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Lower Division Requirements
Fall 2022 - Spring 2023

BFA - Art

Concentration in Photography

San José State University -to- Golden West College

Community College students should meet with a counselor as soon as possible to determine the equivalent courses offered at that institution. Students should complete as many as possible of the lower division requirements listed below, prior to transfer.

Lower Division Course Requirements

Community College Course Equivalents

Important Information regarding SJSU's BFA - Art programs:

The 120 units Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is for the student seriously interested in a career as a professional artist. It combines a general background in studio art with a more intensive preparation for the MFA degree. The BFA Art degree is offered with four concentrations: Digital Media Art, Photography, Pictorial Art, and Spatial Art.
No portfolios are required at the time of application for admission to SJSU. Major requirements for the first two years of study for BA Art/Studio Practice and all BFA degrees are very similar so that students have time to choose the right path and can apply for the BFA, if they choose to do so. At that time BFA program applicants must meet the following departmental requirements:
1. Have completed, be currently enrolled in, or planning to enroll within the following two semesters in all coursework in the common preparation for the BA and BFA Art majors (25-28 units of drawing, digital media, photography, sculpture, art history, ART 001, ART 002, ART 003, and ART 100W) with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Also, recommended are three to six additional units from the desired BFA concentration area.
2. Pass the BFA - Art admissions review. During the review, which is held in October and March of each year, images of the applicant's creative work are reviewed by the art faculty to determine if the work demonstrates the creative level expected of BFA candidates. Instructions are available on the Art and Art History Department website.
Students complete the BFA Art programs with a capstone project, for which each candidate prepares an individual art exhibit to demonstrate the candidates professional competence.

Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in all art/design courses; failing this, the BFA status will be changed to one of the BA - Art programs.

Second Course in English Composition:

ENGL 002 Critical Thinking and WritingENGL G110 Critical Thinking, Reading and Writing Through Literature
PHIL G125 Critical Reasoning and Writing
PSYC G130 Critical Thinking in Psychology
ENGL 001B Argument and AnalysisENGL G110 Critical Thinking, Reading and Writing Through Literature

Preparation for the Major:

ART 012 Two-Dimensional Design and Color ConceptsART G107 Color and Design: 2D
ART 013 Three-Dimensional Design ConceptsArt G109 Color and Design: 3D
ART 024 Drawing IArt G116 Drawing I
ART 074 Introduction to Digital MediaNo Current Equivalent
PHOT 040 Beginning PhotographyPhot G120 Darkroom Photograph 1
ARTH 070A Art History, Prehistoric to MedievalArt G105 Survey of Art from Prehistory through the Middle Ages
Art G105H Art History & Appreciation 1, Honors - Prehistoric to Renanaissance
ARTH 070B Art History, Renaissance to ModernArt G106 Survey of Art from Renaissance to Contemporary
Art G106H Art History & Appreciation 2, Honors- Renaissance to Present
ARTH 070C Arts of AsiaART G103 Survey of Asian Art
(Highly recommend students take ARTH 070B)

Lower Division Major Requirements - Art/Art History Electives: Select one-two courses in one of the following areas.

Digital Media Art:

ART 075 Introduction to Digital Video ArtNo Current Equivalent

Pictorial Arts:

ART 026 Drawing IINo Current Equivalent
ART 061 Beginning PaintingArt G130 Painting I

Spatial Art:

ART 046 Introduction to CeramicsArt G121 Ceramics I


Admission to San Jose State is competitive in all majors. SJSU continues to have more qualified applicants than available new student spaces. Because of this, SJSU is an impacted campus with impacted programs. For the most current information regarding admission impaction at SJSU please visit our website SJSU Impaction Information page.

Prior to transferring to San Jose State University all transfers must earn at least 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter), including the CSU four basic skill courses required for CSU admission eligibility (except majors which have an approved CSU GE A3 waiver). Within those 60 semester/90 quarter units, students are strongly encouraged to complete the following:

1. Lower Division Major Course Requirements (especially for STEM Majors):
Complete as many of the lower division courses required for the major as possible. Many of these courses may be double counted as part of the CSU GE-Breadth 39 semester unit requirements. The lower division major courses for this major are shown above.

2. General Education Requirements:
Complete all the CSU GE Breadth requirements at the community college (39 semester units/58 quarter units). The approved courses for each area can be found at under the link "CSU GE-Breadth Certification Courses" for your college. Many of these courses may be double counted to meet the major requirements shown above, so choose your courses wisely. Some SJSU majors which meet GE requirements within the majors are noted on the Major Exceptions and Modifications page in our catalog. Please see your college counselor/advisor to review your general education in order to receive FULL OR PARTIAL CERTIFICATION PRIOR TO TRANSFER to San Jose State University.

3. Second Course in English Composition highly recommended:
All students are strongly encouraged to complete a second English composition course as part of their lower division GE prior to transferring to SJSU (either to meet CSU GE Area A3 or C2) for the greatest success in passing the Writing Skills Test (WST) at SJSU. Complete this course with a grade of "C" or better prior to registering for the WST at SJSU to avoid delays in enrollment for other SJSU courses. To register for the WST contact our Testing office at:

4. American Institutions Requirement (US 1, US 2, and US 3 must be completed):
This requirement is normally 2 courses and can be taken as part of your CSU GE-Breadth 39 semester unit requirements (GE Area D and sometimes Area C). The approved courses can be found at under the link "CSU U.S. History, Constitution, and American Ideals Courses" for your college.

5. Graduation Requirement - Physical Education (PE):
All undergraduate students who matriculate at SJSU are required to complete two units of physical education from Kinesiology/Dance activity courses, unless the major program has an approved PE waiver. Majors which have approved PE waivers are noted on the Major Exceptions and Modifications page in our catalog.

(page last modified: 04/17/2024)