University Bulletin 2019-20

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Studio Art (BFA) - Graphic Design Concentration

Majors in Arts and Sciences may be completed with a minimum of 120 semester hours unless designated otherwise. At least 30 hours of course work, which represents 25% of the required 120 hours, must be at the upper division level in order to fulfill the University's residency requirement. At least 15 of the 30 upper-division hours must be in the major or concentration area. An overall grade-point-average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for graduation. In addition, a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in the student's major or concentration area. 

A minimum of 120 hours of required and elective courses. At least 30 hours in courses numbered 300 or higher must be taken at this University, including a minimum of 12 hours in the primary concentration, and 6 hours in a secondary concentration. Two courses, including one in Studio Art, must be designated "Writing Across the Curriculum" (W) courses.

Requirements Credit Hours
General Education Requirements  
Written composition: EH 101, EH 102 6
Oral communication: CA 110  3
Fine Arts - Art History: ARH 103, ARH 123, ARH 344, 6 hours in elective Art History courses 15
Humanities: One approved course in literature  (EH 215, EH 216, EH 225, EH 226, EH 235, EH 236) 3
History, Social and Behavioral Sciences:  
HY 101-102 or HY 135-136 6
Two approved 100/200 level courses in Anthropology, Economics, Geography, International Studies, Political Science, Psychology or Sociology (AN 100, AN 101, ECO 215, ECO 216, GEO114, GEO 115,
IS 100, PSC 130, PSY 120, PSY 250, SY 109, SY 112)
Natural Sciences and Mathematics:  
MA 110, 112, or higher level course 3
Two courses in laboratory sciences (AN 210, BLY 101, BLY 102, CH 101, CH 103, CH 131 or CH
141, CH 132 or CH 141, GEO 101, GEO 102, GY 111, GY 112, PH 101, PH 104,
PH 114 or PH 201, PH 115 or PH 202)
Art Core Requirement  
Drawing: five course including ARS 121, ARS 122, one or two 200 level courses,
and at least one 300 or higher level drawing course, or ARS 326
Design: ARS 123, ARS 124 6
One of the following:  
Professional Practices (studio students): ARS 396 3
Business Practices for Graphic Design (graphic design students): ARS 479 3
Methodology of Art History (art history students): ARH 493 3
Courses in section "c" satisfy technology requirements.  
Senior Thesis or Senior Portfolio Requirements
Students with the primary concentration in Graphic Design take ARS 488 (three hours).
Graphic Design 27
ARS 271  
ARS 272  
ARS 273  
ARS 373  
ARS 374  
ARS 472  
ARS 473  
Two of the following: ARS 375, ARS 376, ARS 490, ARS 496. (see admissions process below).  

Secondary Studio Concentrations

Fifteen hours in studio areas. Secondary concentrations are available in Ceramics, Glass, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture and Interdisciplinary. Interdisciplinary Secondary consists of 9 credits in one area and 6 credits in any combination of the other areas.

Requirements for an Optional Minor

In addition to the completion of the Studio Art B.F.A. primary and secondary concentration requirements, students have the option to complete a minor in a discipline outside the department. The addition of a minor will require course work in excess of the 120 hours minimum required for the B.F.A. and may delay time to graduation.

BFA program in graphic design admissions process

Students who wish to pursue a degree in graphic design at the University of South Alabama may apply for admission to the BFA program in graphic design after completion of or current enrollment in ARS 271 Introduction to Graphic Design, and ARS 273 Graphic Design Applications. Acceptance into the program is determined by a review process which is coordinated each semester. Only those admitted to the program are allowed to enroll in upper-level graphic design courses.

Review Process

Upon completion of the aforementioned courses, each student who wishes to be considered for admission to the BFA program in graphic design will assemble a portfolio of his/her work to be presented for evaluation by the Graphic Design Review Board. The portfolio should consist of ten to fifteen pieces that best display the student's abilities in the area of graphic design. A limited number of these portfolio pieces may come from other studio art areas but the emphasis should be on works that are relevant to graphic design. Portfolio pieces should reflect the student's creative and conceptual abilities, demonstrate an ability to successfully work with typography, show a strong working knowledge of graphic design software, and display the student's understanding of the basic principles of design and how best to incorporate these principles compositionally. The student's portfolio will also be evaluated in terms of presentation and craftsmanship. Students accepted into the program will be those who exhibit strong design sensibilities and have potential to excel in the upper level courses.

Written Statement of Intent

In conjunction with the portfolio of work, each student must submit a minimum 250 word essay outlining why they feel they should be accepted into the program and what they intend to accomplish with a graphic design degree. This essay will be submitted along with the portfolio. Attention should be given to presentation and writing quality.

Acceptance into the Graphic Design Program

Students are permitted to apply for the graphic design program only twice. Upon acceptance, the chosen students will be allowed to register for upper level graphic design classes and continue their studies toward the BFA in graphic design as outlined by the University of South Alabama Bulletin. Students must register for designated graphic design classes for the fall semester following acceptance to the program. Failure to register for classes or failure to progress through the graphic design curriculum in a timely manner will result in revocation of admission status.

Requirements for a double primary concentration

In lieu of a secondary concentration, students may complete a second primary concentration. This will require course work in excess of the 120 hours minimum required for the B.F.A. and may delay time to graduation. To complete a Double Primary Concentration, students must complete Primary Concentration requirements in two separate areas including Senior Thesis or Senior Portfolio where applicable.

Graphic design laptop policy and computer requirements

All students enrolling in ARS 271, Introduction to Graphic Design, or ARS Graphic Design Applications, and all subsequent graphic design courses are required to own a personal laptop computer that conforms to the graphic design computer requirements. Students are expected to have a computer on the first day of classes. This is a one-student, one-machine requirement. Any student who does not have a laptop by the end of the first week of the semester will be administratively withdrawn from any course requiring the laptop. There are no exceptions to the policy.

This purpose of this policy is to ensure that students have adequate access to computing resources and obtain an extensive working knowledge of the Macintosh system. Possession of a laptop allows students access to printers and other available resources on campus and elsewhere. In addition, owning a laptop aids students with job searches and job preparation as well as provides necessary resources for freelance opportunities that otherwise would not be available. Computer requirements are available in the Department of Visual Arts office, in the graphic design program and on-line at .

Department of Art & Art History website

The goals of the Department of Art & Art History include preparing students for graduate work or careers in the visual art; providing suitable programs and courses for persons who want to study or practice the arts for their own personal development and cultural enrichment; and introducing students to their cultural tradition.

The Department of Art & Art History offers Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with concentrations in Animation, Art History, Ceramics, Graphic Design, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Glass, and Printmaking.

These degree programs are intended for students who plan to pursue careers in Art or Art History, which will typically require their having continued their studies at the graduate level. The Department offers minors in Studio Art and in Art History.

All first-time freshmen must successfully complete CAS 100: First Year Experience as a degree requirement. Students must enroll during their first term at USA, except for summer-entry students who must enroll in the fall semester following entry. Students receiving a B.A. in Art & Art History must take ARS 396 (Studio Art students) or ARH 493 (Art History students) to fulfill the technology requirement. Students receiving a B.F.A. in Studio Art must take ARS 396 (Studio students), or ARS 479 (Graphic Design students), or ARH 493 (Art History students) to fulfill the technology requirement.

Graduate studies

The University of South Alabama offers a Masters of Fine Arts degree (MFA) in Creative Technologies and Practice, which is the terminal, or highest, degree available in the field.  It is a cross-disciplinary degree program appealing to creatives who are interested in a variety of media technologies.  The program emphasizes interdisciplinary practice that spans multiple concentrations within the Art & Art History with technology serving to inform or facilitate the creative process.

The MFA in Creative Technologies and Practice will equip individuals to enter the workforce in a variety of creative technology areas, to manage creative teams, to pursue careers as visual artists, to advance knowledge in the field through research or creative input, and to teach at the university level.

The University of South Alabama offers a Masters in Art Education and an Alternative Masters in Art Education which are housed in the College of Education and Professional Studies. Course work in the visual arts is within the Department of Art & Art History. Further information regarding these degree programs is listed in the Bulletin under graduate programs in the College of Education and Professional Studies.