Art, Place + Public Studies | BA

Poised at the forefront of creative and critical work, the BA in Art, Place & Public Studies  addresses questions of place and urban space as spheres of multiple experiences, cultural imaginaries, and material practices.

The program emphasizes critical awareness of the impact of the arts in specific contexts, along with the agency of artists and scholars to make socially conscious contributions. Drawing on the expertise of faculty across multiple fields, students learn from a distinctly artistic point of view, through the study of public art, activism, ethnography, critique, and other cultural practices. Our multi-disciplinary approach encourages students to follow their interests, no matter where in the city – or world – they might lead.


APPS Major Requirements

Art, Place & Public Studies: Core Concepts3
Creative Practices & Spatial Contestations3
City Studio Practicum3
Critical Studies Electives9
Art, Place & Public Studies Electives21
Interdisciplinary Research Colloquium 3
Thesis Colloquium3

APPS Studio Requirements

Contemporary Practice3
Electives in any studio discipline18

Summary of Required Credits

Liberal Arts Requirements33
Art History, Theory & Criticism Requirements54
Studio Requirements21
General Electives12

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Develop contextualized understandings of urban and public art by studying the ways in which place-making, diverse lived experiences, and spatial contestations are entangled with creative practices.
  • Demonstrate general, global knowledge of the history of art and visual culture and are able to situate these discourses in broader social, political, technological, and geographic transformations.
  • Develop knowledge of urban and public artworks that challenge the art historical canon, including site-specific works, community and street art, urban art interventions, social practice art and socially-engaged art, and forms of public performance and assembly.
  • Engage with major theoretical works that problematize public art practices and interrogate notions of the “public” in relation to place-making as a site of cultural and material struggle, and through multidisciplinary approaches in visual culture, critical theory, social sciences, and humanities.
  • Gain valuable perspectives from service learning and civic engagement in local contexts.
  • Gain understandings of public art directly through the process of art making in studio electives.
  • Learn current methodologies for conducting urban and public arts research, including archival, institutional, critical, and ethnographic approaches.
  • Produce an original BA Senior Thesis as a culmination of research, analysis, experience, and critical knowledge gained in the program.