Search | Print Options

Search | Print Options

School of Art

Charlie White, Head
Office: College of Fine Arts 300
http://www.cmu.edu/art

The university-based undergraduate program offered by the School of Art is designed to develop individuals capable of working as artists in a complex, rapidly changing global culture. The program incorporates an expansive approach to art and acknowledges that “working as artists” leads toward a wide variety of pursuits.

Admission to the undergraduate program is highly competitive. Students must show promise of excellence in both academic and artistic performance. Evidence of creative leadership is a plus.

The art faculty, all practicing artists or scholars, provide an intense, professional learning environment in which students develop close ties with their instructors and each other.

Art students are encouraged to take full advantage of the university environment through exposure to faculty and students in other departments in the College of Fine Arts and throughout the University. They are also encouraged to participate in the numerous cultural opportunities on campus and in the larger Pittsburgh community.

The School of Art maintains a variety of studio and workshop accommodations to make possible its wide range of media offerings. It occupies the top two floors of the College of Fine Arts building, as well as a significant portion of Doherty Hall. Numerous exhibition venues inform or present student work including the Ellis Gallery, The Miller Gallery, and the Frame Gallery, which is managed entirely by students.

The progressive curriculum requires that students attain high levels of knowledge, skill and commitment. The four-year undergraduate program offers one general Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Art.

Using five categories of courses, the curriculum presents art-making in a unique manner which respects tradition and encourages innovation. The course categories are:

I . Concept Studios
II. Media Studios
III. Advanced Studios
IV. Academic Art Courses
V. University Academic Courses

Studio courses comprise over sixty percent of the course of study and academic courses comprise the remainder. The division of the studio curriculum into conceptually-driven and media-driven courses acknowledges that neither concept nor media can be presented independently of one another. This curriculum ensures that all students experience high-quality, consistent training in a variety of approaches.

I. Concept Studios

The Concept Studios are the core of the art curriculum. Students are required to complete five concept studios, but may enroll in additional semesters. Experiences gained in the other four components of the program are integrated into Concept Studios. Themes and topics addressed in Concept Studios include: the self and the human being, space/time, systems/processes, contextual practice, and senior studio.

Freshman and sophomore Concept Studios are organized around structured assignments designed to assist the student in developing a personal, non-medium-specific approach to generating art as well as in learning transferable conceptual skills. The progression from semester to semester leads toward increasing complexity and independence. Contextual Practice Studios embrace the context or social conditions in which an artwork exists, covering a range of methods to making art in the public including street art, interactive social media, environmental art, hacktivism, participatory art, guerilla performance, project-based community art, and urban interventions. In the senior year, the Concept Studios, titled Senior Studio, are devoted to a single student-generated body of work.

II. Media Studios

The Media Studios can be viewed as the foundation courses for the program. Students take a total of seven Media Studios within the freshman and sophomore years. These studios ensure that all students have an exploratory experience with all of the media resources of the school. They also serve as preparation for advanced studio work.

Two-Dimensional Media Studios introduce drawing and imaging during the freshman year, and painting or print media during the sophomore year. Electronic Media Studios introduce the moving image through video and animation during the freshman year, and interactivity in the sophomore year. Three-Dimensional Media Studios introduce media such as ceramics, welding, wood, metals, kinetic sculpture, and digital fabrication during the freshman year. 

III. Advanced Studios

Students take a total of twelve Advanced Studio elective courses over the course of the second semester of the sophomore year and the junior and senior years. These courses address specialized studio work in one of the four artistic concentration areas in the school, which are:

  • Drawing, Painting, Print Media, and Photography (DP3)
  • Sculpture, Installation, and Site Work (SIS)
  • Electronic and Time-Based Work (ETB)
  • Contextual Practice (CP)

A minimum of four courses must be taken in one of these concentration areas. One of the twelve Advanced Studio courses must be a College of Fine Arts interdisciplinary course or in one of the Schools outside of Art: Architecture, Design, Drama, Music.

IV. Academic Art Courses

First-semester freshmen are required to take Contemporary Issues Forum (60-104), an introduction to current practices in the visual arts. A three-semester art history/theory survey sequence is then required of all students:

Freshman Year (spring):Adventures in Arts Time
Sophomore Year (fall):Modern Visual Culture: 1789-1960
Sophomore Year (spring):Contemporary Visual Culture: 1960 to the Present

After the sophomore year, students must take two elective academic art courses.

V. University Academic Courses

Eleven academic courses outside of Art are required.

Freshman Year

The student is required to take the following three courses:

Computing @ Carnegie Mellon (99-101), Global Histories (79-104), and Interpretation and Argument (76-101).

After Freshman Year

The student must take one course in each of the following academic areas or “options”:

  • Humanities and Languages or “Culture Option”
  • Math, Science and Engineering or “Technical Option”
  • History, Psychology, Economics or “Social Science Option”

The student must then take at least three additional courses from ONE of the academic areas/options listed above.

Finally, the student must take two additional, but unspecified, academic electives.

In selecting courses for the university academic component of the curriculum, students are encouraged to complete a cluster of courses that appeals to and develops their interests as emerging artists. In the process of taking their university electives, students can often simultaneously earn a minor.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) Curriculum

Below is the recommended distribution of courses in the four-year B.F.A curriculum. After the freshman year, students may begin to choose university electives. After the first semester of the sophomore year, students have more options regarding the sequencing and selection of their coursework.

First Year
Fall Units
60-101Concept Studio: The Self and the Human Being10
60-130-60-1303-D Media Studio I-I
Mini 1 and Mini 2 must be in different media.
10
60-1502D Media Studio: Drawing10
60-104Contemporary Issues Forum6
76-101Interpretation and Argument9
99-101Computing @ Carnegie Mellon3
 48
Spring Units
60-110Electronic Media Studio: Introduction to the Moving Image10
60-131-60-1313D Media Studio II-II
Mini 3 and Mini 4 must be in different media.
10
60-1602D Media Studio: Imaging10
60-109Adventures in Arts Time9
79-104Global Histories9
 48
Second Year
Fall Units
60-201Concept Studio: Space and Time10
or 60-202 Concept Studio: Systems and Processes
60-210Electronic Media Studio: Introduction to Interactivity10
60-2502D Media Studio: Painting10
or 60-251 2D Media Studio: Print Media
60-205Modern Visual Culture 1789-19609
xx-xxxAcademic Elective9
 48
Spring Units
60-280Introduction to Contextual Practice10
60-4xxAdvanced Studio Elective10
60-4xxAdvanced Studio Elective10
60-206Contemporary Visual Culture 1960 - Present9
xx-xxxAcademic Elective9
 48
Third Year
Fall Units
60-4xxAdvanced Studio Elective10
60-4xxAdvanced Studio Elective10
60-4xxAdvanced Studio Elective10
60-3xxAcademic Art Elective9
xx-xxxAcademic Elective9
 48
Spring Units
60-4xxAdvanced Studio Elective10
60-4xxAdvanced Studio Elective10
60-4xxAdvanced Studio Elective10
60-3xxAcademic Art Elective9
xx-xxxAcademic Elective9
 48
 
Fourth Year
Fall Units
60-401Senior Studio10
60-403Extended Studio
or 60-4xx Advanced Studio Elective
10
60-4xxAdvanced Studio Elective10
xx-xxxAcademic Elective9
xx-xxxAcademic Elective9
 48
Spring Units
60-402Senior Studio10
60-403Extended Studio10
60-4xxAdvanced Studio Elective10
xx-xxxAcademic Elective9
xx-xxxAcademic Elective9
 48
Total Units for the B.F.A. Art Degree384

Sophomore and Senior Year Reviews

Students give an overview of their work twice in their four-year course of study. At the end of the sophomore year, students undergo a faculty review of their work to date in the program. A successful review is required for advancement to the junior year.

The senior review affords students in the fall of their final year the opportunity to review, analyze and summarize their work and to engage a faculty committee in discussion about issues that face someone preparing to enter a career in art.

Art Majors Minoring or Double Majoring in Another Department

About a third of current B.F.A. Art students pursue a minor or a second major. If students are contemplating this option, they must discuss their plans with academic advisors from the minor or second major department as well as with the School of Art academic advisor.

Study Abroad

Art students are encouraged to spend either a semester of their junior year, or a summer before or after their junior year, in one of many available international programs. These programs include exchange programs sponsored by the School of Art in which a student's financial aid package remains in effect, and programs sponsored by other institutions. International exchange programs currently active include the following:

ChinaUniversity of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
FranceEcole nationale superieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris
IsraelBezalel Academy, Jerusalem
New ZealandAuckland Institute of Technology, Auckland
TurkeyBilkent University, Ankara
Programs with other Pittsburgh Institutions

Art students are eligible to take courses at the nearby University of Pittsburgh's History of Art and Architecture Department, at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. Established agreements with these institutions and other Pittsburgh colleges, universities or centers offer cross-registration opportunities at no additional expense to the student.

 

BXA Intercollege Degree Programs

Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA)Bachelor of Humanities and Arts (BHA) Bachelor of Science and Arts (BSA)

Carnegie Mellon University offers a degree program that combines an Art Focus (11 courses for BHA and BSA, 12 courses for BCSA) with a focus in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Mellon College of Science, or the School of Computer Science. The Assistant Head of the School advises BXA majors in selecting courses in the Art Focus. A description of these three programs, and a list of requirements and electives, can be found in the in the BXA Intercollege Degrees Program section of this catalog.

Art Minors

Students from other colleges and departments are eligible to pursue a minor in art. A minor requires six courses in the School of Art, selected from a list of requirements and electives as described in the Minors Offered by the College of Fine Arts section of this catalog.

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Degree

The School of Art offers a three-year program leading to a Master of Fine Arts in Art. This is a unique program designed to connect art-making to the university at large, and to Pittsburgh communities and organizations. Information about this program is available at the School of Art website:  http://www.cmu.edu/art.

Master of Arts Management (M.A.M.) Degree

The College of Fine Arts and the Heinz College School of Public Policy and Management co-sponsor a Master of Arts Management degree. Students admitted to the M.A.M. degree program in their junior year may complete both a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a Master of Arts Management degree in five years. Students interested in this graduate degree should consult with advisors early in their undergraduate program.

Pre-College Programs

The School of Art maintains two pre-college programs: a Saturday program during the academic year and a six-week program during the summer. These programs are designed to prepare the college-bound high school student for college level work in art. Information on these programs may be obtained by contacting the School of Art.

Full-Time Tenure Track Faculty

KIM BECK, Associate Professor of Art – M.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design; Carnegie Mellon, 2004–.
BOB BINGHAM, Professor of Art – M.F.A., University of California, Davis; Carnegie Mellon, 1993–.
LOWRY BURGESS, Professor of Art – Post-Graduate Degree, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts/University of Pennsylvania; Carnegie Mellon, 1989–.
JOHN CARSON, Professor of Art – M.F.A., California Institute of the Arts; Carnegie Mellon, 2006–.
JAMES DUESING, Professor of Art – M.F.A., University of Cincinnati; Carnegie Mellon, 1997–.
ECHO EGGEBRECHT, Assistant Professor of Art – M.F.A., Hunter College, CUNY; Carnegie Mellon, 2006–.
ANDREW JOHNSON, Associate Professor of Art – M.F.A., Carnegie Mellon University; Carnegie Mellon, 2004–.
ELAINE A. KING, Professor of Art History and Theory – Ph.D., Northwestern University; Carnegie Mellon, 1981–.
CAROL KUMATA, Professor of Art – M.F.A., University of Wisconsin, Madison; Carnegie Mellon, 1979–.
GOLAN LEVIN, Associate Professor of Art – M.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon, 2004–.
JOSEPH MANNINO, Professor of Art – M.F.A., University of Southern Illinois; Carnegie Mellon, 1986–.
CLAYTON MERRELL, Professor of Art – M.F.A., Yale University; Carnegie Mellon, 1998–.
ALI MOMENI, Associate Professor of Art – Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley; Carnegie Mellon, 2012–.
PAOLO PEDERCINI, Associate Professor of Art – M.F.A., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Carnegie Mellon, 2009–.
RICHARD PELL, Associate Professor of Art – M.F.A., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Carnegie Mellon, 2008–.
MARTIN PREKOP, Professor of Art – M.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design; Carnegie Mellon, 1993–.
MELISSA RAGONA, Associate Professor of Visual Culture and Critical Theory – Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo; Carnegie Mellon, 2003–.
JON RUBIN, Associate Professor of Art – M.F.A., California College of Arts and Crafts; Carnegie Mellon, 2006–.
DEVAN SHIMOYAMA, Assistant Professor of Art – M.F.A., Yale University; Carnegie Mellon, 2014–.
SUZIE SILVER, Professor of Art – M.F.A., The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Carnegie Mellon, 1999–.
SUSANNE SLAVICK, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art – M.F.A., Tyler School of Art; Carnegie Mellon, 1984–.
CHARLIE WHITE, Regina & Marlin Miller Head – M.F.A., Art Center College of Design; Carnegie Mellon, 2016–.
IMIN YEH, Assistant Professor of Art – M.F.A., California College of the Arts; Carnegie Mellon, 2016–.

Visiting Faculty

ANGELA WASHCO, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art – M.F.A., University of California, San Diego; Carnegie Mellon, 2015–.

Full-time Joint Appointments

CHARLEE BRODSKY, Associate Professor of Art and Photography – M.F.A., Yale University; Carnegie Mellon, 1978–.
ROGER DANNENBERG, Senior Research Computer Scientist and Artist – Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University; Carnegie Mellon, 1982–.
JAMIE GRUZSKA, Special Faculty and CFA Photography Administrator – M.F.A., University of Buffalo; .
JUDITH SCHACHTER, Professor of Anthropology, History, and Art – Ph.D., University of Minnesota; Carnegie Mellon, 1984–.
DYLAN VITONE, Associate Professor, School of Design – M.F.A., Massachusetts College of Art; Carnegie Mellon, 2006–.

Adjunct Courtesy Appointment

SARAH ELDRIDGE, Adjunct Faculty.

Back To Top

Full-Time Tenure Track Faculty

KIM BECK, Associate Professor of Art – M.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design; Carnegie Mellon, 2004–.
BOB BINGHAM, Professor of Art – M.F.A., University of California, Davis; Carnegie Mellon, 1993–.
LOWRY BURGESS, Professor of Art – Post-Graduate Degree, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts/University of Pennsylvania; Carnegie Mellon, 1989–.
JOHN CARSON, Professor of Art – M.F.A., California Institute of the Arts; Carnegie Mellon, 2006–.
JAMES DUESING, Professor of Art – M.F.A., University of Cincinnati; Carnegie Mellon, 1997–.
ECHO EGGEBRECHT, Assistant Professor of Art – M.F.A., Hunter College, CUNY; Carnegie Mellon, 2006–.
ANDREW JOHNSON, Associate Professor of Art – M.F.A., Carnegie Mellon University; Carnegie Mellon, 2004–.
ELAINE A. KING, Professor of Art History and Theory – Ph.D., Northwestern University; Carnegie Mellon, 1981–.
CAROL KUMATA, Professor of Art – M.F.A., University of Wisconsin, Madison; Carnegie Mellon, 1979–.
GOLAN LEVIN, Associate Professor of Art – M.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon, 2004–.
JOSEPH MANNINO, Professor of Art – M.F.A., University of Southern Illinois; Carnegie Mellon, 1986–.
CLAYTON MERRELL, Professor of Art – M.F.A., Yale University; Carnegie Mellon, 1998–.
ALI MOMENI, Associate Professor of Art – Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley; Carnegie Mellon, 2012–.
PAOLO PEDERCINI, Associate Professor of Art – M.F.A., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Carnegie Mellon, 2009–.
RICHARD PELL, Associate Professor of Art – M.F.A., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Carnegie Mellon, 2008–.
MARTIN PREKOP, Professor of Art – M.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design; Carnegie Mellon, 1993–.
MELISSA RAGONA, Associate Professor of Visual Culture and Critical Theory – Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo; Carnegie Mellon, 2003–.
JON RUBIN, Associate Professor of Art – M.F.A., California College of Arts and Crafts; Carnegie Mellon, 2006–.
DEVAN SHIMOYAMA, Assistant Professor of Art – M.F.A., Yale University; Carnegie Mellon, 2014–.
SUZIE SILVER, Professor of Art – M.F.A., The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Carnegie Mellon, 1999–.
SUSANNE SLAVICK, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art – M.F.A., Tyler School of Art; Carnegie Mellon, 1984–.
CHARLIE WHITE, Regina & Marlin Miller Head – M.F.A., Art Center College of Design; Carnegie Mellon, 2016–.
IMIN YEH, Assistant Professor of Art – M.F.A., California College of the Arts; Carnegie Mellon, 2016–.

Visiting Faculty

ANGELA WASHCO, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art – M.F.A., University of California, San Diego; Carnegie Mellon, 2015–.

Full-time Joint Appointments

CHARLEE BRODSKY, Associate Professor of Art and Photography – M.F.A., Yale University; Carnegie Mellon, 1978–.
ROGER DANNENBERG, Senior Research Computer Scientist and Artist – Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University; Carnegie Mellon, 1982–.
JAMIE GRUZSKA, Special Faculty and CFA Photography Administrator – M.F.A., University of Buffalo; .
JUDITH SCHACHTER, Professor of Anthropology, History, and Art – Ph.D., University of Minnesota; Carnegie Mellon, 1984–.
DYLAN VITONE, Associate Professor, School of Design – M.F.A., Massachusetts College of Art; Carnegie Mellon, 2006–.

Adjunct Courtesy Appointment

SARAH ELDRIDGE, Adjunct Faculty.