The guiding principal of its curricula and instruction is the belief that art and its institutions are an important means to interpret human experience, and a fundamental mechanism by which a society evolves, understands, and reflects upon itself. The School of Art supports the university mission to offer instruction that promotes respect for and appreciation of scholarship, freedom, human diversity and the cultural mosaic of the San Francisco Bay area and beyond, and encourages critical thinking within an inclusive worldview.
The curriculum provides students pathways to engage in personal, philosophical, political and/or conceptual questions through art practice, research and writing. Using a heuristic approach to learning, fueled by curiosity, students are encouraged to understand and challenge normative paradigms, resulting in new forms and ways of thinking. The conceptual exploration of materials, objects, images, texts, actions and events develops transferable skill sets that will enrich students’ lives and prepare them for roles as artists, curators, art historians and creative professionals. The program cultivates visual literacy and critical thinking, and engenders professional conduct (discipline), adaptability, social awareness and social justice, through an understanding of the role of art and its institutions in the human experience. The School of Art offers undergraduates majors and minors in Studio Art and Art History, a minor in Museum Studies, as well as pathways to teaching art.