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Degree Programs

Selecting the Major

Upon successful application to the university, students wanting to major in art may choose one of the following areas:

Bachelor of Arts 

  • Art History 
  • Art Studio (areas of emphasis below): 
    • 2D: Painting, Printmaking, and Works on Paper
    • 3D: Sculpture, and Ceramics
    • Photography and Media Art

Bachelor of Fine Arts 

  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Photography    

Entering freshmen or lower-division transfer students will be accepted by the university in the status of art major in the B.A. program. Upper-division transfer students who have fulfilled requirements equivalent to those for lower-division art majors at Sonoma State University will be accepted as art majors in the B.A. program. Information on admission to the B.F.A. program is listed on the B.F.A. web site.

Courses in the major cannot be taken for CR/NC. A maximum of 3 courses may be challenged for credit toward the major: 2 lower-division and 1 upper-division. Most studio courses require payment of lab fees at time of class registration.

Majors pursue studies leading to the bachelor of arts degree in art history or the bachelor of arts degree in art studio. The art studio degree emphases are available in 2D, 3D and Photo/Media. Minors in art history, studio art, museum and gallery methods, and applied arts are also available. Several art and art history courses meet general education requirements

Art History

Woman looking at art on a wall.

By studying art history at Sonoma State University, students equip themselves with critical skills, knowledge, and conceptual understanding to navigate the 21st century visual world. The art history program offers a B.A. and minor in art history as well as a minor in Museum and Gallery Methods. Students are exposed to a variety of methodological approaches in our classes as they learn to independently initiate their own research projects and develop practical skills. Activities include field trips to museums in Los Angeles and elsewhere, the annual Bay Area Undergraduate Research Symposium held at the de Young Museum, and designing and installing exhibitions in our galleries and other venues on campus.

Our program's particular strength is the individual attention and mentoring students receive. Professors work one-on-one with students on public speaking and presentation skills and assist in professional development. Our students have been accepted to prestigious graduate programs and won competitive internships on their way to fulfilling careers.

Art Studio


This major is comprised of a group of core courses representing minimum requirements for all areas of emphasis, plus course offerings in studio which allow for the development of an emphasis in one or more of the following: ceramics, media art, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and works on paper.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Artwork by Cathy Ellis

The B.F.A. is often considered to be the degree of choice for students wishing to pursue graduate or professional studies. It enhances the artist’s opportunity to perform at a higher level and fulfills the need for additional artistic growth in an intensive studio environment. The B.F.A. degree is a 138-unit program requiring 90 units of course work in art.

Art History Minor

People walking into a show.

The Art History minor at Sonoma State University gives students a solid overview of visual culture and skills to navigate the 21st century visual world. Students have the option of studying Museum and Gallery methods as part of the minor. It complements Studio Art, Anthropology, History, Foreign Language, and Communication degrees very well and will help students in all fields expand their expertise to visual communication and culture.

Art Studio Minor

Students creating inflatable artwork.

The art studio minor is intended for any student willing to add a studio experience to their undergraduate studies. It offers creative opportunities that complement many majors at SSU, strengthen critical thinking, creative problem solving, and visual communication. 

Career Minor in Museum and Gallery Methods


The Minor in Museum and Gallery Methods provides students with education, training, and hands-on experience in the theory and practice of nonprofit museums and galleries.