Feb 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Art Major, B.A.

Department of Art  

College of Letters, Arts and Sciences  

  Available Program Format(s): In-Person  

About the Program

The Bachelor of Arts in Art is a liberal arts degree that provides students with an opportunity to gain a broad background in visual art and to select a minor that complements their studies in art. The creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills learned in this degree program are useful in a variety of career applications and personal aspirations toward lifelong learning, The Department of Art and MSU Denver are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (N.A.S.A.D.).

Student Outcomes

  • Select, evaluate and apply appropriate research resources to develop and support their ideas. 
  • Apply creative processes to the design and completion of works of art that communicate compelling ideas. 
  • Clearly synthesize ideas about visual art in verbal form.

General Degree Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the four areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements. 

Program Requirements

  • A total of 120 semester hours are required for graduation. 
  • A grade of C- or better is required for each course in this program to count toward the bachelor’s degree. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required. 
  • A minor is required for this program.  
  • Students who are in the B.A. in Art may not minor in Studio Art.
  • Art History, Theory and Criticism is a distinct academic discipline from Art, Art Education, or Communication Design, although all reside within the Department of Art and share common foundational requirements.
  • B.A. in Art majors are required to meet with an advisor midway through their program to discuss educational goals and selection of a minor; this must be done upon completing 21 credits in the major, inclusive of the 18 hours of foundations courses required for all students in the Department. Additionally, students must have completed their General Studies requirements in Written Communication, Oral Communication, and Quantitative Literacy at the time of the advising review. Students will not be able to register for ARTH 2080 until they consult with an advisor to discuss their B.A. coursework.
  • Foundation courses are prerequisites for courses within the Art, Communication Design, and Art History, Theory and Criticism majors. Check each course description for specific prerequisites or corequisites.

General Studies Requirements: 33 credits

Students should consult the General Studies Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements for degree completion.  

  • Written Communication (6 credits) 
  • Oral Communication (3 credits) 
  • Quantitative Literacy (3 credits) 
  • Arts and Humanities (6 credits) 
  • Historical (3 credits) 
  • Natural and Physical Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Global Diversity (0 or 3 credits**)


** Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences. 

Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Requirement: 0 or 3 credits

  • Students should consult the Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Graduation Requirement  for a list of courses that fulfill the ESSJ Requirement for degree completion.  
  • Many programs include courses that meet this requirement. Students should consult with their advisor to determine what program courses may fulfill this requirement. 

Electives in the Major: 21 credits

Select a minimum of 21 credits of electives in the major. At least 9 of these credits must be in upper-division courses that have an ART prefix.* ART 3701 Professional Practices II may be taken as an elective in the major, but may not be applied to this 9 credit ART requirement. Students are encouraged to include at least one course designated as integrated media.

*Prerequisites apply. Students pursuing the B.A. in Art may not enroll in ART 4701, ARTH 4710, CDES 4450, CDES 4600, CDES 4625, CDES 4650, or CDES 4721, or in courses with an ARTE prefix. Certain other advanced ART and CDES courses may be available only to B.F.A. students.

ART, ARTH, or CDES Electives: 9 credits

  • Students take 9 credit hours in ART, ARTH, or CDES electives to complete the major.

Senior Experience: 3 credits

Summary of Requirements

General Studies Requirements 33 credits
ESSJ Requirement 0-3 credits
Art Foundation Requirements 18 credits
Required Courses 7 credits
Major Electives 21 credits
Senior Experience 3 credits
Minor and Unrestricted Electives 35-44 credits
Total for the Art Major, B.A. 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and ESSJ requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree.