Art Bachelor of Arts in Art (B.A.)

About Bachelor of Arts in Art

Expand your visual literacy and make an impact with your art.

Develop the key skills and artistic sensitivities necessary for a top career in the arts or art education with a bachelor's degree in art from California University of Pennsylvania. This program will give you a solid technical foundation in a broad range of studio art areas, while expanding your knowledge of contemporary and traditional culture, and the role of art in history.

Cal U's small class sizes ensure you'll get a top education with plenty of individual attention from your art professors - all of whom are practicing artists.                                                                                  

Explore a world of possibilities.                                                 

  • Take hands-on studio courses in painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, drawing and jewelry/metals in a collaborative environment without needing to concentrate in any one area.
  • Discover new forms of communication through art and use art as a lens to understand cultural trends in diversity, sustainability, identity and more.


Education Beyond the Classroom: Cal U's undergraduate art program takes students on trips to some of the country's best museums, art venues and galleries, both here in Pennsylvania and out of state to cities like Cleveland, New York and Washington, D.C. Trips have even been offered to countries such as Italy, Spain, France and Japan.

Top Accreditation: Cal U's bachelor's degree program in art is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Learn more about applying

of Cal U art instructors are practicing artists.
Our professors are members of top regional, national and international art associations, including Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, College Arts Association (CAA), National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), and more.
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Degree Benefits

Cal U's art program revolves around hands-on courses that cover a variety of artistic tools, materials, concepts and new technologies. 

  • Hone your craftsmanship in studio classes in a wide range of media.
  • Learn about the major artists, styles, and movements throughout art.
  • Develop lifelong critical thinking, analytical thinking and creative problem-solving skills.
  • Take a personal initiative and responsibility in projects you're passionate about.
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Graduate Outcomes

The creativity and collaborative thinking of Cal U art program graduates are in-demand skills in many job sectors. This degree can lead to careers in museums, art galleries and freelance illustration, as well as graduate programs in art. A minor or second major can expand career options to roles in art preservation, art therapy, law, business and even government. Cal U alumni:

  • Teach in Pennsylvania schools and throughout the United States.
  • Open their own art-related businesses or freelance in creative roles.
  • Work in art outreach programs.
  • Are employed by various arts organizations.


Art: Bachelor of Arts in Art Degree
Ceramic Studio

Dedicated Facilities

Cal U's bachelor of fine arts students work in dedicated facilities such as a two-story painting studio; fully equipped ceramic, jewelry/metals, drawing and printmaking studios; and state-of-the-art computer labs.

Ceramic mugs.

What can I do with an art degree?

Meet Jamie Porter '11. After graduating from Cal U with a bachelor's degree in art, Jamie went on to complete a graduate bench jeweler program. She now has a rewarding career as a jeweler at MarBill Diamonds and Jewelry in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania.

A student sells art on campus.

Expand your Options at Cal U

At Cal U, you can seamlessly transfer the credits you earn at a Pennsylvania community college or any institution in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education. And once at Cal U, you can expand your career options by earning a minor in arts administration or business.

Art - Bachelor of Arts in Art Degree Courses

This 4-year undergraduate degree program provides a solid foundation in studio art, artistic concepts and art history, as well as a well-rounded liberal arts education. Courses prepare students for a rewarding career as an artist or art professional.


Course Credits
General Education Courses 40 or 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I
Public Speaking
Any Public Speaking Course
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
Any Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy Course
Health and Wellness
Any Health and Wellness Course
Technological Literacy
Any Technological Literacy Course*
Any Humanities Course**
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course***
Natural Sciences
Any Natural Sciences Course
Social Sciences
Any Social Sciences Course
General Education Options
  • Any Ethics and Multicultural Awareness Emphasis Course
  • Additional General Education Courses (three courses)
Laboratory Course 3
Any Laboratory Course (ART 233  Natural Sciences Drawing  OR  ART 130  may be used here)
Required Major Courses 33
ART 110  Drawing I 3
ART 119  Design 2-D 3
ART 120  Design 3-D 3
ART 310  Advanced Drawing  OR  ART 438  Figure Drawing 3
ART 350  Printmaking: Relief  OR  ART 351  Printmaking: Intaglio  OR  ART 295  Surface Design  OR  ART 352  Printmaking Processes 3
ART 376  Jewelry/Metals: Casting  OR  ART 377  Jewelry/Metals: Fabrication 3
ART 382  Ceramics Studio 3
ART 383  Painting Studio 3
ART 385  Sculpture Studio 3
ART 388  Critical Writing in Art 3
ART 490  Senior Studio Thesis 3
Required Art History Courses 12
Select one of the following:
  • ART 212  Art History I AND ART 214  Art History II
  • ART 106  Art Appreciation
3 or 6
Select two to three courses from the following:
  • ART 109  Landmarks of World Art
  • ART 118  History of Making
  • ART 212  Art History I
  • ART 214  Art History II
  • ARB 343  Images of Islam: From Spain to Iran
  • ART 244  Seminar in Black Art
  • ART 243  Introduction to Asian Art
  • ART 323  Women in Art
  • ART 324  Modern Art
  • ART 326  Contemporary Art
  • ART 345  Methods of Art History
  • ART 420  Contemporary Issues in Art
  • ART 422  Art History: The Art World After Modernism
6 or 9
Area of Emphasis (select one concentration) 18
Single Studio Area Concentration: Students complete 18 upper-level credits in any single ART studio area, including ART 329 and 490.
  • Drawing Studio: ART 130, 233 310, 438, 458, 490 and 329
  • Painting Studio: ART 215, 383, 496, 490 and 329
  • Figure Studies Studio: ART 438, 448, 458, 490 and 329
  • Printmaking Studio: ART 295, 350, 351, 352, 490 and 329
  • Jewelry/Metals Studio: 376, 377, 490 and 329
  • Ceramics Studio: ART 382, 493, 490 and 329
  • Sculpture Studio: ART 385, 448, 458, 498, 490 and 329
  • Graphic Design Studio: ART 261, 262, 327, 427, 490, 329; and CDC 120, 150, 210, 220, 310, 350, 497
0 or 18
2 Dimensional Concentration: Students complete 18 credits in any combination of the following courses:
  • ART 130  Biological Illustration: Form and Function
  • ART 227  Graphic Design Studio I
  • ART 233  Natural Science Drawing
  • ART 262  Color Theory
  • ART 266  Selected Topics
  • ART 295  Surface Design
  • ART 310  Advanced Drawing
  • ART 312  Introduction to New and Emerging Art Media
  • ART 315  Digital Immersive Worlds
  • ART 329  Art Internship
  • ART 350  Printmaking: Relief
  • ART 351  Printmaking: Intaglio
  • ART 352  Printmaking Processes
  • ART 383  Painting Studio
  • ART 438  Figure Drawing
  • ART 458  Figure Drawing and Modeling
  • ART 490  Senior Studio Thesis
  • ART 496  Advanced Painting
0 or 18
3 Dimensional Concentration: Students complete 18 credits in any combination of the following courses:
  • ART 118  History of Making
  • ART 266  Selected Topics
  • ART 329  Art Internship
  • ART 376  Jewelry-Metals: Casting
  • ART 377  Jewelry/Metals: Fabrication
  • ART 382  Ceramics Studio
  • ART 385  Sculpture Studio
  • ART 448  Figure Modeling
  • ART 458  Figure Drawing and Modeling
  • ART 490  Senior Studio Thesis
  • ART 493  Advanced Ceramics
  • ART 498  Advanced Sculpture
0 or 18
Digital Media Concentration: Students complete 18 credits from the following courses:
  • ART 127  Introduction to Graphic Design
  • ART 315  Digital Immersive Worlds
  • ART 261  Typography
  • ART 262  Color Theory
  • ART 266  Selected Topics
  • ART 227  Graphic Design Studio 1+
  • ART 329  Art Internship
  • ART 427  Graphic Design Studio 3
  • ART 428  Graphic Design Studio 4
  • ART 490  Senior Studio Thesis
  • CDC 120  Visual Communication 1
  • CDC 252  The Art of Film
  • CDC 150  Imagine, Design, Create
  • CDC 210  Special Topics in Communication, Design and Culture
  • CDC 220  Visual Culture
  • CDC 310  Seminar in Communication, Design and Culture
  • DMT 101  Time-Based Media
  • DMT 180  Multimedia Foundations
  • DMT 225  Digital Layout and Design
  • DMT 240  Electronic Desktop Publishing
  • DMT 300  Digital Photography
  • DMT 320  Digital Video
  • DMT 331  Web Publishing
  • DMT 340  Computer Animation and 3-D Imaging
  • DMT 365  Color Imaging
  • DMT 410  Digital Portfolio
  • DMT 945  Graphic Communications Internship
  • GET 130  Introduction to Engineering Technology
  • CIS 120  Application Programming I
0 or 18
Art Electives 9
Select any three ART courses 9
Free Electives 3 to 5
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): ART 490 Senior Studio Thesis
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): ART 388 Critical Writing in Art AND ART 490 Senior Studio Thesis
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): Any Laboratory Course (ART 233 Natural Science Drawing OR ART 130 Biological Illustration may be used here.)

* DMT 180 is a pre-requisite for many digital media courses and is recommended for students who plan to take digital media courses.

** Students are encouraged to consider taking courses in art, music, theatre, philosophy or languages related to their interests.

*** ART courses may be used here.

+ Pre-requisites for ART 227 (Graphic Design Studio I) include ART 120, CDC 120, ART 261 and ART 262, and students must pass a Portfolio Review in February of their sophomore year, which admits only selected students to the two-year junior-and-senior-year cohort of Graphic Design Studios 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Program Notes:

  • 35% (42 credits/14 courses) of the required 120 credits must include upper-division courses (300-400 level).
  • All art studio courses 300 level and above are repeatable.
  • Requirements in Major: Students must complete 18 credits in one of the four listed concentrations as an area of emphasis.
  • Students are eligible and advised to declare a Certificate in Studio Art. If planning to pursue an MFA in Art, they should complete four courses in a single studio area for their Certificate in Studio Art.
  • Students preferring additional free electives may make room to do so by meeting general education course requirements with courses listed on the general education menus from their major.
  • Graduation Requirements: Minimum GPA - 2.0; Minimum Credits - 120; all major and general educations courses completed.
  • Academic Advisement: Consult your adviser to discuss your appropriate schedule and all other issues relating to your major.
  • Graduation: Students must apply during the first month of their last semester with the College Office.
  • Additional Reminders: Developmental courses do not count toward the 120 credits necessary for graduation but are calculated in your overall GPA.


24 Hours
  • Studio Art Minor in Drawing
  • Studio Art Minor in Ceramics
  • Studio Art Minor in Jewelry/Metals
  • Studio Art Minor in Painting
  • Studio Art Minor in Printmaking
  • Studio Art Minor in Sculpture
  • General Art Minor

Art Faculty

Maggy D. Aston
Associate Professor

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James B. Bove

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Laura DeFazio

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Dr. Cindy Persinger
Associate Professor

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Todd Pinkham
Associate Professor

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