Frequently Asked Questions


Why should I pursue a second major in art/design?

The Second Major in Art and Design provides an opportunity to bring your perspective from your primary area of study to the fields of design and art. The second major offers the chance for you to discover an intersectionality between your studies, build your portfolio, and participate in the collaborative creative process celebrated at the Sam Fox School.

How is the second major different from the art/design minor?

While the minor in Art and Design is only 15 credits, the second major allows you more depth, with 36 credits, six of which can be taken outside of the Sam Fox School.  

How is the second major different from the BFA in Art/Design?

The second major is for non-art/design students who are interested in pursing a secondary major in Design or Art and has about half the Sam Fox School credits of the BFA in Art, Communication Design, or Fashion Design. 

How will this major help my future plans?

Integrating a design or art perspective with your own area of study will provide you a unique outlook and skill set, as you look to the future. This program provides an opportunity to build your portfolio and develop design skills and collaborative abilities, which are applicable to many fields.

How will I manage the studio classes?

Most studios meet twice a week, for three hours each meeting. This is because of the time required to learn and use equipment, conduct critiques, and make work. Students are generally expected to work outside of class for as many hours as they are in class, similar to other classes in other schools and departments. There are some studio courses that meet for fewer hours each week, which can be helpful to mix in with studios that meet for longer. Art and design professors are understanding of the nature of your workload, and will generally help you manage your workload according to your goals.

What classes are required? how many credits?

An overview of the curriculum can be found here. There are 36 credits in the second major, six of which can be taken outside of the Sam Fox School. Paths vary, depending on whether you pursue Art or Design and whether you have a concentration.

What are classes like?

Studios often have 10-20 students in the class, and most classes have about 3-5 projects. For some studios, students will have three hours of class time to work on projects, usually with breaks allowed by the professor. Because of the intimate class size, studios are very collaborative, allowing students to get input and assistance from peers and professors. Many studios are available to people of any experience level in that area, making them accessible to non-art/design students.

How do critiques work?

Critiques are one of the most important and influential aspects of studios in the Sam Fox School. While they may seem daunting, critiques are generally quite friendly and provide an opportunity to learn how to critically look at visual materials and improve your own work. Because of the collaborative nature of studios, critiques offer a chance for students to support each other, and to grow as designers and artists. Since critiques are unique to the Sam Fox School, professors aim to create an environment that helps you feel comfortable contributing to the classroom discussion.

When can I declare a second major in art/design?

The second major will officially launch in fall of 2018. However, you can begin registering for classes for this semester (spring of 2018). In addition, courses that you have already taken that are part of the curriculum can be counted retroactively.