Undergraduate Program

Major in Studio Arts

Portfolio submission is not required for enrollment in our studio art program, but prospective students are encouraged to include documentation of their art practice as supplementary materials to their application.

A major in studio arts is typically declared prior to the junior year and requires a total of twelve courses:

Students are encouraged to meet with a faculty advisor to design a coherent program of study early in their degree process. Majors should consider course alternatives to the regular 200/300-level offerings, such as internships, Art New York, supervised teaching, and study abroad.

Majors must present an exhibition of works in their senior year along with a thoughtful, cohesive defense of it. Documentation of the works is submitted to and retained by the department. The works comprising this exhibition will eventually be added to the Virtual Alumni Gallery, which is currently under development.

Honors in Studio Arts

If you wish to be considered a candidate for honors in studio art, you must meet the following requirements before applying:


To apply, you must submit an honors project proposal to your faculty advisor(s) and the chair. The subject of the proposal needs to have been mutually agreed upon (and signed) by the student and his/her faculty advisor in the junior year. To apply, submit the following:

Honors Program Requirements

Following the acceptance of the proposal by the department, you must complete a minimum of twelve credit hours beyond major requirements, with the following distribution:

The research paper should exemplify a thorough investigation into subject matter that supports and/or runs parallel to the content of the student’s visual production. This paper must clearly articulate a thoughtful perspective and creatively analyze the chosen topic rather than simply provide a formal review of pre-existing research.

Components of the paper may include, but are not limited to:

The length of the paper will be determined in consultation with the advisors.

Suggested Timeline

The majority of the studio work should be completed in the fall semester with the exhibition scheduled in January or February. The written section of the thesis must be turned in by March 1.

Requirements for Graduation with Distinction

Grade point average is calculated only from the required major courses. Transfer grades and study abroad grades (unless given by the University of Rochester) are not computed.

Levels of distinction are rated by a minimum GPA as follows:

More Information

For more information about studio art, contact one of our undergraduate advisors for studio art: 

Allen Topolski
(585) 273-5994

Stephanie Ashenfelder
(585) 273-5955