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 0010 Drawing I
FNAR 0020 Contemporary Art Studio
FNAR 0030 Space/Form

Introductory Studio Requirements (3)
Select three introductory studios, such as.

FNAR 1010 Video I*
FNAR 1030 Intro to Photo: Darkroom Photo
FNAR 1040 Digital Photo I 
FNAR 1050 Mixed Media Animation
FNAR 1060 Sculpture I
FNAR 1070 Intro to Clay
DSGN 0010 Art, Design & Digital Culture *
FNAR 1090 Painting I
FNAR 1100 Intro to Printmaking

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

Art History Requirements* (3)

Select one introductory level course in art history:

ARTH 1010 Art and Civilization Before 1400
ARTH 1020 Renaissance to Contemporary: Introduction to World Art, 1400 - Now
ARTH 1060 The Architect and History
ARTH 3000 Undergraduate Methods Seminar

Select two upper level courses with topics in art history:

ARTH courses from the 200 level or above.
ARTH 2940 Art Now is highly recommended.

*If you are interested in taking a humanities course in another College of Arts and Sciences department that includes topics on the history of art, contact your advisor to discuss fulfilling this requirement.

Fine Art Seminar Requirements (3)

FNAR 3050 Critical Issues in Art  
Students are encouraged to take this course in the fall or spring of their junior year.
FNAR 4020 Senior Seminar -  Fall
FNAR 4030 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 0010 Core Studio: Drawing I and any FNAR Drawing Studio

Option II
FNAR 1060 Core Studio: Sculpture I and any FNAR Sculpture or Clay Studio

Option III
FNAR 1040 Core Studio: Digital Photo I and any FNAR Photo Studio

Option IV
FNAR 1090 Core Studio: Painting I and any FNAR Painting Studio

Option V
DSGN 0010 Core Studio: Art, Design and Digital Culture and any FNAR Animation or Video Studio OR DSGN Design 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.