BFA in Studio with Thesis in Visual and Critical Studies

BFA students may complete a nine-credit, research-based Visual and Critical Studies thesis as part of their studies within the 126 credits for the BFA In Studio degree. BFA with VCS Thesis course sequences are offered over 3 semesters through the department of Visual and Critical Studies.


Students who are interested in the BFA: Studio Art with Visual and Critical Studies (VCS) Thesis should complete the steps outlined below by the end of the fall semester of their junior year:

Step 1: Student confirms with an Academic Advisor that they have at least 6 credits of Liberal Arts and/or General Electives remaining to use for the thesis sequence.

Step 2: Student meets with the Visual and Critical Studies Undergraduate Program Director before October 15 of their junior year.

Step 3: Student applies to the BFA VCS Thesis Program by submitting to the VCS Undergrad Program Director: 1) their SAIC transcript showing at least 6 credits of Liberal Arts and/General Electives remaining; 2) a writing sample that shows the student’s research, writing, and citation ability; and 3) a brief description (1 page) of the student’s proposed thesis topic.

Step 4: If the student is accepted into the program, they should enroll in:

  • VCS 3010 Tutorial in Visual & Critical Studies (the first of the three-course sequence) for the spring term of their junior year (3 credit hours)
  • VCS 4800 Undergraduate Thesis Seminar I: Research & Writing in the fall of their senior year (3 credit hours)
  • CAPSTONE 4900 VCS Undergraduate Thesis Seminar II: Research & Writing in the spring of their senior year (3 credit hours)    

Step 5: Completion of thesis must be approved by both the Thesis II instructor and the VCS Undergraduate Coordinator. Students are required to make a formal presentation and participate in the Undergraduate VCS Thesis Symposium in the senior year.