coursework in a way that enhances their scholarship in their bridged areas of study. These challenging and innovative academic programs prepare students for fundamentally interdisciplinary graduate programs and professions later on.

The School of Art's Master of Fine Arts program admits six students each year into an intimate, interdisciplinary and contextually oriented three-year program. The program is designed to support each student in their individual studio practice with immersion in a strong and inclusive community of critique in a vibrantly experimental and rigorously intellectual environment.

Students pursue their artwork and research agendas with close faculty guidance from two faculty advisors each term, as well as access to the full School of Art faculty. Studio visits with a diverse and relevant series of visiting artists and critics provide further critical input.

The three-year structure encourages risk-taking and allows students to explore new tools and processes while delving deeply into the content of their work. The program provides expansive opportunities for collaboration across the university’s spectrum of research areas.
CURRICULUM

Studio: Independent, focused and exploratory creative work supported by regular meetings with faculty advisors and reviews at the end of each semester.

Integrative Seminar: Critique and discussion of work with peers, faculty and visitors. Integration of the discourse from academic seminars, studio practice, and visiting artists/critics. Field trips, research and readings supplement and inform discussion.

Academic Seminars: Readings in theory, criticism, and culture; processed through discussion and critical writing.

Contextual Practice: This project-based and collaborative course provides students with an opportunity to produce experimental works that creatively expand the role of art in the public sphere while meaningfully engaging with contexts and communities.

University Electives and optional School of Art Electives: The rich offerings of the entire university are available to inform research, provide access to new tools and knowledge, and as opportunities for interdisciplinary work.

Writing Seminar and Written Thesis: Critical writing culminates in a substantial written thesis that historically, socially and theoretically contextualizes each student's work.

Thesis Exhibition: In addition to group and solo exhibition opportunities throughout the program, studio work culminates in the public exhibition of studio work in the Miller Gallery. In the third year, thesis work is guided by a committee that includes a third advisor from within the university, and a fourth advisor from outside the university.

Graduate Assistantships: In addition to coursework, all students in the program hold a graduate assistantship each semester. These assistantships help to defray the cost of tuition and provide extensive experience in teaching, research and course development. The time commitment for assistantships is eight hours per week.

For complete details on all aspects of the program and curriculum, please see the School of Art Handbook.

Students from other CMU colleges and departments are eligible to pursue a minor in art, which requires 6 courses (59 Units). Students who declare an Art minor should follow the registration procedures for non-Art students as outlined below. Students should inform professors that they are attempting to earn the Art minor. However, minors do not have priority over other non-Art students.
REQUIRED COURSES
An Art minor requires six courses in the School of Art.

1 Concept Studio course
(10 units each,­ choose 1)

  • 60-101 Concept Studio I: The Human Being (fall)
  • 60-201 Concept Studio II: Time and Space (fall)
  • 60-202 Concept Studio III: Systems and Processes (fall)
  • 60-280 Introduction to Contextual Practice (spring)

2 Foundation Studio courses
(20 units each,­ choose 2)

  • 60-110 Electronic Media Studio I (spring)
  • 60-210 Electronic Media Studio II (fall)
  • 60-130 Three-Dimensional Media Studio I (fall) - Mini-1 and Mini-2 must be in different media
  • 60-131 Three-Dimensional Media Studio II (spring) - Mini-3 and Mini-4 must be in different media
  • 60-150 Two-Dimensional Media Studio: Drawing (fall)
  • 60-157 Drawing for Non-Majors (fall/spring)
  • 60-160 Two-Dimensional Media Studio: Imaging (spring)
  • 60-250 Two-Dimensional Media Studio: Painting (fall)
  • 60-251 Two-Dimensional Studio: Print Media (fall/spring)

2 Advanced Studio courses
(20 units each,­ choose 2)

  • 60-409 - 60-429 Advanced ETB electives
  • 60-430 - 60-447 Advanced SIS electives
  • 60-448 - 60-449 Advanced CP electives
  • 60-450 - 60-475 Advanced DP3 electives

1 Art History course
(20 units each,­ choose 2)

  • 60-109 Adventures in Arts Time (spring)
  • 60-205 Modern Visual Culture: 1789-1945 (fall)
  • 60-206 Contemporary Visual Culture: 1945-present (spring)
  • 60-3xx Art History/Theory elective

TOTAL UNITS: 59

REGISTRATION
Admittance to Art classes for non-Art students is by instructor permission on a space-available basis. Generally, studio courses are smaller and have fewer spaces; art history/theory courses are larger and may have more spaces. Art professors will accommodate as many non-Art students as possible.

1. Waitlist
The majority of Art courses have seats reserved for majors. Non-Art students must put themselves on the waitlist for the Art course/section they wish to take. Those who have not taken any Art courses should target 100 and 200-level courses. Advanced courses (300 and 400-level) usually have course pre-requisites, but professors waive pre-requisites at their discretion. Students who believe they have the sufficient related experience for a 300 or 400-level course can contact the professor directly.

2. Attend Class
Non-Art students interested in an Art class should attend the first class meeting if possible. Before or after class, they should speak with the professor(s) and discuss their interest in the class. Students may also email the instructor prior to the first class meeting.

CONTACT

Keni Jefferson
Undergraduate Activities Coordinator
kjefferson@cmu.edu
412.268.8001

RESOURCES

BFA Curriculum
University Courses
University Grading Policy
Cross-Registration
IDeATe

PRE-COLLEGE SUMMER PROGRAM

The Pre-College Summer Art Program is an immersive and intense opportunity open to students ages 16-18 who have completed 10th grade. Students from across the globe convene each summer for the three or six-week program in art. Summer students engage in coursework Monday-Friday while living or commuting to campus. The summer curriculum includes: Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Animation, Print Media, Photography, and Concept Studios.

More information, FAQs, and the Summer Program application.

CONTACT

Elizabeth Keller
Assistant Head of Administration
eskeller@andrew.cmu.edu
412.268.3852

FIGURE MODELS

Please note, the Pre-College Curriculum is meant to very closely mirror the first-year undergraduate program of study in CMU's School of Art. Our coursework often asks that students work from nude models in classes such as drawing or painting. We expect all students to be respectful of one another, their instructors, and the models themselves in these instances. All students in a class that will have nude model sessions AND their parent will be asked to sign a notice regarding models. If a student is unable to participate in class because of nude models it is their responsibility to inform the instructor ahead of time.

+ Overview
The School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University offers two fine arts degrees, the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts, and supports three interdisciplinary degrees known collectively as the BXA Intercollege Degree Program, which facilitates a progressive educational model for artists working across multiple fields. The integration of practice and theory occupy the core of each degree program, with emphasis on the development of strong conceptual and critical thinking. The School of Art student progresses from foundational coursework to an advanced and individualized study of art that fosters a personal practice informed by rigorous technical, theoretical, and ideological knowledge.

Located within one of the world's leading research universities, the School of Art serves students with diverse and synergistic interests, fostering unique opportunities for collaborations that bridge the arts, humanities, and sciences unlike any other program in the nation. Providing a small and intimate learning environment, the faculty and staff of the School of Art and its partner programs provide mentorship and guidance that merge the boundaries of scholarship, medium, and creative inquiry. With renowned faculty, abundant studio space, exceptional fabrication facilities, and generous access to new technologies, the School of Art aims to offer its students an unparalleled experience of learning, questioning, and creating contemporary art in the twenty-first century.

+ BFA
The School of Art’s broad-based Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program aims to develop each student’s knowledge of and commitment to the skills necessary to work as contemporary artists in a rapidly changing global culture. The program is a vehicle for the exploration of technique, critique, theory, and practice through rigorous academic and studio-based coursework, closely engaged faculty, and expansive opportunities for collaboration across both the school and the university’s spectrum of research areas.
CURRICULUM

Within the BFA program there are four primary concentrations which allow students to pursue particular areas of media-based study or to combine areas of interest to create hybrid or specialized practices.

Drawing, Painting, Print Media, and Photography: addresses an array of two-dimensional processes, ranging from traditional to emerging or unconventional media, applied to perceptual and conceptual issues. Coursework in this area considers historical approaches to contemporary issues through the exploration of manual, mechanical, and electronic image making.

Sculpture, Installation, and Site-Work: offers students the opportunity to investigate the dynamics of three-dimensional objects and environments. Coursework embraces the challenging and ever-evolving definition of sculpture, placing great value in process as a way to discover the capabilities of material and the phenomena of space. Students are pushed to explore myriad methods for fabrication including digital, virtual, and human-computer interactivity, in addition to time-honored tools for building and assemblage.

Electronic and Time Based Media: explores the creative potential of emerging technologies and the critical impact they have on contemporary culture. Curriculum implicitly encourages cross-disciplinary study and as such, many students merge fine art and computer science based interests either within the BFA program or through the unique BCSA degree program. Areas of focus include animation, video and performance, tactical media, computational and interactive art, bioart, tangible media, and game arts. Students particularly interested in the intersection of art and technology can take advantage of expanded course offerings through the IDeATe Program.

Contextual Practice: is the first such undergraduate program of its kind in the United States, engaging students in the study and production of socially engaged art projects that respond to specific public contexts and audiences. All Art majors are required to take at least one Contextual Practice class during their time at CMU. The area offers a range of exciting experimental approaches to making art including: street art, participatory art, urban interventions, interactive social media, public installations, and politically engaged art.

Work by graduating seniors in the BFA and BXA programs is showcased in a final group exhibition presented in the Miller Gallery at the close of each spring semester.

For complete details on all aspects of the program and curriculum please download the School of Art Handbook.

+ BXA
The BXA Intercollege Degree Programs at CMU are rigorous hybrid programs that enable students to develop an individual course of study and work towards one of three unique degrees: the Bachelor of Humanities and Arts (BHA), the Bachelor of Science and Arts (BSA), and the Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA).
CURRICULUM

Each BXA degree program consists of approximately 40 courses.
BXA curriculum has three main components:

  • General core requirements
  • Fine arts concentration requirements
  • Requirements dictated by the partner academic area (humanities, sciences, or computer science)

BXA students have equal access to School of Art courses and each course of study is designed so that it can be completed in four years.

BXA student's ratio of art to non-art coursework is substantially different than BFA students, who take at least 30 fine art courses and approximately 10 non-art courses. BXA students' fine art requirements are 11 fine art courses for BHA, BSA, and BCSA, with the remainder of coursework comprised of non-art courses.

That said, many BXA students choose to take additional art courses beyond what is required with most taking one or two classes in art each semester.

With guidance from academic advisors in each of their concentrations as well as the BXA program advisors, students in the BXA programs balance and blend their coursework in a way that enhances their scholarship in their bridged areas of study. These challenging and innovative academic programs prepare students for fundamentally interdisciplinary graduate programs and professions later on.

+ MFA
The School of Art's Master of Fine Arts program admits six students each year into an intimate, interdisciplinary and contextually oriented three-year program. The program is designed to support each student in their individual studio practice with immersion in a strong and inclusive community of critique in a vibrantly experimental and rigorously intellectual environment.

Students pursue their artwork and research agendas with close faculty guidance from two faculty advisors each term, as well as access to the full School of Art faculty. Studio visits with a diverse and relevant series of visiting artists and critics provide further critical input.

The three-year structure encourages risk-taking and allows students to explore new tools and processes while delving deeply into the content of their work. The program provides expansive opportunities for collaboration across the university’s spectrum of research areas.
CURRICULUM

Studio: Independent, focused and exploratory creative work supported by regular meetings with faculty advisors and reviews at the end of each semester.

Integrative Seminar: Critique and discussion of work with peers, faculty and visitors. Integration of the discourse from academic seminars, studio practice, and visiting artists/critics. Field trips, research and readings supplement and inform discussion.

Academic Seminars: Readings in theory, criticism, and culture; processed through discussion and critical writing.

Contextual Practice: This project-based and collaborative course provides students with an opportunity to produce experimental works that creatively expand the role of art in the public sphere while meaningfully engaging with contexts and communities.

University Electives and optional School of Art Electives: The rich offerings of the entire university are available to inform research, provide access to new tools and knowledge, and as opportunities for interdisciplinary work.

Writing Seminar and Written Thesis: Critical writing culminates in a substantial written thesis that historically, socially and theoretically contextualizes each student's work.

Thesis Exhibition: In addition to group and solo exhibition opportunities throughout the program, studio work culminates in the public exhibition of studio work in the Miller Gallery. In the third year, thesis work is guided by a committee that includes a third advisor from within the university, and a fourth advisor from outside the university.

Graduate Assistantships: In addition to coursework, all students in the program hold a graduate assistantship each semester. These assistantships help to defray the cost of tuition and provide extensive experience in teaching, research and course development. The time commitment for assistantships is eight hours per week.

For complete details on all aspects of the program and curriculum, please see the School of Art Handbook.

+ Art Minor
Students from other CMU colleges and departments are eligible to pursue a minor in art, which requires 6 courses (59 Units). Students who declare an Art minor should follow the registration procedures for non-Art students as outlined below. Students should inform professors that they are attempting to earn the Art minor. However, minors do not have priority over other non-Art students.
REQUIRED COURSES
An Art minor requires six courses in the School of Art.

1 Concept Studio course
(10 units each,­ choose 1)

  • 60-101 Concept Studio I: The Human Being (fall)
  • 60-201 Concept Studio II: Time and Space (fall)
  • 60-202 Concept Studio III: Systems and Processes (fall)
  • 60-280 Introduction to Contextual Practice (spring)

2 Foundation Studio courses
(20 units each,­ choose 2)

  • 60-110 Electronic Media Studio I (spring)
  • 60-210 Electronic Media Studio II (fall)
  • 60-130 Three-Dimensional Media Studio I (fall) - Mini-1 and Mini-2 must be in different media
  • 60-131 Three-Dimensional Media Studio II (spring) - Mini-3 and Mini-4 must be in different media
  • 60-150 Two-Dimensional Media Studio: Drawing (fall)
  • 60-157 Drawing for Non-Majors (fall/spring)
  • 60-160 Two-Dimensional Media Studio: Imaging (spring)
  • 60-250 Two-Dimensional Media Studio: Painting (fall)
  • 60-251 Two-Dimensional Studio: Print Media (fall/spring)

2 Advanced Studio courses
(20 units each,­ choose 2)

  • 60-409 - 60-429 Advanced ETB electives
  • 60-430 - 60-447 Advanced SIS electives
  • 60-448 - 60-449 Advanced CP electives
  • 60-450 - 60-475 Advanced DP3 electives

1 Art History course
(20 units each,­ choose 2)

  • 60-109 Adventures in Arts Time (spring)
  • 60-205 Modern Visual Culture: 1789-1945 (fall)
  • 60-206 Contemporary Visual Culture: 1945-present (spring)
  • 60-3xx Art History/Theory elective

TOTAL UNITS: 59

REGISTRATION
Admittance to Art classes for non-Art students is by instructor permission on a space-available basis. Generally, studio courses are smaller and have fewer spaces; art history/theory courses are larger and may have more spaces. Art professors will accommodate as many non-Art students as possible.

1. Waitlist
The majority of Art courses have seats reserved for majors. Non-Art students must put themselves on the waitlist for the Art course/section they wish to take. Those who have not taken any Art courses should target 100 and 200-level courses. Advanced courses (300 and 400-level) usually have course pre-requisites, but professors waive pre-requisites at their discretion. Students who believe they have the sufficient related experience for a 300 or 400-level course can contact the professor directly.

2. Attend Class
Non-Art students interested in an Art class should attend the first class meeting if possible. Before or after class, they should speak with the professor(s) and discuss their interest in the class. Students may also email the instructor prior to the first class meeting.

CONTACT

Keni Jefferson
Undergraduate Activities Coordinator
kjefferson@cmu.edu
412.268.8001

RESOURCES

BFA Curriculum
University Courses
University Grading Policy
Cross-Registration
IDeATe

+ Pre-College
PRE-COLLEGE SUMMER PROGRAM

The Pre-College Summer Art Program is an immersive and intense opportunity open to students ages 16-18 who have completed 10th grade. Students from across the globe convene each summer for the three or six-week program in art. Summer students engage in coursework Monday-Friday while living or commuting to campus. The summer curriculum includes: Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Animation, Print Media, Photography, and Concept Studios.

More information, FAQs, and the Summer Program application.

CONTACT

Elizabeth Keller
Assistant Head of Administration
eskeller@andrew.cmu.edu
412.268.3852

FIGURE MODELS

Please note, the Pre-College Curriculum is meant to very closely mirror the first-year undergraduate program of study in CMU's School of Art. Our coursework often asks that students work from nude models in classes such as drawing or painting. We expect all students to be respectful of one another, their instructors, and the models themselves in these instances. All students in a class that will have nude model sessions AND their parent will be asked to sign a notice regarding models. If a student is unable to participate in class because of nude models it is their responsibility to inform the instructor ahead of time.