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Frequently Asked Questions

Why study visual arts at Princeton?
How do I study a particular field of art at Princeton, say photography?
How can I major in a fine arts discipline?
What visual arts can I study at Princeton?
What about study abroad?
What can I do with a degree in visual arts?
What have Princeton graduates done who continue in the visual arts?
I’ve heard there is a new film track in visual arts?
What about the costs of art materials?
What happens to the art I make in a studio course?
Are there funds available for summer study?

Why study visual arts at Princeton?
Faculty and resources. In the Program in Visual Arts you will encounter generous, dedicated professional staff and a faculty composed of established and emerging artists, filmmakers and photographers from the New York region. Resources include a superb Art Museum, dedicated classrooms for most courses, the Lucas Gallery for student exhibitions, a fully resourced sculpture shop and individual studios for students who elect to do advanced study. Our Lecture Series brings distinguished artists to campus for presentations and often student critiques. New York and Philadelphia are within easy transit of Princeton.

How do I study a particular field of art at Princeton, say photography?
In most disciplines introductory courses have open enrollments (except photography, which requires a faculty interview). Advanced courses are also available in most areas, but require a faculty interview. Students who wish a more intensive engagement with the art might apply to take a Certificate in Visual Arts. The most intensive option is Program 2, under the aegis of the Art and Archaeology major, culminating in a senior exhibition as a creative thesis.

How can I major in a fine arts discipline?
Apply to the Department of Art and Archaeology Program 2. At Princeton University only departments, not programs, offer majors. Application to Program 2 occurs in the spring of sophomore year. It entails 12 courses of combined studio and art history courses, with a senior exhibition serving as the student’s creative thesis. The Certificate in Visual Arts is obtainable with seven courses, with students normally completing a separate thesis in their home departments. Students who elect to do Program 2 or a Certificate in Visual Arts have access to individual studio space for their junior and senior years.

What visual arts can I study at Princeton?
Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Ceramics, Film/Video, Digital Photography, Photography and Printmaking are all offered. Frequently courses in other disciplines, such as Installation, are offered.  In addition, the Princeton Atelier offers a more specialized study of visual arts with a range of great artists, often across disciplines.

What about study abroad?
Students studying abroad must have prior approval of the Director of Visual Arts for inclusion of courses satisfying Certificate or Program 2 requirements.

What can I do with a degree in visual arts?
If you are serious about the arts and wish to remain in them, you know the score. With persistence, and the help of graduate study, a life of exhibiting one’s artwork, usually linked to a teaching career, is a realistic outcome.

What have Princeton graduates done who continue in the Visual Arts?
Graduates have gone to advanced study in art and related fields in institutions such as Hunter College, Indiana University, Williams College, The Courtauld Institute, Oxford University and New York University Institute of Fine Arts.

I’ve heard there is a new film track in visual arts?
The Film Track Certificate is for students wishing to either study film history/theory or do film and video production, which is in effect a major in film/video production or film history.  It is offered in collaboration with departments that accept a creative or written thesis in film.

What about the costs of art materials?
In general, course essential materials are provided. For example, painting courses provide paint, canvas and brushes. Photography students are given start-up kits, but use their own cameras. Juniors and seniors who are in Program 2 or Certificate in Visual Arts program can apply for funds for materials to complete their thesis work.

What happens to the art I make in a studio course?
All work produced in visual arts courses belongs to the student. However, there is an abandoned art clause: each student is responsible for collecting any and all works of art that he/she may submit in connection with a given course/studio within 14 days after the conclusion of the term, unless he/she makes special arrangements with the program. The program may use or dispose of any uncollected works as it deems appropriate.

Are there funds available for summer study?
There are numerous prizes and awards available to students. They range from the Dale Summer Award for sophomores, who can receive a $4,000 stipend, to the Martin A. Dale ’53 Fellowship, which provides a grant of $27,500 to a Princeton senior of extraordinary merit. For a full listing of awards and grants see Lewis Center Student Awards.

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