Studio Art Requirements


The studio division of the Art major has been structured to develop a critical understanding of making art in a variety of media through teaching technical skills as well as expanding and deepening creative ideas. The courses are suited to those students wishing to major in art, as well as those who wish to include studio art as part of their liberal arts education.

Major Requirements

The Studio Art major requires a minimum of nine courses:

ARTS 100 Drawing I

One art history course (preferably taken by the end of the junior year)

A combination of at least three 100 and 200-level courses in three different media (ARTS 100 and tutorials do not satisfy this requirement)

One 300-level ARTS course

One elected ARTS course

ARTS 319 Junior Seminar

ARTS 418 Senior Seminar

The numbered sequence of courses in the Studio Art major is intended to develop knowledge and skills appropriate to students’ levels of experience, ultimately supporting original, independent work at the 400-level. ARTS 100 is an introduction to the principles of drawing and design, familiarizing students with the foundational art concepts of visual expression. An Art History course not only increases visual knowledge of other periods and cultures, but also provides exposure to the methods of visual analysis. 100 and 200-level ARTS courses introduce the relation between form and content and serve as introductions to a variety of media including architecture, painting, performance, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video. 300-level courses place greater emphasis on the application of visual skills to thematic concerns, and to the development of the student’s individual vision. The capstone to the major, ARTS 418, provides a comprehensive, professional exhibition experience. Students not only define, research, and create an original body of work, but are also engaged in all aspects of producing an exhibition at the Williams College Museum of Art.

The faculty encourages students to begin exploring studio art in the first year so that they can fully explore a variety of media in preparation for independent work in the junior and senior year.

An example of a successful route through the major might look like this:

First year– An exploration of a variety of media, for example: two studio classes at the 100 and 200 level in different media. (2-D, 3-D, photo, video or performance) and an Art History class. While there is only one art history class required for the major, we encourage you to take advantage of the rich art history offerings throughout your time at Williams.

We encourage students to explore media that they are unfamiliar with early on.

Second year– At least two 100 and 200 level courses that expand your experiences and deepen your knowledge and expertise.

Third Year– Junior seminar, a 200 or 300 level course or tutorial and possibly a second art history class.

Fourth Year– One 300 level course. Senior seminar and a variety of final courses chosen to support your individual interests.


For more information on requirements, refer to the Course Catalog.