Undergraduate Fine Arts and Design

Fine Arts Major

The BA in Fine Arts is a is a 16-credit major available to students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering. The Fine Arts major is a conduit for interdisciplinary study and inquiry that incorporates a broad range of artmaking techniques, approaches, and perspectives. The Fine Arts Department offers a diverse range of studio courses in the areas of animation and 3D modeling, drawing and painting, photography, print media, sculpture, performance, and video. The dynamic curriculum also provides students with the opportunity to thoroughly examine contemporary art, creative research, and public art through seminar-based instruction. Combining studio practices and seminar courses, the Fine Arts major emphasizes project-based learning, collaboration, and interdisciplinary dialogue.  Students entering the major develop the ability to critically and resourcefully synthesize the expansive potentialities of art. These skills are gained through exposure to a diverse set of artistic approaches, their histories, and contemporary applications. The Fine Arts major guides students through a process of learning to independently question, interpret, and analyze the world through making, scholarship, and reflection.

Core Studio Requirements (3)
Students are encouraged to take these classes their freshman and sophomore year.

FNAR 123 Drawing I
FNAR 125 Contemporary Art Studio
FNAR 127 Space/Form

Introductory Studio Requirements (3)
Select three out of the seven options below.

FNAR 061 Video I*
FNAR 145  Sculpture  Practices
FNAR 231 Painting Practices
FNAR 250 Introduction to Printmaking
DSGN 264  Art, Design & Digital Culture *
FNAR 340   Digital Photography
FNAR 289 Mixed Media Animation

*Course fulfills a College of Arts and Sciences sector requirement (Sector IV: Humanities and Social Science).

Art History Requirements (3)

Select one:

ARTH 101 Art and Civilization Before 1400
ARTH 102 Renaissance to Contemporary: Introduction to World Art, 1400 - Now
ARTH 106 The Architect and History
ARTH 300 Undergraduate Methods Seminar

Select two:

ARTH courses from the 200 level or above.
ARTH 294 Art Now is highly recommended.

Fine Art Seminar Requirements (3)

FNAR 310 Critical Issues in Art  
Students are encouraged to take this course in the fall or spring of their junior year.

FNAR 488 Senior Seminar -  Fall
FNAR 489 Senior Seminar - Spring

Art and Design Electives (4)

Select any combination of four FNAR and DSGN courses to fulfill this requirement.

Fine Arts Minor

The Fine Arts Minor is a six-credit program available to undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, Wharton and the School of Nursing. This minor introduces students to a broad range of Fine Art disciplines and methodologies with the ability to take multiple classes in one area of study.

Fine Arts Core Studio Requirements (2CU)
Fine Arts Minors are required to take one core studio plus a second studio in the same discipline.  Students pursuing a minor must choose one of the curriculum options listed below.

Option I
FNAR 123 Core Studio: Drawing I and FNAR (drawing studio)

Option II
FNAR 145 Core Studio: Sculpture Practices and FNAR (sculpture studio or ceramics studio)

Option III
FNAR 150 Core Studio: Photography Practices and FNAR (photography studio)

Option IV
FNAR 231 Core Studio: Painting Practices and FNAR (painting studio)

Option V
DSGN 264 Core Studio: Art, Design and Digital Culture and FNAR (design, animation or video studio)

Art History Requirement (1CU)
Fine Arts minors must take a one Art History course. Art History course listings can be found on the Art History Department website by clicking on the course menu.

Fine Arts Electives (3CU)
Minors must complete three Fine Arts electives. Fine Arts electives can be taken in any order as long as prerequisites are met. A complete list of fine arts electives can be found on the university's course catalog.


To declare a Fine Arts major or minor, schedule an advising appointment with Matt Neff, Director Undergraduate Fine Arts & Design (mneff@design.upenn.edu) or Kate Lawrence, Associate Director Undergraduate Fine Arts % Design (klawr@upenn.edu).

Transfer Credit & Study Abroad

The Undergraduate Program in Fine Arts & Design accepts transfer creditscredit away credits, as well as study abroad credits. To request a transfer, credit away, or study abroad credit to be reviewed by the Fine Arts Department, students must submit all course syllabi and other supporting materials from the respective institution using the College of Arts and Sciences External Course Approval Tool (XCAT). Credits will be evaluated and approved on a case-by-case basis, and must align with current Undergraduate Fine Arts curriculum and course offerings. 

Students must confer with College of Arts and Sciences policies governing credits.