Art & Design

BA, Minor

The Department of Art & Design offers the following undergraduate programs outside of the BFA program:

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art

The BA degree provides students the opportunity to explore the materials, techniques, places, events, and images that form the basis for understanding the artist’s position in the modern world. All undergraduate students in the Department of Art & Design begin with the same foundation studio curriculum, designed to familiarize them with core concepts and basic skills in preparation for a rigorous studio practice. The course’s emphasis is on the study of drawing, color, and composition as well as time and screen-based contemporary art practices. Students on the BA track then pursue more liberal arts requirements within the wider university rather than declare an area of concentration with upper level studio courses in visual arts. 

All RutgersNew Brunswick undergraduate students who gain approval from either SAS or SEBS are permitted to declare a BA in art as a major upon acceptance by the Department of Art & Design. Students must take 42 credits to complete the art degree requirements.

For questions regarding the BA program, please contact the Senior Advisor and Student Success Counselor.

Learning Goals of the BA in Art

What students will know:
Upon graduation, students will possess the knowledge and skills to apply visual literacy in and outside of artistic contexts; creatively problem solve; research and conceptualize material within the practice; apply fluency with material, process, form, and technique; continue scaffolding and developing new skill acquisitions in a variety of media; foster community and networks within the art world.

What students will do:
Upon graduation, our students will be able to continue creating new artistic forms and models; initiate, research, and complete independent, self-driven artistic and creative projects and bodies of work; engage and investigate the world with a sense of curiosity and compassion; think critically with subtlety and nimbleness; forge and support an artistic community.

What students will value:
Upon graduation, our students will have learned to value disciplinary depth through focus on a given artistic medium; cultural literacy and understanding of the cultural context for their work; creativity and the ability to “think out of the box”; comfort with risk-taking, challenges, missteps, and constructive listening; creative connections and critical thinking within one’s work and to the broader cultural and artistic field; the depth and connections between art history, material culture and their practice; breadth and diversity of creative community and culture; inclusivity as foundational for learning, growth, and thriving creatively and artistically; building community, collaboration, and connections; engaging the world with a sense of curiosity and compassion as artist-citizens; and professional flexibility.

Career Outcomes

This degree program could lead to careers in:

  • Working in a museum as educator, docent, or staff
  • Working in a gallery as gallerist, director, co-director, archivist, assistant, head preparator, art handler
  • Working professional artist
  • Arts educator
  • Arts non-profit organization
  • Working photographer
  • Professional designer
  • Preparation for additional study in art therapy
  • Arts management
  • Arts administration
  • Creative direction
  • Foundation Studio requirements 
    • 07:081:121 – Drawing Fundamentals
    • 07:081:122 – 4D Fundamentals
    • 07:081:227 – Visual Thinking A
    • 07:081:228 – Visual Thinking B
  • Art History and Critical Issues Foundation Courses 
    • 01:082:105 – Introduction to Art History
    • 01:082:106 – Introduction to Art History
    • 07:080:200 – Seminar in Contemporary Art A
    • 07:080:201 – Seminar in Contemporary Art B

The two semesters of “Introduction to Art History” are prerequisites for “Seminar in Contemporary Art A.”

Students are also required to take two credits of Visual Arts Practice (VAP) 07:081:105, a supervised practical experience within the department’s studios, computer or photo labs, or galleries, or specific projects outside the departments in the fields students may pursue after graduation. One Byrne Seminar may count as 1 VAP credit. 

Transferring from BA to BFA 

Students who wish to change from a BA to a BFA must complete a school-to-school transfer and submit a portfolio of work for faculty review. These applications are submitted in March to May for admittance to the BFA in the following fall or from October to December for spring admittance. Please refer to Art & Design Admissions for more information. 

Transferring from BFA to BA 

Students who wish to leave Art & Design and matriculate at some other unit of Rutgers University must submit an application for a school-to-school transfer. Please refer to Art & Design Admissions for more information. 

Minor in Art

This track is for non-major students who wish to explore their artistic interests alongside academic pursuits and professional goals within the creative environment of Mason Gross. It is comprised of diverse foundations courses essential to artistic practice, and not medium specific.

All Rutgers–New Brunswick undergraduate students are eligible to apply for approval to declare a minor in art.  Space in this program is limited and not guaranteed.  Admission is based on the number of applications received, approval from the student’s unit of matriculation and availability in the required courses. Students may only apply to the art minor during the application period in the academic year prior to the fall term in which they will have the minor added to their transcript.

Note: New minor declarations begin in FALL term only.

Key Dates

Application period: December 1–March 1

Notification of approval: By March 20 for fall declaration.


  • Submit a Statement of Purpose (600-word max) to the Department of Art & Design. The application will be open between December 1 to March 1.
  • SAS Students must declare art through MyMajor to be granted approval into the program. 
  • Students from Rutgers units other than SAS should contact their major advisor for instructions on how to officially declare the art minor at their school and have it added to their transcript. 

Once declared, students must receive a final grade of C or better for all required courses in the minor. Studio courses are sequential, and students are advised to complete the application to declare the minor no later than the second semester of their sophomore year which will allow for adequate time to complete the Art minor by their expected date of graduation.

Note: Typically, “A” studio classes are offered in the fall (07:081:121, 07:081:227 and 07:081:321) and “B” studio classes are offered in the spring (07:081:228).

Learning Goals of the Minor in Art

What students will know:
Upon graduation, students will possess the knowledge and skills to contextualize art within a general framework of art history; further develop one’s artistic work drawing on foundational principles of visual art; hone one’s drawing skills, and figurative drawing skills; and employ an array of artistic media and processes to explore and express one’s ideas.

What students will do:
Upon graduation, our students will be able to integrate a unique artistic and creative lens to their job, and/or disciplinary pursuits; further explore and develop one’s artistic interests; apply critical and creative thinking skills to non-artistic problems; and utilize and apply foundational digital and media tools.

What students will value:
Upon graduation, our students will have gained an appreciation for art history and will have learned to value the visual and conceptual building blocks of visual art and design; the tools, basis and practice for figure drawing; a sense of the expansiveness of visual art and design; and inclusivity as foundational for learning, growth, and thriving creatively and artistically.

Career Outcomes

This degree program could lead to careers in:

  • Arts education
  • Arts non-profit organization
  • Art Minor requirements
    • Art History 105
    • Art History 106
  • Foundation Studio requirements
    • Drawing Fundamentals
    • 4D Fundamentals
    • Visual Thinking A or B
  • Figure Drawing II
  • The 16 studio credits must be completed at Mason Gross.
  • Drawing Fundamentals (07:081:121) is a prerequisite for Figure Drawing II (07:081:324)