Arts

[For additional information on Arts at UC Merced, please visit the Global Arts Studies Program (GASP)]

Overview

The minor in Arts enables students to explore art from three distinct, yet related, approaches: history (contextual analysis of visual, architectural, and aural formats), theory (critical and creative interpretation of texts) and practice (application of techniques and concepts). 

Minimum Requirements:
  • One lower-division GASP course
  • One lower-division ARTS course
  • A minimum of four upper-division ARTS or GASP courses

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe visual and aural texts in technical and theoretical terms.
  2. Become familiar with multiple schools of thoughts in art history/visual studies and/or musicology/ethnomusicology.
  3. Analyze cultural, visual, aural, and spatial procedures within their historical and conceptual contexts.
  4. Integrate theory into creative practices.

See the Curriculum Map to see the coherency between the Program Learning Outcomes and our course offerings. (Coming soon)

Academic Success

Each year, we assesses the learning experiences of students in our program and courses to ensure that students are building the necessary skills and knowledge-base in this discipline. The assessments allow our program to engage in continued creative and visionary curriculum and instruction approaches that ensure students are exposed to rigorous undergraduate training. Every discipline has a unique assessment schema and set of student performance benchmarks, reflecting the priorities of the discipline.

From the 2012-2013 program assessment, we were able to understand how the students performed in engaging art works critically (Program Learning Outcome 4). The student population sampled (N=18) included juniors and seniors who do and do not minor in the Arts minor. We teasedout this PLO with the following three criteria:

  • Critical language and vocabulary learned in class to analyze the work under study
  • Critical issues that the work under study raises, beyond simply describing what s/he sees or hears
  • Artistic, historical and cultural contexts in which the artwork is produced with a high degree of insight and clarity

The students were tested on these areas with in-course assignments across three courses. We learned that 71% to 100% of the time the students performed at Moderate Proficiency or better across the criteria. When we isolated the minors alone we learned that they performed even better, 77% to 100% of the time at Moderate Proficiency or better. The minoring students meet our program expectations for this PLO.

We also surveyed students for their feedback on PLO 4. Among the 7 students who responded, 2 or 29% of them believe that they are “well versed” in the specialized knowledge to be able to engage artworks critically, whereas 5 or 71% of the students believe that they have a “moderate amount of knowledge.” This is a satisfactory result, considering that 3 or 43% of the students stated that they did not have “much knowledge” before taking arts courses. More than 70% of the students surveyed felt that they learned the most from direct lectures, class assignments, and professors’s feedback on assignments.

Alumni Success

Student graduates from our program are currently engaging in graduate studies and careers. A few of these after-college endeavors are listed below.

Graduate School

Student graduates from Arts minor are studying at the University of California Berkeley focusing on psychology and Notre Dame de Namur University focusing on art therapy in the marriage and family therapy degree program.

Careers

Student graduates from the Arts minor are working in a variety of professional settings including as a community outreach specialist in a behavioral health organization.