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Information for Frosh

Frosh Interested in the Art Major

Students should contact the Undergraduate Art Advisor if they are interested in pursuing an art major and should meet with the advisor in their first quarter at UC Santa Cruz if they intend to enroll in art courses their frosh year. A portfolio is not required for entering frosh. Students are required to pass two foundation courses in their frosh year to be eligible to declare the art major.  However, all three foundation courses (10D, 10E, 10F) are requirements for the major. Delaying taking these classes until the sophomore year may delay a student's graduation.

Frosh Foundation Requirements (3 Courses)

ART 10E: 3D Foundation (Fall 2018)

ART 10D: 2D Foundation (Winter 2019)

ART 10F: 4D Foundation (Spring 2019)

Digital Tools (1 Course)

ART 80T: Digital Tools for Contemporary Art Practice (Online Course - Winter 2019)

History of Art & Visual Culture Requirement (2 courses)

Two courses are required: one with a Western emphasis and one with a non-Western emphasis. You may also substitute appropriate upper division HAVC classes for the lower division HAVC requirements. If you are having difficulty getting into studio art classes, you can try to enroll for a History of Art & Visual Culture class. 

Art 80 Topical Courses

Although not required, the Art Department offers the Art 80 Topical courses that fulfill general education requirements. These courses may be used towards general education requirements and towards total credits for graduation.

ART 80F: Introduction to Issues in Digital Media (Fall 2018)

ART 80B: Environmental Art (Spring 2019)

ART 80D: Introduction to Photography (Fall 2018 and Spring 2019)

ART 80X: Ars Erotica; Sexual Imagery in Culture and Art (Winter 2019)

Acceptance to the Art Major

Art major declaration is contingent on completing two of the Art 10 series foundation courses (remember that all three are required for the major).  While completing this lower-division course work, it is critical that each student meet with a faculty adviser regarding the student's potential to proceed to the major level.  All three foundation classes are prerequisite to all lower-division studios.  Frosh may not enroll in lower-division studios before completing these foundation courses.  Consequently, it is essential  that students interested in pursuing the art major take these in their frosh year.

Getting into Studio Classes

Studio art classes are very small (average 25 students) compared to courses from other departments on campus that can accommodate large numbers of students. No matter what the demand, our budget will only allow us a limited number of classes. Frosh may not take any lower division studios until they complete all three of the Art 10 series foundation courses, at which time they will be declared an Art Major and begin enrolling in lower division studios.

To get into a studio art class, if you were not able to pre-enroll get on the wait list (making sure the desired class doesn't have a time conflict with currently enrolled classes). You will then need to attend the first day of class to see if any spaces are available. If there are open spaces, the instructor will issue permission codes that can be used to enroll the day after the first class meeting. It is imperative that if you want to add a class, or stay in a class that you have enrolled in, you must be at the first class meeting. If you miss the first class meeting, you may be dropped from the class or it will fill and you won't be able to add.

General Education Requirements (G.E.)

If you are not able to get into a foundation or studio course in a particular quater at UCSC, you can enroll in courses that fulfill GE requirements. You should balance major requirements and general education requirements throughout your career at UCSC and not focus completely on your GEs in your frosh or sophomore years, as this could delay your graduation. 


Art is very desirable to many, many students -- not just art majors. That is why they are only accessible to students who are serious about studying art. Without the restrictions, art majors would not be able to complete their education in the time allowed by the University.