Area of Focus
  • Arts & Media
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
  • M.F.A.
Academic Division
  • Arts
  • Art

Program overview

The Art Department offers an integrated program of study in theory and practice exploring the power of visual communication for personal expression and public interaction. Students are given the means to pursue this exploration through courses that provide the practical skills for art production in a variety of media within the contexts of critical thinking and broad-based social and environmental perspectives.

Art student painting

Learning Experience

Courses are offered in drawing, animation, painting, photography, sculpture, print media, critical theory, electronic art, public art, environmental art, social art practice, and interactive technologies. Elena Baskin Visual Arts Studios provide world-class facilities for art production in these areas. The Art Department is committed to pursuing a continuing dialogue about what constitutes basic preparation in the arts while offering students experience in established practices, new genres, and new technologies.

Study and Research Opportunities
  • B.A. in studio art and M.F.A. in Environmental Art and Social Practice.
  • On-campus student galleries: The Eduardo Carrillo Senior Gallery, the Mary Porter Sesnon (Underground) Gallery, and two Mini-galleries in the art department courtyard.
  • Digital Arts Research Center (DARC) – A multimedia complex housing extensive digital printmaking/photography facilities, faculty studios, and exhibition/media labs for the Digital Arts and New Media graduate program. DARC is also the home of parts of the departments of Art, Music, and Performance, Play & Design.
  • Opportunities to study abroad during the junior or senior year through the UC Education Abroad Program or UCSC Global Seminars led by UCSC Art Faculty

First-Year (Freshman) Requirements

A portfolio is not required for entering frosh. Students should contact the Undergraduate Art Advisor if they are interested in pursuing an art major and intend to enroll in foundation courses (Art 10_) their freshman year. Acceptance into the art major is contingent on passing two of the three foundation courses that we offer. All three foundation classes are prerequisite to lower-division studios. Consequently, it is essential that students interested in pursuing the art major take the three foundation courses in their freshman year.

Art student outside

Transfer Requirements

This is a non-screening major. However, transfer students must identify themselves as potential art majors when applying to UCSC to receive information on the portfolio deadlines (early April) and materials required for the review. The review is highly competitive. It is advised that students complete all three of their lower-division studios at the community college, PLUS extra studios in their area of interest to submit a high level portfolio. Transfers should also complete two survey courses in art history (one with a Western focus, one with a non-Western focus) before transferring to UC Santa Cruz.

Student book sewing

Learning Outcomes

Students who earn a B.A. in Art will gain the skills, knowledge, and understanding that will enable them to:

1. Demonstrate proficiency in a range of techniques and media.

2. Demonstrate the ability to imagine, create and resolve a work of art incorporating research with an awareness of contemporary and historical practices, approaches, and cultural perspectives.

3.  Demonstrate the ability to discuss and revise their own and other students’ artistic process and production based on a foundation in forms and ideas with a knowledge of diversity through multiple historical and contemporary contexts, cultural perspectives, and approaches.

4. Demonstrate the ability to communicate in writing analysis of a work of art using vocabulary that reflects a foundational knowledge in the diversity of forms and ideas encompassing multiple historical and contemporary contexts, cultural perspectives, and approaches.

Student painting mural

Internships and Career Opportunities

  • Professional artist
  • Art and law
  • Art criticism
  • Art marketing
  • Arts administration
  • Curating
  • Digital imaging
  • Edition printing
  • Industry consultant
  • Model maker
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Museum and gallery management
  • Museum exhibition design and curation
  • Publishing
  • Teaching

Program Contact



apartment Elena Baskin Visual Arts Studios, Room E-105 
phone (831) 459-3551

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