About Foundations

In the 21st Century higher education is charged with preparing students to thrive and succeed in an unknown and uncertain future. Meta-cognition, information literacy, and critical thinking are all necessary skills which are foundational to recognizing and managing complexity and to effectively function as creative thinkers and lifelong and integrative learners. Design thinking and visual literacy are critical elements for developing habits of mind indicative of successful people.


Who Needs to Complete Foundations Courses?

Any student who is participating in the option leading to a BFA (Graphic Design or Studio Arts), to a BA in Liberal Arts Studio, Art Education or teaching minor in Art Education must have completed ARTZ 109RA, 105RA and 110RA before entering the 200 level or above studio classes in the School of Art. Any student who is participating in the option leading to a BA in Art History only needs to take 2 out of 3 courses. The minor in Art History needs no Foundations courses. 

Transfer students' coursework will be evaluated by the School of Art's Transfer Evaluator and when needed, the Foundations Coordinator. If the transfer coursework is judged to be unacceptable by the Evaluation committee, the transfer student will be required to successfully complete the School of Art’s Foundations curriculum. The Evaluation committee reserves the right to request that any transfer student, MSU student or former student successfully complete part or all of the MSU Foundations curricula before being permitted to move forward in the program. 


ARTZ 106 – Visual Language – 2D
ARTZ 108 – Visual Language – 3D
ARTZ 105 – Visual Language – Drawing
ARTZ 105


  Please click on the links below for more information on degrees the Foundations curriculum is part of:

BFA-Studio Arts

BFA-Graphic Design

BFA-Liberal Studio Arts

BA-Art Education K-12
Art Education Minor  BA- Art History
Art History Minor



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