We strive to nurture the entire artist and our Liberal Arts and Foundations program is an integral part of this process. Understand the history of art and design, and apply it to create the future.

Liberal Arts

The Liberal Arts program provides students with a holistic education covering the arts, humanities, and sciences. The program introduces and builds upon critical thinking and analysis, problem solving, written communication, art historical awareness, historical awareness, cultural awareness, research and information gathering, employment communications, and quantitative literacy. Courses highlight connections between the subject of study and the major fields of art and design, providing context to the larger world of art and design.

Undergraduate Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Critical Thinking and Analysis

  • Raise clear and precise questions, use abstract ideas to interpret information and reach supported conclusions. Understand and define a problem or argument and address it using acquired knowledge.

Written Communication

  • Write with conciseness and clarity and apply the conventions of standard written English to communicate effectively in a variety of contexts.

Research and Retrieval of Information

  • Gather, identify, and apply relevant information and reference material in coursework.

Art Historical Awareness

  • Identify artwork from various periods and styles and make distinctions and connections among them through stylistic and cultural analysis. Analyze the ways art can affect and/or reflect cultural, political and humanistic issues and recognize how cultural context influences artistic development.

Historical Awareness

  • Develop and draw upon historical knowledge in order to analyze relevant historical and contemporary issue(s).

Cultural Ideas & Influences

  • Identify how cultural perspectives can affect interpretation of topics in the arts, politics or global relations.

Quantitative Literacy

  • Recognize, comprehend, and generate quantitative information in a variety of representational forms.

Employment Communications and Practices

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of current business practices by creating materials appropriate for seeking employment in the chosen field.

Oral Communication

  • Clearly present creative ideas and analytical information to a variety of audiences.

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.
Meeting Undergraduate Liberal Arts Requirements

Undergraduate Liberal Arts Program Requirements can be met in the following ways:

  • Take the Academy course and earn a passing grade
  • Transfer in a comparable course from a previous post secondary institution
  • Waiver through passing score on Academy Placement Exam
  • Waiver through passing score on AP, IB or SAT exam

All degree programs include Liberal Arts requirements.

Transfer of Coursework from a Previous Institution:

Students transferring courses from a previous college or university will be placed out of the corresponding Academy degree requirement and receive the appropriate unit credit for each course transferred. Official transcripts should be sent as early as possible to allow for ample processing time. Transcripts received after a student’s first semester or unofficial transcripts will not be reviewed for transfer credit.

Placement Exam and Waiver Options

NOTE: Students who place out of a required course via the Academy of Art University Placement Exam, AP, IB, or SAT will have that requirement waived but must make up the units with a Liberal Arts elective.

Graduate Program Learning Outcomes

Graduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Critical Thinking and Analysis (Problem Solving)

  • Ability to raise clear and precise questions, use abstract ideas to interpret information, consider diverse points of view, reach well-reasoned conclusions and test them against relevant criteria and standards on an advanced level.
  • Ability to understand and define a problem or argument and apply acquired knowledge to generate solutions appropriate to their major.

Written Communication Skills

  • Ability to write and speak with conciseness and clarity to effectively communicate within the industry of their major in English on an advanced level.

Research Skills

  • Ability to work as advanced researchers/artists and in collaboration with others as appropriate to their major.

Aesthetic Sensitivity

  • Ability to evaluate art and design critically, to recognize aesthetic value, decorum and artistic integrity on an advanced level.

Cross-Cultural Understanding

  • Ability to understand, identify and acquire relevant knowledge of cultural perspectives and participate in intercultural communication.

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.
Meeting Graduate Liberal Arts Requirements

Graduate Liberal Arts Program Requirements can be met in the following ways:

  • Take the Academy course and earn a grade of C or higher
  • Transfer in a comparable course from a previous graduate institution
  • Waiver through demonstration of extensive undergraduate coursework in the subject area
  • All degree programs include Liberal Arts requirements.

Learn more about Graduate Liberal Arts Graduation Requirements.

Transfer of Coursework from a Previous Institution

Students who transfer in courses from a previous graduate school will be placed out of the corresponding Academy requirement and receive the appropriate unit credit for each course they transfer in. Please send your transcripts in early to allow for ample processing time. Transcripts received after the student’s first semester will not be reviewed for transfer credit.

The determination whether to give credit for previous studies is made by Academy of Art University. Credit is only transferred if Academy of Art University determines that courses taken at the previous institution are relevant to the student’s studies and independent Final Thesis Project. Academy of Art University takes the following factors into consideration in making this determination:

  • The course description published in the other institution’s materials
  • Number of credit hours awarded for the work done
  • The grade received in the course. Grades lower than a C will not be considered for transfer credit
  • The work generated by the student from the course

Students requesting to transfer credits must meet with an admissions representative within the first four weeks of their first semester to confirm the transfer of credits. The Articulation Office must receive all transcripts before the end of the student’s first semester of enrollment. Upon enrollment of the first semester, concurrent enrollment at any other institution is not allowed. The Academy will not transfer additional credits from another institution upon completion of the transfer evaluation.

Maximum Transfer Credits

A maximum of six credits from graduate studies at other institutions may be transferred for credit toward a Master’s degree.

Waiving Graduate Liberal Arts Requirements

Students may waive Graduate Liberal Arts requirements if they have extensive undergraduate coursework in that subject area. Students who wish to transfer in or waive Graduate Liberal Arts requirements must provide their advisor with a copy of their transcripts, course descriptions for courses to be considered and a cover letter. All documents must be in English.

Graduate courses are more intensive and focused than undergraduate courses. Unless students have taken specialized upper-divisional (advanced) courses covering the same topics of the Graduate Liberal Arts course they wish to waive, they will not be allowed to waive the Graduate Liberal Arts requirement. i.e. Introductory survey courses do not qualify.

NOTE: Students who waive out of a Graduate Liberal Arts requirement must select a substitute Graduate Liberal Arts elective replacement.

Art Historical Awareness and Aesthetic Sensitivity: To waive this requirement, students must demonstrate specialized coursework in both Art History and Philosophy/Aesthetic theory.

Cross-Cultural Understanding: To waive this requirement, students must demonstrate specialized coursework in COMPARATIVE culture studies and theory.

Professional Practices: To waive this requirement, students must have a business-related undergraduate degree or extensive Professional experience in their major field and supporting evidence including resume and copy of Business Plan or Grant Proposal.

Graduate Liberal Arts Electives: Electives are not eligible for waiver but may be transferred in.

Undergraduate Liberal Arts Placement

Academy of Art University recognizes the scores listed below for Liberal Arts course placement.

Written Communications

Academy of Art University Written Communications Placement Exam

ScorePlacement
1 or 2Place into LA 108
3 or 4Place out of LA 108 and into LA 202
5 or 6Place out of both LA 108 and LA 202 and into LA 110

Advanced Placement (AP) Exam in English Composition

ScorePlacement
3 or higherPlace out of LA 108 and into LA 202

International Baccalaureates (IB) HL Exam in English Composition

ScorePlacement
4 or higherPlace out of LA 108 and into LA 202

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

SAT II (Writing Subject Test) 
ScorePlacement
660 or higherPlace out of LA 108 and into LA 202
SAT I (Written) exam before April 1995
ScorePlacement
510 or higherPlace out of LA 108 and into LA 202
SAT I (Written) after April 1995
ScorePlacement
590 or higherPlace out of LA 108 and into LA 202

How to Schedule an Academy of Art University Placement Exam:

Exams are offered once a week on the Academy of Art University Campus. Call the Liberal Arts Department 1-415-618-3664 to schedule an appointment. Exams are by appointment (No drop-ins)View the Exam Schedule.

Online Students: call or e-mail liberalarts@academyart.edu for information on how to take the exam in your area.

Quantitative Literacy

Academy of Art University Quantitative Literacy Placement Exam

ScorePlacement
100 - 199• Non-ARH & Non-LAN students: place into the Quantitative Literacy Requirement
• ARH & LAN students: place into the Math for Environmental Design Requirement (LA255 College Math)
200 - 299• Non-ARH & Non-LAN students: place out of the Quantitative Literacy Requirement
• ARH & LAN students: place out of the Math for Environmental Design Requirement (LA255 College Math) and into the Applied Math Requirement (LA271 College Algebra with Geometry)
300 - 399• Non-ARH & Non-LAN students: place out of the Quantitative Literacy Requirement
• ARH students: place out of both the Math for Environmental Design Requirement (LA255 College Math) and the Applied Math Requirement (LA271 College Algebra with Geometry) and into the Advanced Math Requirement (LA293 Precalculus)
• LAN students: place out of both the Math for Environmental Design Requirement (LA255 College Math) and the Applied Math Requirement (LA271 College Algebra with Geometry)
400 - 499• Non-ARH & Non-LAN students: place out of the Quantitative Literacy Requirement
• ARH & LAN students: place out of all math requirements. (LA255, LA271, LA293)
Notes• Students with a score of 200 or more have satisfied the prerequisite for LA271 College Algebra with Geometry
• Students with a score of 300 or more have satisfied the prerequisite for LA293 Precalculus

American College Test (ACT)

Completion of ACT Level I or II
ScorePlacement
PassPlace out the Quantitative Literacy Requirement
PassARH & LAN students place out of LA 255 and into LA 271
ACT Exam
ScorePlacement
28 or higherPlace out the Quantitative Literacy Requirement
28 or higherARH & LAN students place out of LA 255 and into LA 271

Advanced Placement (AP) Exam

AP Exam in Calculus AB or BC or Statistics or Computer Science AB
NOTE: Other exam subject areas may be considered. Contact the LA Department for applicable tests]
ScorePlacement
3 or higherPlace out the Quantitative Literacy Requirement
3 or higherARH & LAN students place out of LA 255 and into LA 271

International Baccalaureates (IB) Exam

(IB) HL Exam in Mathematics
ScorePlacement
5 or higherPlace out the Quantitative Literacy Requirement
5 or higherARH & LAN students place out of LA 255 and into LA 271

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)

SAT II Mathematics Subject Examination (Mathematics Achievement Test)
ScorePlacement
500 or higherPlace out the Quantitative Literacy Requirement
500 or higherARH & LAN students place out of LA 255 and into LA 271
SAT I (Mathematics)
ScorePlacement
600 or higherPlace out the Quantitative Literacy Requirement
600 or higherARH & LAN students place out of LA 255 and into LA 271

How to Schedule an Academy of Art University Placement Exam:

Exams are offered once a week on the Academy of Art University Campus. Call the Liberal Arts Department 1-415-618-3664 to schedule an appointment. Exams are by appointment (No drop-ins)View the Exam Schedule.

Online Students: call or e-mail liberalarts@academyart.edu for information on how to take the exam in your area.

Art History, Historical Awareness and Cultural Ideas and Influences

Advanced Placement (AP) Exam

ScorePlacement
3 or higherPlace out of the equivalent course

 

International Baccalaureates (IB) HL Exam

ScorePlacement
5 or higherPlace out of the equivalent course

 

How to Schedule an Academy of Art University Placement Exam:

Exams are offered once a week on the Academy of Art University Campus. Call the Liberal Arts Department 1-415-618-3664 to schedule an appointment. Exams are by appointment (No drop-ins).

Online Students: call or e-mail liberalarts@academyart.edu for information on how to take the exam in your area.

Employment Communications and Practices

Employment Communications and Practices

Students with Career Planning coursework should submit transcripts to The Office of The Registrar. Submit Official Transcript(s) by mail or by email: Transcripts@academyart.edu. Students with professional experience wishing to be considered for waiver from LA 291 Designing Careers should submit supporting documentation documents with a waiver request using the Student Submissions Portal. The Student Submissions Portal link and login information can be obtained from an advisor.

Transfer Options
Transfer in a comparable Career Planning course that covered all of the following areas:

  • Career research
  • Research methods for employment opportunities
  • Employment correspondence documents
  • Employment interview techniques

Waiver/Substitution Options
Request consideration for waiver from LA 291 Designing Careers by submitting transcripts and/or supporting documentation that demonstrates one of the following:

  • Completion of an Associate’s Degree in which the degree included at least one career preparation, business practices, or a major specific professional practices course
  • Completion of more than 60 college credits in which the coursework included at least one career preparation, business practices, business law, senior thesis, or a major specific professional practices course
  • Completion of a Bachelor’s Degree

Industry experience with a project proposal demonstrating the criteria below.

Industry Experience Criteria

Students with less than 5 years of management and/or industry experience submit:

  1. Professional resume
  2. Cover or Query letter addressed to a specific party
  3. Unsolicited business proposal with the following components:
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Background
    • Procedures
    • Qualification
    • Request for Approval

Students with 5 years or more of industry experience may submit:

  1. Professional resume (clearly indicating 5 years or more of industry experience)
  2. Cover or Query letter addressed to a specific party
  3. Project proposal* with the following components:
    • Background/Problem Description
    • Proposed Solution
    • Approach
    • Deliverables
    • Outcome

*May be for a project completed as part of industry experience. If citing a past project, include your role in the project.

Waiver/Substitutions
NOTE: A waived course must be substituted with another course. Students who place out of LA 291 will have the Employment Communications requirement waived but must make up the units with either a substitute Academy of Art University Liberal Arts course, or a general education transfer course as determined by the Registrar.

Foundations

It is the objective of the Foundations department to provide a disciplined, cohesive approach to the study of design and art fundamentals to prepare students for advancement into their individual majors.

The Foundations curriculum heightens perception and understanding of visual structure through the study of drawing, modeling of form, value structure, perspective principles, color, and design theory. Representational skills are emphasized and technical processes developed, providing students with principles for visual communication that can be applied in their fields of study.

We strive to nurture the beginning artist in a challenging and supportive environment through leadership guided by an experienced and professional faculty.

The classroom experience includes lectures, demonstrations, and critiques to facilitate an understanding of the course material and direct communication with the instructor. Additionally, the Foundations department aims to instill an awareness of professionalism and industry expectations to enable students to meet the standards of their respective majors.

Foundation Classes

Foundations department courses are required for most majors and are determined by individual departments. Please check with your admissions representative to determine which Foundations classes are required for your major.

Waiving Foundations Classes

Students who are interested in waiving out of Foundations classes must review the waiver requirements and present work showing that they have the necessary skills for those classes. In addition, a test may be required. For more information on waiving Foundations classes, contact your admissions advisor.

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