BFA in Studio with Thesis in Visual & 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.

Requirements for the BFA: Studio Art with Visual and Critical Studies (VCS) Thesis

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.

Take the Next Step


Visit the undergraduate admissions website or contact the undergraduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or