Visual Arts at UMBC

The Department of Visual Arts recognizes ongoing conceptual and technical changes in art and design, and incorporates those changes into the curricula. In addition to studying foundational techniques, art history, and critical theory, students are encouraged to explore related arts disciplines to inform their own art practices.


By studying various areas of concentration, students have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge/skill base to achieve their personal and professional goals. These concentrations include: Animation, Art History & Museum Studies, Cinematic Arts, Graphic Design, Photography, and Print Media.


The Department of Visual Arts offers two BFA degree programs, one in Visual Arts and one in Design. Each requires 72 credit hours of major coursework and each provides a more in-depth program of study than the associated BA program in Visual Arts. The BFA program in Visual Arts focuses on five of our concentrations (Animation, Cinematic Arts, Intermedia, Photography, and Print Media) while also creating the opportunity for interdisciplinary experimentation in other visual arts media. Similarly, the BFA Program in Design leads to a more in-depth focus on the Graphic Design curriculum while allowing students to select electives within related arts areas. Students who intend to pursue graduate studies or professions in these areas of art should consider choosing one of these degree programs.


The degree in Intermedia and Digital Arts (IMDA) recognizes the conceptual and technical transformation now occurring in the visual arts. The program is committed to investigating these transformations within the broader context of the history of art. This exploration of emerging technologies gives rise to new processes that pose new conceptual challenges. Answering these challenges is central to the student’s course of study.