While hands-on art and design training from industry professionals is our focus at Academy of Art University, our graduates also gain a solid liberal arts education to support their creative skills. As you’re improving your skills and mastering your craft, liberal arts education classes will challenge you to think broadly about exciting new areas of study and larger social and ethical questions.
Undergraduate Liberal Arts Program Requirements can be met in the following ways:
- Take Academy course and earn a passing grade
- Transfer in a comparable course from a previous post-secondary institution
- Earn credit through: AP exam (4 or higher) and/or IB HL exam (5 or higher)
- Waiver* through passing score on ACT, AICE, AP, CLEP, IB or SAT exam
- Waiver* through passing score on Academy of Art University Placement Exam (available for the Practical Mathematics courses in the following majors only: Architecture, Game Programming, Landscape Architecture, Fashion Marketing, Fashion Merchandising & Fashion Product Development)
*Units from waived requirements must be made up with elective Liberal Arts course work.
All exam scores must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar for review.
All degree programs include Liberal Arts requirements.
Transfer of Coursework from a Previous Institution:
Students transferring courses from a previous college or university will be placed out of the corresponding Academy degree requirement and receive the appropriate unit credit for each course transferred. Official transcripts should be sent as early as possible to allow for ample processing time. Transcripts received after a student’s first semester or unofficial transcripts will not be reviewed for transfer credit.
NOTE: The Academy will award up to 12 units of Liberal Arts for Advanced Placement (AP) exams with a score of 4 or higher.*
NOTE: The Academy will award up to 12 units of Liberal Arts for International Baccalaureate (IB) High Level (HL) course work with a score of 5 or higher.*
*Applicable to students with a Spring 2023 start date or later.
Graduate Liberal Arts Program Requirements can be met in the following ways:
- Take the Academy course and earn a grade of C or higher
- Transfer in a comparable course from a previous graduate institution
- Waiver through demonstration of extensive undergraduate coursework in the subject area
- All degree programs include Liberal Arts requirements.
Transfer of Coursework from a Previous Institution
Students who transfer in courses from a previous graduate school will be placed out of the corresponding Academy requirement and receive the appropriate unit credit for each course they transfer in. Please send your transcripts in early to allow for ample processing time. Transcripts received after the student’s first semester will not be reviewed for transfer credit.
The determination whether to give credit for previous studies is made by Academy of Art University. Credit is only transferred if Academy of Art University determines that courses taken at the previous institution are relevant to the student’s studies and independent Final Thesis Project. Academy of Art University takes the following factors into consideration in making this determination:
- The course description published in the other institution’s materials
- Number of credit hours awarded for the work done
- The grade received in the course. Grades lower than a C will not be considered for transfer credit
- The work generated by the student from the course
Students requesting to transfer credits must meet with an admissions representative within the first four weeks of their first semester to confirm the transfer of credits. The Articulation Office must receive all transcripts before the end of the student’s first semester of enrollment. Upon enrollment of the first semester, concurrent enrollment at any other institution is not allowed. The Academy will not transfer additional credits from another institution upon completion of the transfer evaluation.
Maximum Transfer Credits
A maximum of six credits from graduate studies at other institutions may be transferred for credit toward a Master’s degree.
Waiving Graduate Liberal Arts Requirements
Students may waive Graduate Liberal Arts requirements if they have extensive undergraduate coursework in that subject area. Students who wish to transfer in or waive Graduate Liberal Arts requirements must provide their advisor with a copy of their transcripts, course descriptions for courses to be considered and a cover letter. All documents must be in English.
Graduate courses are more intensive and focused than undergraduate courses. Unless students have taken specialized upper-divisional (advanced) courses covering the same topics of the Graduate Liberal Arts course they wish to waive, they will not be allowed to waive the Graduate Liberal Arts requirement. i.e. Introductory survey courses do not qualify.
NOTE: Students who waive out of a Graduate Liberal Arts requirement must select a substitute Graduate Liberal Arts elective replacement.
Art Historical Awareness and Aesthetic Sensitivity: To waive this requirement, students must demonstrate specialized coursework in both Art History and Philosophy/Aesthetic theory.
Cross-Cultural Understanding: To waive this requirement, students must demonstrate specialized coursework in COMPARATIVE culture studies and theory.
Professional Practices: To waive this requirement, students must have a business-related undergraduate degree or extensive Professional experience in their major field and supporting evidence including resume and copy of Business Plan or Grant Proposal.
Graduate Liberal Arts Electives: Electives are not eligible for waiver but may be transferred in.
Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:
Critical Thinking and Analysis
- Raise clear and precise questions, use abstract ideas to interpret information and reach supported conclusions. Understand and define a problem or argument and address it using acquired knowledge.
- Write with conciseness and clarity and apply the conventions of standard written English to communicate effectively in a variety of contexts.
Research and Retrieval of Information
- Gather, identify, and apply relevant information and reference material in coursework.
Art Historical Awareness
- Identify artwork from various periods and styles and make distinctions and connections among them through stylistic and cultural analysis. Analyze the ways art can affect and/or reflect cultural, political and humanistic issues and recognize how cultural context influences artistic development.
- Develop and draw upon historical knowledge in order to analyze relevant historical and contemporary issue(s).
Cultural Ideas & Influences
- Identify how cultural perspectives can affect interpretation of topics in the arts, politics or global relations.
- Recognize, comprehend, and generate quantitative information in a variety of representational forms.
Employment Communications and Practices
- Demonstrate a basic understanding of current business practices by creating materials appropriate for seeking employment in the chosen field.
- Clearly present creative ideas and analytical information to a variety of audiences.
Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:
- Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
- Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
- Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
- Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
- Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
- Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
- Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.