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Advising Art Majors

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A Guide to Advising Art Majors

What follows is a basic guide to advising art majors. As with all guides, there are times when it can be followed to the letter and times when it may need to be deviated from. Such instances might be when students are transferring in credits from another institution, when they will be completing their degree with less than a full course load, when they have registered late, and when they have been incorrectly advised upon admittance to GCC.

In general, students should aim to complete the foundational studio courses (ART 121 - ART 161) prior to using their art electives. The exception to this rule is forth the student who wishes to continue working in specific medium from semester to semester.

It is recommended that the full-time art majors take two studio and two academic courses (any course not coded ART) per semester. Students who wish to complete the Visual Arts AS degree in two years need to plan on taking five courses per semester, including one course during the summer, beginning in their first semester. Students who need to complete developmental English and/or Math courses will not be able to complete the degree program in less than three years.

The 65-66 credit Visual Arts MassTransfer Option is designed for students who wish to transfer to Umass. Students wishing to transfer to an art school, college, or institute should be advised into the regular 63-64 credit Visual Arts program. The MassTransfer option has extra Math/Science requirements as required by Umass, hence the extra credits. NOTE: developmental math students in this program may need to start working towards their math requirement in their first semester.

Students wishing to transfer into an area of study not covered by the Visual Arts program (for example, fashion design or illustration) may only be accepted at the sophomore level by the transfer institution. As a result, it may be more beneficial for those students to transfer prior to completion of their AS degree.

The 27 credit Digital Media Certificate can generally be completed in three semesters, assuming a full-time course load and no developmental coursework is required.

The 62-63 credit Liberal Arts - Art AA program provides the flexibility for students to select the studio courses they wish to take without necessarily concentrating in a given medium; alternatively, students may work exclusively within a medium of their choice.

Advising sheets, sample program pathways, course pathways, course periodicity, and a complete downloadable course list can be found on the Forms and Documents page.

Year One

All Degree Majors

The first semester is critical for an ART major in that it must introduce the fundamental design and writing skills required to advance through the degree in a timely and competent manner. All art majors must take ART 121 Visual Concepts I and English Composition I in the first semester. The additional first semester studio and general education courses will be based on the student's intended concentration of study and interests. For example:

  • Computer Arts: ART 161 Computer Arts Foundation
  • Painting and Drawing: ART 131 Drawing Foundation
  • Photography: ART 151 Photography Foundation
  • Video: ART 155 Video Foundation

In the second semester, art majors should continue on to the next level of design in ART 123 Visual Concepts II, AHS 101 Art History Survey I, and English Composition II. It is recognized that the earlier students complete their English Composition requirements, the stronger their writing will be in their remaining coursework. This sequence will also benefit students wishing to transfer to Umass after their first year at GCC. The full-time student should either take an additional foundation course requirement from the above list or one of the courses from within their concentration.

Liberal Arts – Art majors may elect to take an upper-level course within one of the four concentrations (based on the foundation course taken during their first semester and the courses being offered in their second semester).

Year Two

Visual Arts Majors

In the third semester, Visual Arts majors should take AHS 102 Art History Survey II, a foundation art course (ART 131, ART 151, ART 155, ART 161), a course from their art concentration, and a general education course.

In the fourth semester, Visual Arts majors should take a foundation art course (ART 131, ART 151, ART 155, ART 161), a course from their art concentration, a general education course, and either an art history elective or an additional general education course. NOTE: Visual Arts MassTransfer Option students do not have an art history elective - they must take AHS 107 History of Modern Art, which is only offered during the summer semester.

Year Three

Visual Arts Majors

In most cases, this will be an art major's final year at GCC. The emphasis during this year is on portfolio development in preparation for transfer. It is during this year that Visual Arts (AVA) majors will take ACS 200 Professional Art Practices and ART 290 Visual Art Seminar. Note: ACS 200 is only offered in the fall and ART 290 is only offered in the spring.

Additionalconcentration courses will largely consist of electives.