Programs and Courses: Undergraduate Program: FAQ

What is a typical Art studio class like?

Art classes are small - they can range from 15 to 20, up to 25 students max. in a class. Art classes are scheduled for 3 days/week MWF or TTS; however, the instructor meets twice a week with the class only on a MW or a TT. Each class meets for 3 hours. The third class on F or S is a studio day, and you're expected to put in the 3 hours on your honor, either in the classroom (or in your dorm room) on a Friday or over the weekend.

The instructor will often begin with a slide/lecture presentation related to the assignment or do a demonstration and then assign a project, which will have a deadline for completion (usually every two weeks). Instead of exams, students bring their projects to be critiqued by the instructor and the entire class. Most completed student work is hung in the hallway outside the classroom. Many classes exhibit their best work in the departmental gallery the Worth Ryder Art Gallery.

How many Art classes should I take?

Most students who intend to be majors take 2 classes per semester. Majors complete 4 lower division studio classes (beginning level classes) and 6 upper division studio classes (advanced level classes). They also are required to take a minimum of 3 Art History classes (1 lower division and 2 upper division). However, most students who plan to go on to graduate school manage to take more classes.

What classes can I take?

We teach a Fine Arts curriculum - Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Video, Performance Art, Ceramics, Digital Video, Digital Media (animation). We do not teach: Graphic Design, Commercial Art, Illustration, Art Therapy, traditional Photography (but the Visual Studies program in C.E.D does), Glassblowing, Metal casting, and similar courses.

Is it hard to get into classes?

Yes. Our classes are very popular and class size is small (15 - 20 students in a class). Many students take the classes offered during Summer Sessions to make progress through the major.

What is Honors Studio?

Space in which to work is very limited on campus and most students complete their projects in the classrooms after hours, over the weekends or in their dorm rooms. However, there is a special studio space on campus called the Honors Studio. This is a shared studio space in Wurster Hall for 8 serious art majors who are doing outstanding work. Junior and senior level students are nominated by faculty for one semester's residency. Students have access to the studio any time, day or night. At the end of every semester, all Honors Studio occupants exhibit their work in a group show in the Worth Ryder Gallery.

What is the Worth Ryder Art Gallery?

The Worth Ryder Art Gallery is the departmental gallery, located in 116 Kroeber Hall. It is the hub of the department - a place where students and faculty exhibit their work for each other, the campus community and the public. A new show goes up every two weeks throughout the semester with opening receptions on Wednesdays from 4-6 PM. All shows are installed, maintained, publicized and de-installed by student volunteers. Students may send a proposal for a show to the Gallery Director at any time. All shows are free and open to the public.

Do Art classes take a lot of time?

Art is challenging and it does require time and many revisions to arrive at the best solution. Plan to give it the same amount of time as a reading course. For each art course, plan on spending at least 6-9 hours outside of class.

What can I do with Art when I graduate?

Most of our alumni have used their training in the visual arts to pursue careers as professional artists, art teachers, filmmakers, graphic designers, gallery owners, museum preparators, curators, fashion designers, publishers, set designers, advertising artists, web designers, animators, photographers, etc.

Can I get credit for Art studio classes I took in a community college?

Yes, if they are beginning level classes in the following areas only: drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture (ceramic or mixed media), and digital media. You will need to meet with a faculty adviser to show examples of work that was completed for those classes, along with a transcript. If the work meets departmental standards, you will not need to re-take those classes at Berkeley.