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Undergraduate Art and Architecture

Art changes things ...

  • it transforms ordinary materials and movement into meaning;
  • it transforms human emotion into universal language;
  • it transforms how we see into action;
  • it changes the world.

The University of San Francisco is offering a unique training model in the visual arts--a model aligned with its mission. The arts are powerful tools for human and social transformation, and artists have a special opportunity to apply their work for social change. Art can be used to sell commercial products or to legitimize corrupt regimes. Alternatively, it can serve as a beacon of hope and as an instrument of progress and justice. Artists can change the world.

It is time for the artist to come to the table of society. The aim of this program is a cultural paradigm shift: we seek to prepare visual artists to enter into central positions in society to form a new and more just community. Our intention is to animate young artists, to prepare them to participate as active, reflective, and engaged citizens who not only have creative and technical skills, but also understand the complexities of their world, and care to make a difference in its future.

Recognizing its responsibility to educate and develop the entire person, USF provides a wide range of opportunities for the study and appreciation of all the arts. This department offers four majors: Architecture and Community Design, Art History/Arts Management, Fine Arts, and Graphic Design, as well as minor and core classes to enrich the studies of students in other majors. All of these programs serve a fundamental tenet of Jesuit education: that the arts function as a powerful means for the communication of human and spiritual values, the development of the whole person, and the promotion of human dignity.

Learning Outcomes for the B.A. in Art and Architecture

  • Students will gain a solid historical foundation from the inception of pre-historical art, to the most recent historical contextualizations of contemporary art, with a wide knowledge of the cultural diversity of art movements and their associated critical theories, both locally and globally.
  • Students will gain a solid foundation in the technical skills and conceptual skills involved in the production of visual artwork while being nurtured in a creative environment that encourages experimentation. Instruction in a variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional media, as well as time-based art will teach students how to use these skills to find their own individual artistic voices.
  • Students will be experienced in evaluating the success and professional quality of their own artwork and the artwork of their peers, through the regular classroom process of rigorous, yet supportive, group and individual critiques.
  • Students will graduate with a deep appreciation and knowledge of how to use their skills as visual artists to help to create social change and to help transform the world. Visual Art students will graduate with solid connection to, and working relationships with, local, national and international community-based organizations, educational institutions, art galleries and art museums; paving their paths for continued and future associations with the world beyond USF as graduate students, artists and as citizens.

For more information and current news of the Art and Architecture Department, please visit the website at