The Art Department offers an integrated program of study in theory and practice exploring the power of visual communication for personal expression and public interaction. Students are given the means to pursue this exploration through courses that provide the practical skills for art production in a variety of media within the contexts of critical thinking and broad-based social and environmental perspectives.

Degrees Offered

  • B.A.

Study and Research Opportunities

  • B.A.
  • Opportunities to study abroad during the junior year through the UC Education Abroad Program
  • Two on-campus galleries, the Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery and the Eduardo Carrillo Senior Gallery, in which faculty and student work is shown
  • Digital Arts Research Center – A multimedia complex housing extensive digital printmaking/photography facilities, faculty studios, and exhibition/media labs for the Digital Arts and New Media graduate program

Information for First-Year Students (Freshmen)

A portfolio is not required for entering frosh students. Students should contact the Undergraduate Art Advisor if they are interested in pursuing an art major and intend to enroll in foundation courses their freshman year. Acceptance into the art major is contingent on passing two foundation courses. These foundation classes are prerequisite to all lower-division studios. Freshmen may not enroll in lower-division studios before completing these two courses. Consequently, it is ESSENTIAL that students interested in pursuing the art major take these in their freshman year. More information on frosh art requirements is located at

Information for Transfers

Transfer students must identify themselves as potential art majors when applying to UCSC to receive information on the portfolio deadlines (early April) and materials required for the review. More information on the portfolio can be found at The review is highly competitive. It is advised that students complete all three of their lower-division studios at the community college, PLUS extra studios in their area of interest to submit a high level portfolio. Transfers should also complete two survey courses in art history (one with a Western focus, one with a non-Western focus) before transferring to UC Santa Cruz.


  • Professional artist
  • Art and law
  • Art criticism
  • Art marketing
  • Arts administration
  • Curating
  • Digital imaging
  • Edition printing
  • Industry consultant
  • Model maker
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Museum and gallery management
  • Museum exhibition design and curation
  • Publishing
  • Teaching

These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.


The UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) offers students the opportunity for study abroad. Art majors may participate in EAP in their junior year. Proposed art students (have not yet completed their two foundation courses) are not approved to study abroad. Art students may not go abroad in their senior year, as the last three quarters of coursework must be in residence at UC Santa Cruz.


Baskin Visual Arts Center provides excellent studio facilities for animation, drawing, painting, installation art, public art, sculpture, intermedia, and digital and traditional print media and photography. Computer and digital art facilities are located at Baskin Visual Arts Center, the Digital Arts Research Center, and Porter College.

Department Website

Art Department web site:

More Information

Jude Pipes, Advisor
Art Department
Elena Baskin Visual Arts Studios
Room E-104
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064
(831) 459-3551