Bachelor of Arts in Art: Concentration in Art History and Studio Art


At the time of admission to the University, no special permission, application or portfolio review is required to declare the art major. Juniors or seniors who have declared in another major, but wish to change their major to art must:

Complete four courses with a grade of C or higher and two courses from each category:

Art History
ART 201Western Art History I3
ART 202Western Art History II3
ART/HUM 205Asian Art History3
ART 210Introduction to Digital Media Arts3
ART 222Introduction to Textile Art3
ART 231Drawing 13
ART 235Printmaking 13
ART 240Introduction to Contemporary Sculpture3
ART 245Ceramics 13
ART 260Photography 13
  • Proof of consultation with an art advisor
  • For students transferring from other institutions, a minimum of 12 units in residence is required.

Students are required to decide on a concentration by their junior year, and to discuss their choice with an advisor in that area. Since some areas are very crowded, students transferring at an advanced level from other institutions should contact an advisor in their proposed concentration upon application for admission to the University. The concentration programs may be structured to fit individual needs after conferring with an advisor and obtaining the advisor’s approval.


  • The concentration in Art Education explores the place of the visual arts in elementary and secondary education, and in general human development.
  • The concentration in Art History examines the history of visual form in relation to the values, beliefs, and institutions of specific cultures.
  • The concentration in Studio Art provides students with the framework to develop their body of work through a variety of studio experiences supported by knowledge of past and contemporary art making practices.
  • The concentration in Art History and Studio Art is available for students with combined interests in studio and art history. The concentration consists of a planned combination of courses in both areas, approved in advance by advisors in art history and studio.

Students should be aware that art practice is time-consuming and expensive. Instructional Materials Fees are required for most studio courses, and students may find themselves spending additional sums of money on their projects.

Studio practice courses require hands-on practice and experience; this limits the number of students who can enroll in such courses.

Studio Areas: Ceramics, Digital Media & Emerging Technology, Painting and Drawing, Printmaking, Photography, Sculpture, and Textiles

Each studio area is structured to provide a similar sequence of development in the medium. Lower division courses provide technical foundations and introduce students to upper division topics in the area of study; intermediate courses extend and deepen skills while providing opportunities for students to engage with conceptual and critical issues; and advanced courses help students develop a focused body of work with awareness of the historical and contemporary concerns of art practice more broadly.


Students are strongly encouraged to consult with a major advisor on a regular basis as they advance through the program. A list of departmental advisors and contact information can be found on the School’s website:

Students are also advised to consult with the University’s Advising Center for information about General Education and other University requirements, as well as the Student Achievement and Resource Center in the College of Liberal & Creative Arts:

General Education Requirements Met in the Art Major:

The requirement below is deemed “met in the major” upon completion of the courses listed (even though the courses are not approved for GE). This is true whether or not the student completes the major.

Bachelor of Arts in Art: Concentration in Art History and Studio Art — 46 units

Lower Division Courses (12 units)

Art History
Select two of the following:
ART 201Western Art History I3
ART 202Western Art History II3
ART/HUM 205Asian Art History3
Studio Art
Select two from the following:
ART 210Introduction to Digital Media Arts3
ART 222Introduction to Textile Art3
ART 231Drawing 13
ART 235Printmaking 13
ART 240Introduction to Contemporary Sculpture3
ART 245Ceramics 13
ART 260Photography 13

Before advancing to the 300-level or higher courses or declaring a concentration, all majors must have completed the University’s lower division requirements and the lower division courses for the major, or equivalent. Change of major students must also have proof of art advisor consultation.

To declare a concentration in art history and studio art, the student must consult advisors in the appropriate areas and draft a contractual proposed course of study on the Concentration Advising Form. The program must be approved by the advisors and by the School of Art director in advance. Copies of the form are retained by students and their advisors.

Upper Division Art History (12 units)

(Choose at least one 20th/21st century topic)

ART 303The Artist in the 20th-21st Centuries: Cultures in Collision--Cultures in Fusion3
ART 306Modern and Contemporary Art in a Global Context: 1945-Present3
ART 403/SXS 405Queer Art History3
ART 501Western Art: Special Areas3
ART 502Asian Art: Special Areas3

Upper Division Studio Art (15 units)

Choose one or two studio areas to develop skills that will lead to developing a guided, personally directed body of work in a capstone course in the senior year.

Capstone (3 units)

Capstone Studio Course3
ART 602Art History Seminar3

Art Productions (1 unit)

ART 509Art Productions: Studio, Art History, Art Education1

Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement (3 units)

ART 400GWWriting About Art - GWAR3

Note: A minimum of 40 upper division units must be completed for the degree (including upper division units required for the major, general education, electives, etc.). A student can complete this major yet not attain the necessary number of upper division units required for graduation. In this case, additional upper division courses will be needed to reach the required total.

Complementary Studies

All candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Art must complete 12 units of complementary studies from courses bearing a prefix other than ART, and not cross-listed with ART.

Students may satisfy this requirement in a variety of ways designed to facilitate timely graduation. Under advisement students may complete 12 units of coursework in a single foreign language, an approved study abroad program, partial completion of a second major, minor, or certificate program in a related area of study. Related areas include Museum Studies, Design and Industry, Cinema, Music and Dance, Theatre, and Business. Requirements vary for each of the four Art concentrations (Studio; Art History, Art Education, and Studio/Art History) and students are strongly encouraged to work closely with their major advisor toward completion of this requirement.

Students who have earned AA-T or AS-T degrees and are pursuing a similar B.A. degree at SF State are required to fulfill the Complementary Studies requirement as defined by the major department. Students should consult with a major advisor about how transfer units and/or SF State units can best be applied to this requirement in order to ensure degree completion within 60 units.

Note: Students who complete two majors, or a major and a minor, automatically complete the complementary studies requirement.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication I LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Written English Communication II LD 3 A4
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Humanities: Literature LD 3 C3
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Governement LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD or UD 3 E
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), in a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities (AERM) LD or UD 3
Environmental Sustainability (ES) LD or UD 3
Global Perspectives (GP) LD or UD 3
Social Justice (SJ) LD or UD 3

Note: LD = Lower Division; UD = Upper Division.

First Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

This 2017–2018 roadmap opens in a new tab.

This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in Art History or  Studio Arts

California legislation SB 1440 (2009) mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper-division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation, and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower-division preparation for the major.

An ADT totals 60 units and includes completion of all lower-division General Education requirements and at least 18 units in a specific major. Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.

Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.

Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.

A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and continue in a "similar" major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab and displays:

  • How many lower-division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower-division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.

Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission, but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government
    • a 2nd-semester course in written English composition

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower division major requirements for this major, including 2nd-semester composition;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 units/90 quarters required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper division transfer (for example, if course was not passed on the first attempt, or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California community college of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower division general education in areas C and D until after transfer in order to focus on preparation courses for the major. (This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.)

Transferring from institutions other than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (GE A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

Identify and complete a 2nd-semester written English composition course before transfer. This is usually the next course after the typical “freshman comp” course, with a focus on writing, reading and critical analytical skills for academic purposes, and developing skills in composing, revising, and the use of rhetorical strategies.

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All students must meet the transfer eligibility requirements outlined below for admission. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.00 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
  • Complete 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of general education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite (same as CSU GE area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and a minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a "C" or better grade in each basic skills course.