2011-2012 University Catalog 
2011-2012 University Catalog

■ School of Art

Art and Design Building, Room 2050
Phone: 703-993-8898
Web: soa.gmu.edu


Harold Linton, Director

Professors: Carbonneau, Frederick, Kravitz (gallery director), Linton (director), Sandell

Associate Professors: Ashcraft (associate director), Cooley, Crawford, Feerick, Frenn, Rothstein, White

Assistant Professors: Cui, Endress, Karametou, Sheridan, Winant (associate director), Wrbican

Term Assistant Professors: Constantine, Del Popolo, Stanley, Starr

Adjunct Faculty: Bradley, Carr, Cushner, Dicicco, Erlich-Moss, Feuer, Goldman, Gorman, Guerrieri, Hicks, Ho, Hoffmann, Morris, Nahidian, Organ, Petzwinkler, Porrata, Salyards, Sapsford, Tomhave, Watson


The School of Art offers students an environment in which the pursuit of a degree is a commitment to a way of life that centers on creative thought processes and the production of artworks. The curriculum and the faculty focus on cultivating students’ appreciation of and expertise in studio and digital arts. Students are encouraged to dedicate themselves to academic excellence, skilled artistry, and employing visual literacy within an atmosphere of creative freedom. The faculty’s ongoing engagement with artistic practice forms a vital part of the student-instructor relationship. By offering instruction in traditional and contemporary technologies for art making, faculty members help students develop a strong foundation to realize their personal and professional goals.

A principle that underlies the School of Art Program is its focus on fostering student understanding and experience of the interdisciplinary nature of inquiry and practice in the visual arts. This focus is important because art today crosses the boundaries of traditional disciplines and integrates traditional and technology-based media into the creation of new art forms. This interdisciplinary focus is introduced to all AVT majors in required Foundations and Core courses and is reinforced throughout the AVT curriculum.

Course Work

The School of Art offers all course work designated AVT in the Courses  chapter of this catalog.

Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate studio degrees offered by the School of Art include the bachelor of arts (BA) and the bachelor of fine arts (BFA). The school also offers an undergraduate minor, an interdisciplinary minor in multimedia, and an honors program for selected AVT majors.

Neither the BA nor the BFA program satisfies all requirements for those seeking accreditation for teaching in the public schools. Undergraduate students interested in this field should contact the school’s art education advisor to learn more about teacher preparation.

All George Mason University students are welcome to enroll in course work in the School of Art. Consult the course listings for prerequisites.

Admission to School of Art Requirements

All students are admitted to School of Art programs of study separately from their admission to the university by portfolio review. Students may be admitted to study in the BA or BFA program by one of three ways:

  • Presenting a portfolio and any other requested credentials before applying for admission or after enrolling in the university
  • Presenting a portfolio after completing the sequence of AVT 104, 105, and 222 with a 3.25 or higher average in those courses
  • Presenting a portfolio after completing the sequence of AVT 104, 105, and 222; and 323 or 324; and one other 200-level AVT course with a 3.00 or higher GPA in those courses

BFA Portfolio Review

New students at Mason may apply to the BFA program upon admission to the university through a portfolio review.  Portfolio reviews are scheduled through periodic Admission Office events, or through scheduled dates designated by the School of Art.  Please call the main office to schedule an appointment (703-993-8898).

For current Mason students in the AVT BA program who wish to change to the BFA program, or other current Mason students, application deadlines are at the end of the sixth week of the fall and spring semester each year. Students planning to apply must meet with the coordinator of their concentration in the semester prior to their application to discuss the portfolio.

For all candidates, admission to the BFA program is highly competitive and requires submission of the following:

     For all incoming students:

  • Portfolio of 10 to 15 original examples of college-level art work
  • One-page, double-spaced essay that describes the candidate’s interest in a studio art degree

     In addition, for all transfer students:

  • Transcripts of all college-level study
  • Must have at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA overall and in the major

Students interested in applying should contact the School of Art for an application and specific directions on presenting the portfolio.

Artsbus Requirement

All AVT majors must meet the school’s requirement of travel to galleries and museums through the Artsbus program. Students meet this requirement by enrolling in AVT 300 Artsbus Attendance.  The procedure and requirements for enrollment in AVT 300 is the same as for any other class.

Freshmen who enroll as AVT majors must accumulate five AVT 300 credits during their course of study. Transfer students and students who change their majors to AVT must take AVT 300 for the equivalent of each semester they are enrolled at Mason, up to a maximum of five semesters. Semesters of enrollment in AVT 300 do not have to be consecutive. Students may take AVT 300 up to three times in a semester if they wish to accelerate their completion of the requirement although this is strongly discouraged.

All rules and requirements to AVT 300/Artsbus participation are posted on the Artsbus web site: http://artsbus.gmu.edu.  Students are responsible for being familiar with and following the posted rules and requirements for Artsbus.  The site also provides pertinent information for each trip regarding exhibits as well as reviews and articles for exhibitions.

Visual Voices Requirement

 All AVT majors must fulfill three credits of Visual Voices, AVT 301, in order to graduate unless they are enrolled at Mason for fewer than three semesters.  If enrolled for less than three semesters, students are required to have one AVT 301 credit per semester in which they are enrolled.  Visual Voices is an intrinsic part of the major, offering students a chance to meet with and hear nationally and internationally recognized artists speak about their work.  The procedure and requirements for enrollment in AVT 301 are the same as for any other class.

Writing-Intensive Requirement

Mason requires all students to complete at least one course designated “writing intensive” in their majors at the 300 level or above. AVT students fulfill this requirement by successfully completing AVT 395 (or AVT 494 for BFA students planning to pursue the MAT in art education).

Upper-Level Credits

All undergraduate students are required to complete a minimum of 45 credits of upper-division courses at the 300–499 level.

Major GPA

All School of Art undergraduate students must earn a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA in their major.

To graduate with a BA or BFA Art and Visual Technology with a concentration in Graphic Design, students are required to maintain a 2.4 grade point average in concentration classes.  Students who fail to maintain this minimum may either retake core classes (an earned higher grade replaces the old one) or take concentration special topics classes in order to raise their average to the threshold.  The effect of this change will be that very weak students will have to return to required classes to master core skills, and marginally weak students will be able to meet the requirement while expanding the breadth of their education.


The School of Art program is located in the Art and Design building which houses well equipped studios for drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture, as well as six computer-equipped studios that cross platforms and are installed with current software applications used for two dimensional imaging, three-dimensional modeling, animation, video production, sound editing, multimedia authoring, photography, and web publishing.

Studios are open to students for extended periods mornings, evenings, and weekends whenever classes are not in progress. Policies, procedures, and schedules for studio use are established by the AVT studio faculty and are posted in the studios.

School of Art Honors Program

Students interested in the Honors Program in School of Art should contact the director of the school. Both BA and BFA students are eligible to apply for admission to the program. Honors students must complete at least 4 credits of AVT 394 Honors Seminar.

Academic Policies

Please see College of Visual and Performing Arts  academic policies.


    Undergraduate DegreeUndergraduate MinorMaster’s DegreeMaster’s Level Certificate