Aug 19, 2022  
2009-2010 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog 
2009-2010 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Certificate in Fine Arts

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The Certificate in Fine Arts is a 36-credit credential awarded by the College of Visual and Performing Arts at UMass Dartmouth. This interdisciplinary program centers on development of skills and concepts in the areas of Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, and Sculpture.

This certificate is intended for students without a bachelors degree. It provides not only coursework in art theory and practice but also a foundation in art history and literature or composition.

It is expected that students who complete the Certificate Program will have gained mastery of certain specific technical skills in one or more areas, an awareness of current trends and various historical precedents of that media area, and an understanding of their own focus and the professional paths available to them.

A maximum of 15 of the credit requirements can be met through transfer of prior educational experience, which can include advanced prior learning at a recognized institution or workshop venue where no formal university credit was available, i.e., Haystack, Arrowmont, Penland, Vermont Studio School, Skowhegan or a center of learning in a foreign country.

At least 21 credits, including part of the introductory studio requirement, all intermediate and advanced-level studio requirements in the student’s chosen field, and the adjunct Fine Arts studio course requirement must be taken in residence at UMass Dartmouth.

Certificate students will be integrated into regularly-scheduled undergraduate classes. They will be expected to perform on a similar technical and aesthetic level, and must be willing to work within the established curriculum and semester schedule of class meetings, projects, field trips, critiques and student exhibitions. Certificate course requirements may be completed on a full-time or a part-time schedule.

Student Profile

The certificate student will enroll in a series of studio and academic courses to develop appropriate technical skills and a personal aesthetic for sustained professional work. Certificate Program students work alongside BFA degree students and are expected to perform on similar technical and creative levels. The program is designed to include the following students:

  • second degree art/design students wishing to pursue experience in one or more areas of the Fine Arts as an adjunct to their prior arts education,
  • art/design professionals wanting to retrain, augment or update their skills and creative directions,
  • second career students with personally-gained skills in Fine Arts but little or no previous formal arts education,
  • those for whom the existing degrees offered by the university are not deemed necessary or feasible,
  • art educators who wish to return to a learning environment and develop their skills in the Fine Arts.

Application Procedure

Persons interested in applying to the Fine Arts Certificate program write to the Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts requesting admission to the program. Applicants should:

  • indicate which subject they wish to pursue and their goals in pursuing the Certificate,
  • enclose transcripts of all undergraduate work completed and records of related non-credit experience at recognized national workshops,
  • enclose at least 10 images (jpegs) of their art work

The Dean’s Office will forward applications to the faculty in the appropriate subject areas for their recommendation. Faculty may request an interview with the applicant. Recommendations are due to the Dean within two weeks of receipt of the applicant’s materials.

Paying careful attention to the recommendation of the faculty, the Dean of the College will decide whether to admit the applicant to the program. The Dean will notify the applicant of the decision. The Dean will send the files of admitted students to the Office of  the University Registrar for a non-degree student file to be created. Because Certificate students are placed in regularly-scheduled classes, admission to a specific area will also be based on the availability of space.

If an applicant is judged to be insufficiently prepared in technical areas or lacks clear focus but is judged to have potential for learning and personal growth, the applicant may be asked to enroll in one or more courses as a non-certificate special student prior to making formal application to the Certificate Program.

Registration for Certificate students will take place after the close of the registration period for degree students.


Students in the Fine Arts Certificate Program will be required to take the following sequence of courses. If proof of prior credits earned is provided through transcripts, several courses and credits can be waived at the discretion of the faculty. Courses for which transfer credit is allowed are noted below.

Introductory Studio: 6 credits

  • (200-level course in chosen area)
    3 transfer credits allowed, e.g.,Sculpture 1 or Painting 1

Intermediate Studio: 6 credits

  • (300-level course in chosen area)

Advanced Studio: 6 credits

  • (400-level course in chosen area)

Drawing: 6 credits

  • (300 level)
    Students who have made drawing their chosen area will take 6 credits in another area, e.g., Painting, Printmaking. 3 transfer credits are allowed

Art History Electives: 6 credits

6 transfer credits allowed

English Lit. or Composition Electives: 6 credits

6 transfer credits allowed

Total credits for Certificate in Fine Arts: 36

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