The Program in Visual Arts allows undergraduates to explore visual art and media and develop their creative skills in connection with a liberal arts education. Courses are offered in painting, drawing, graphic design, media, sculpture, photography, filmmaking, and film history and criticism. Studio courses emphasize direct, hands-on art making under the guidance of practicing visual arts professionals.
Most courses in the program are open to all students at Princeton. A few courses are by application only, and a few are reserved for certificate and the Practice of Art (PA) Track students only. Most courses are letter graded (not pass/D/fail) and may be taken in fulfillment of the distribution requirement in LA (Literature and Arts). Summer courses and study abroad are accepted for PA students, certificate students, and students who have previously completed at least one VIS course. AP credit is not accepted.
For students interested in pursuing a thesis in studio arts, there are two options. The first is to major in studio art by pursuing the Practice of Art (PA) Track (formerly known as “Program 2”), the concentration offered by the Department of Art and Archaeology and administered by the Program in Visual Arts. The second option is a Visual Arts Certificate earned in addition to a student’s departmental concentration. Students wishing either to study film history and theory may pursue this track within the visual arts certificate program in collaboration with departments that accept a written thesis in film.
Admission to both the Practice of Art Track in Art and Archaeology and the visual arts certificate program is selective. During the first week following spring break, sophomores submit an application and a portfolio of creative work (or an essay on cinema in the case of those applying for the track in film history and theory) to the Lewis Center for the Arts administrative office. By early April, the admissions committee will notify those students accepted into the program. For specific prerequisites, please see the individual areas below.