For Current Students



Studio Art welcomes you to the department – in fact, we have saved places in our beginning classes for you first year students! If you are an art major or minor or are just interested in trying something new, here are the classes we recommend (start with just one studio class during your first semester):

Fall course options for art majors, minors and potential majors:

Drawing I  (a great place to start); or
Ceramics: Wheel Forming; or
Painting: Representational; or
Sculpture: Figurative

Spring: course options for art majors, minors or potential majors (art majors should take the first class in ceramics, sculpture or painting)

Drawing II (Drawing I is a prerequisite)
Ceramics: Hand-Forming; or
Painting: Abstract; or
Sculpture: Abstract

The basic rule: entering art majors should take Drawing I, and one class each in ceramics, painting and sculpture in the first three semesters. Take the second course in a focus medium by the end of the sophomore year to be on track for a four-year graduation plan.

For more information on how to plan your sequence of classes, see the department’s schedule planners below; also use the degree plans below.

Degree Plans and Planning Tools

Choose the year you entered Southwestern and stay with that year’s schedule, which is based on the Course Catalog.  (Course catalogs do change from year-to-year, but your degree plan is based on the year you enter, unless you negotiate moving to a different catalog with the Registrar’s Office.)

DEGREE PLANS can be found on the Registrar’s page:


Pathways in Studio Art planning tool 2019-20  and 2020-21.(There are no changes from 2019-20 to 2020-21.)   Students may choose one of the defined pathways and declare the major to save places in the beginning courses in studio art.  Notify the Department Chair, Prof. Varner, with the color Pathway you have selected on the Pathways document (Orange, Magenta, Green). Also declare the major on the Registrar’s page.  

B.A. and B.F.A. Schedule Planning Tool  2018-19

and a color-coded graph to help you graduate in four years here. 

B.A. and B.F.A. Schedule Planning Tool  2017-18

and a color-coded graph to help you graduate in four years here. 

B.A. & B.F.A. Schedule Planning Tool  2016-17

and a color-coded graph to help you graduate in four years here. 


Thinking about an independent study? Start here: 

Independent Study Form

Independent Studies in Studio Art

 Thinking about B.F.A.?

SPRING 2020 DEADLINES: April 20 for your application; Notification April 24. All applications and submissions will be online during the spring 2020 semester.

At Southwestern, the B.F.A. degree program is by application during the sophomore and junior year, and it requires a 3.0 in combined art and art history courses. If you are interested in applying, consult with the professor in your focus area followed by a e-mail to the department chair expressing your interest in applying.  The chair will give you instructions about how to apply formally. 

The application process is two-step: 1) the written application; and 2) a presentation and interview with the studio faculty.  Students must be accepted into the program and meet departmental and university expectations to continue in the program and earn a BFA degree.  

In the fall, the due dates for your written application are on the Wednesday of the last week of class, and the interviews are on Friday of the last FULL week of classes (in the spring, classes end on a Wednesday, so the deadlines are the week before.


Need Inspiration?

Consult Artstor , a database of 1.3 million images.

 Need to Know When Things Are Happening?

Current Academic Calendar and Exam schedule can be found here .

Interested in a High Impact Experience and getting a grant for it? 

Examples of high impact experiences (not comprehensive)

Apply for a grant from the King Creativity Fund .

Apply for a Mary Visser High Impact grant.

Apply for a Sarofim School of Fine Arts travel grant.

Need to do Some Research?

Smith Library Center’s Art and Art History subject guide.

Architecture and Design Studies

  • American Institute of Architects, Austin Chapter . Good local resource.
  • Try Google Sketchup  for open-source 3D modeling experience.
  • Did you know you can find Quicktime virtual views/panoramas of famous architectural sites on Artstor ? Search ‘qtvr’ to get started.