Research Competencies in Art & Design

Expected by NASAD

Excerpts from:

National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Handbook 2007-2008. Reston, VA: National Association of Schools of Art and Design, 2006

VII. The Liberal Arts Degree with a Major in Art/Design
IX. Specific Professional Baccalaureate Degrees in Art and Design
XI. Baccalaureate Degrees in Art Education
XIII. Graduate Programs in the Visual Arts and Design
XIV. Admission to Graduate Study
XV. Specific Initial Graduate Degree Programs
XVI. Specific Terminal Degree Programs


Standards for Accreditation

VII. THE LIBERAL ARTS DEGREE WITH A MAJOR IN ART/DESIGN

D.   General Studies

1.   Competencies

Specific competency expectations are determined by the institution. Normally, students graduating with liberal arts degrees have:

(a) The ability to think, speak, and write clearly and effectively, and to communicate with precision, cogency, and rhetorical force.

(b) An informed acquaintance with the mathematical and experimental methods of the physical and biological sciences and the historical and quantitative techniques needed for investigating the workings and developments of modern society.

(c) An ability to address culture and history from a variety of perspectives.

(d) Understanding of, and experience in thinking about, moral and ethical problems.

(e) The ability to respect, understand, and evaluate work in a variety of disciplines.

(f) The capacity to explain and defend views effectively and rationally.

(g) Understanding of and experience in one or more art forms other than the visual arts and design.

2.   Operational Guidelines

These competencies are usually developed through studies in English composition and literature; foreign languages; history, social studies, and philosophy; visual and performing arts; natural science and mathematics. Precollegiate study, regular testing and counseling, and flexibility in course requirements are elements in achieving these competencies.

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F.   Major in Art History

1.   A liberal arts major in art history requires a thorough grounding in the liberal arts, with a concentration of course work in art and art history normally equaling 30–45% of the total credits required for graduation, and the remainder in general liberal arts studies.

2.   Upon completion of the major, graduates must have attained:

a.   a general knowledge of the monuments and principal artists of all major art periods of the past, including a broad understanding of the art of the twentieth century and acquaintance with the art history of non-Western cultures. This knowledge should be augmented by study in greater depth and precision of several cultures and periods in the history of art and concentration in at least one area to the advanced seminar level. Study at the advanced level should include theory, analysis, and criticism;

b.   a general knowledge of world history;

c.   knowledge of the tools and techniques of scholarship. Active research and the writing of analytical and critical essays should continue throughout the program.

d.   functional knowledge of the creative process. Normally, this is accomplished through one or more foundation or other studio courses; however, there are many methods of ensuring this competence.

3.   The student should achieve adequate mastery of at least one foreign language to support research through the reading of primary source materials.

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6.   General Studies

a.   Competencies

Specific competency expectations are determined by the institution. Normally, students holding a professional undergraduate degree in art and/or design are expected to have:

(1) The ability to think, speak, and write clearly and effectively, and to communicate with precision, cogency, and rhetorical force.

(2) An informed acquaintance with the mathematical and experimental methods of the physical and biological sciences and with the main forms of analysis and the historical and quantitative techniques needed for investigating the workings and developments of modern society.

(3) An ability to address culture and history from a variety of perspectives.

(4) Understanding of, and experience in thinking about, moral and ethical problems.

(5) The ability to respect, understand, and evaluate work in a variety of disciplines.

(6) The capacity to explain and defend views effectively and rationally.

(7) Understanding of and experience in art forms other than the visual arts and design.

b. Operational Guidelines

(1) Some art/design courses, if conceived and taught in relation to other realms of human experience, may be appropriately included in the category of general studies. Some art/design history or theoretical or cultural studies may meet this criterion.

(2) Many areas of inquiry from general education are directly supportive of various specializations in art and design.

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B.   Common Body of Knowledge and Skills

1.   Studio

Studies, practice, and experiences in studio subjects are of prime importance in the preparation of students for professional careers in art and design. The excellence of the creative work produced by students is the best determinant of the adequacy of the studio studies offered by an institution. Creative work includes, but is not limited to, conceptualization, process, product, and critique.

a.   Irrespective of major or specialization, students must:

(1) Gain functional competence with principles of visual organization, including the ability to work with visual elements in two and three dimensions; color theory and its applications; and drawing.

(2) Present work that demonstrates perceptual acuity, conceptual understanding, and technical facility at a professional entry level in their chosen field(s).

(3) Become familiar with the historical achievements, current major issues, processes, and directions of their field(s).

(4) Be afforded opportunities to exhibit their work and to experience and participate in critiques and discussions of their work and the work of others.

Studio work normally begins at the freshman level and extends with progressively greater intensity throughout the degree program.

There should be opportunities for independent study at the advanced level that includes appropriate supervision and evaluation upon completion.

2.   Art/Design History, Theory, and Criticism

Through comprehensive courses in the history of art/design, students must:

a.   Learn to analyze works of art/design perceptively and to evaluate them critically.

b.   Develop an understanding of the common elements and vocabulary of art/design and of the interaction of these elements, and be able to employ this knowledge in analysis.

c.   Acquire the ability to place works of art/design in historical, cultural, and stylistic contexts.

In certain areas of specialization, it is advisable to require that students study the historical development of works within the specialization.

Normally, studies in art and design history and analysis occupy at least 10% of the total curriculum.

3.   Technology

Students must acquire a working knowledge of technologies and equipment applicable to their area(s) of specialization.

4.   Synthesis

While synthesis is a lifetime process, by the end of undergraduate studies students should be able to work independently on a variety of art and/or design problems by combining, as appropriate to the issue, their capabilities in studio, analysis, history, and technology.

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C.   Results

Upon completion of any specific professional undergraduate degree program:

1.   Students must demonstrate achievement of professional, entry-level competence in the major area of specialization, including significant technical mastery, capability to produce work and solve professional problems independently, and a coherent set of artistic/intellectual goals which are evident in their work.

2.   Students must demonstrate their competence by developing a body of work for evaluation in the major area of study. A senior project or final presentation in the major area is required.

3.   Students must have the ability to form and defend value judgments about art and design and to communicate art/design ideas, concepts, and requirements to professionals and lay persons related to the practice of the major field. They are able to work collaboratively as appropriate to the area(s) of specialization.

D.   Recommendations

Students engaged in professional undergraduate degrees in art/design should have opportunities to:

1.   Gain a basic understanding of the nature of professional work in their major field. Examples are: organizational structures and working patterns; artistic, intellectual, economic, technological, and political contexts; and development potential.

2.   Acquire the skills necessary to assist in the development and advancement of their careers, normally including the development of competencies in communication, presentation, and business skills necessary to engage in professional practice in their major field.

3.   Develop teaching skills, particularly as related to their major area of study.

4.   Explore areas of individual interest related to art/design in general or to the major. Among the many possible examples are: aesthetics, theory, specialized topics in art/design history, analysis, and technology.

5.   Explore multidisciplinary issues that include art and design.

6.   Practice synthesis of a broad range of art/design knowledge and skills, particularly through learning activities that involve a minimum of faculty guidance, where the emphasis is on evaluation at completion (see section III.G.).

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IX. SPECIFIC PROFESSIONAL BACCALAUREATE DEGREES IN ART AND DESIGN

A.   Ceramics

B.   Digital Media

C.   Drawing

D.   Fashion Design

3.   Essential Competencies, Experiences, and Opportunities (in addition to those stated for all professional degree programs in VIII.B. C.):

a.   Understanding of how design elements, including color, texture, and pattern, contribute to the aesthetic, illusionistic, and practical functions of three-dimensional forms, particularly as related to principles for draping the human body and the design and construction of garments. Development of this understanding continues throughout the degree program in such areas as form analysis and integration, color, and design.

b.   Knowledge and skills in the use of basic tools, techniques, and processes sufficient to produce work from draft or specifications to finished product, including skills in portfolio preparation. This involves functional knowledge of human form and function and awareness of the potentials and professional capabilities in the uses of current and developing materials, media, and technologies, including sketching, life drawing, rendering, and computer-assisted design.

c.   The ability to determine design priorities and alternatives; research, define and evaluate criteria and requirements; coordinate project elements; and communicate with involved personnel at all stages of the design process.

d.   The ability to design for a number of markets based on a working knowledge of the organization of those markets.

e.   Understanding of history of fashion design. A course in the history of costume should be part of the art history requirement.

f.   Functional knowledge of basic business practices

g.   Opportunities to develop a balanced orientation to the practical and theoretical aspects of fashion design, including understanding of the profession’s connection with other design fields.

h.   Easy access to studios and libraries with appropriate fashion design resources.

i.   Opportunities for field experiences and internships. Participation in this is strongly recommended.

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E.   Film/Video

F.   General Crafts

G.   General Design

The professional undergraduate degree in design provides students with a thorough grounding in fundamental design principles and techniques with opportunities for emphasis in one or more specific design areas. NASAD standards for specific design specializations should be used as guidelines when such specializations are used as areas of emphasis with a general design degree.

The title normally used to identify this degree is the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design.

1.   Curricular Structure

a.   Standard

Curricular structure, content, and time requirements shall enable students to develop the range of knowledge, skills, and competencies expected of those holding a professional baccalaureate degree in general design as indicated below and in section VIII. above.

b.   Guidelines

Curricula to accomplish this purpose that meet the standards just indicated normally adhere to the following structural guidelines: studies in design comprise 25%-35% of the total program; supportive courses in art and design, 20%-30%; studies in art and design history, 10%-15%; and general studies, 25%-35%. Studies in the major area, supportive courses in art and design, and studies in visual arts histories normally total at least 65% of the curriculum (see section III.C. regarding forms of instruction, requirements, and electives).

2.   Recommendations for General Studies (see VIII.A.6.)

Designers benefit from studies that develop communication, planning, research, and business skills.

3.   Essential Competencies, Experiences, and Opportunities (in addition to those stated for all professional degree programs in VIII.B. and C.)

a.   The ability to solve design problems, including the skills of problem identification, research, and information gathering, analysis, generation of alternative solutions, prototyping and user testing, and evaluation of outcomes.

b.   The ability to describe and respond to clients and contexts that design solutions must address, including recognition of the physical, cognitive, cultural, and social human factors that shape design decisions.

c.   The ability to create and develop visual form in response to design problems, including an understanding of principles of visual organization/composition and application.

d.   An understanding of tools, technologies, and materials, including their roles in the creation, production, and use of visual forms. This includes both traditional and digital media.

e.   Functional knowledge of design history, theory, and criticism, including an understanding of the similarities, differences, and relationships among the various design specializations.

f.   An understanding of basic business practices, including the ability to organize design projects and to work productively as a member of teams.

g.   Experiences that encourage familiarity with a broad variety of design work in various specializations and media.

h.   Opportunities to develop an area of emphasis in design.

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H.   General Fine Arts

I.   Glass

J.   Graphic Design

Graphic design is the profession that plans and executes the design of visual communication according to the needs of audiences and contexts for which communication is intended. Graphic designers apply what they have learned about physical, cognitive, social, and cultural human factors to communication planning and the creation of appropriate form that interprets, informs, instructions, or persuades. Graphic designers use various technologies as means for creating visual form and as an environment through which communication takes place.

Graphic designers plan, analyze, create, and evaluate visual solutions to communication problems. Their work ranges from the development of strategies to solve large-scale communication problems, to the design of effective communication products, such as publications, computer programs, packaging exhibitions, and signage.

Titles normally used to identify the four-year professional programs with a major qualifying students for entry to the field are Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Advertising Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design, or Bachelor of Graphic Design. Only schools with sufficient qualified design faculty, technological resources, and a comprehensive curriculum of study in graphic design have the prerequisites to offer these degrees or other degrees with different titles having career entry objectives.

1.   Curricular Structure

a.   Standard

Curricular structure, content, and time requirements shall enable students to develop the range of knowledge, skills, and competencies expected of those holding a professional baccalaureate degree in graphic design as indicated below and in Section VIII. above.

b.   Guidelines

Curricula to accomplish this purpose that meet the standards just indicated normally adhere to the following structural guidelines: studies in graphic design comprise 25%-35% of the total program; supportive courses in art and design, 20%-30%; studies in art and design history, 10%-15%; and general studies, 25%-35%. Studies in the major area, supportive courses in art and design, and studies in visual arts histories normally total at least 65% of the curriculum (see section III.C. regarding forms of instruction, requirements, and electives).

2.   Recommendations for General Studies (see VIII.A.6.)

Curriculum requirements and strong advising should direct students to general studies that support their study in design. Appropriate areas of study for all graphic design majors include communication theory, writing, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and business, as well as the humanities. Professional degree programs with a specific focus (example: advertising, design planning/management, interactive media) should require or strongly recommend study in relevant areas, such as marketing, economics, organizational psychology, human factors, systems theory, or computer science. Course work in the major should make use of concepts and skills acquired through study in areas other than design.

3.   Essential Competencies (in addition to those stated for all professional degree programs in VIII.B. and C.)

a.   The ability to solve communication problems, including the skills of problem identification, research and information gathering, analysis, generation of alternative solutions, prototyping and user testing, and evaluation of outcomes.

b.   The ability to describe and respond to the audiences and contexts which communication solutions much address, including recognition of the physical, cognitive, cultural, and social human factors that shape design decisions.

c.   The ability to create and develop visual form in response to communication problems, including an understanding of principles of visual organization/composition, information hierarchy, symbolic representation, typography, aesthetics, and the construction of meaningful images.

d.   An understanding of tools and technology, including their roles in the creation, reproduction, and distribution of visual messages. Relevant tools and technologies include, but are not limited to, drawing, offset printing, photography, and time-based and interactive media (film, video, computer multimedia).

e.   An understanding of design history, theory, and criticism from a variety of perspectives, including those of art history, linguistics, communication and information theory, technology, and the social and cultural use of design objects.

f.   An understanding of basic business practices, including the ability to organize design projects and to work productively as a member of teams.

4.   Relevant Competencies for Specialized Programs (in addition to those stated above for all graphic design programs, and those stated for all professional degree programs)

a.   For graphic design programs with a special emphasis in advertising, design experiences should include the application of communication theory, planning of campaigns, audience/user evaluation, market testing, branding, art direction, and copyrighting, as well as the formal and technical aspects of design and production.

b.   For graphic design programs with a special emphasis in design planning and strategy, design experiences should include working in interdisciplinary teams, systems-level analysis and problem solving, writing for business, and the application of management, communication, and information theories.

c.   For graphic design programs with a special emphasis in time-based or interactive media, design experiences should include storyboarding, computer scripting, sound-editing, and issues related to interface design, as well as the formal and technical aspects of design and production for digital media.

5.   Essential Opportunities and Experiences

a.   Easy access to studios and libraries with appropriate graphic design resources and reference material in other relevant disciplines, such as the social sciences and the humanities.

b.   Easy access to appropriately equipped labs and technology necessary for the execution of design solutions.

c.   Ongoing access to instruction and critique under faculty with educational and professional backgrounds in graphic design. Sufficient numbers of qualified faculty to provide the diversity of expertise required for a comprehensive education in graphic design.

d.   Field experiences and internships are strongly recommended.

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K.   Illustration

L.   Industrial Design

M.   Interior Design

3.   Essential Competencies, Experiences, and Opportunities (in addition to those stated for all professional degree programs in VIII.B. and C.)

a.   Understanding of the basic principles and applications of design and color in two and three dimensions, particularly with regard to human response and behavior. Design principles include, but are not limited to, an understanding of basic visual elements and principles of organization and expression. Color principles include, but are not limited to, basic elements of color theories of harmony and interaction, and applications of light and pigment. These are developed throughout the degree program with particular attention to interior design, but begin with studies of art and design fundamentals in both theoretical and studio applications.

b.   Skill in the application of design and color principles in a wide variety of residential and nonresidential projects. This requires an in-depth knowledge of the aesthetic properties of structure and surface, space and scale, materials, furniture, artifacts, textiles, lighting, and the ability to research and solve problems creatively in ways that pertain to the function, quality, and effect of specific interior programs.

c.   Understanding of the technical issues of human factors, including areas such as programming, environmental control systems, anthropometrics, ergonomics, and proxemics. The ability to integrate human factor considerations with design elements is essential.

d.   Knowledge of the technical aspects of construction and building systems, and energy conservation, as well as working knowledge of legal codes and regulations related to construction, environmental systems, and human health and safety, and the ability to apply such knowledge appropriately in specific project programs.

e.   The ability to hear and communicate concepts and requirements to the broad spectrum of professionals and clients involved or potentially involved with interior design projects. Such communication involves verbal, written and representational media in both two and three dimensions and encompasses a range from initial sketch to finished design. Familiarity with technical tools, conventions of representation, and systems of projection, including perspective, are essential. Computer-assisted design (CAD) is also essential.

f.   Functional knowledge of production elements such as installation procedures, project management, and specification of materials and equipment.

g.   Understanding of the history of art, architecture, decorative arts, and interior design.

h.   Functional knowledge of basic business practices and ethical practices in interior design.

i.   Opportunities to become familiar with research theories and methodologies related to or concerned with interior design.

j.   Opportunities to become oriented to the working profession including field experience, internships, and participation in interior design organizations, supported through strong advising.

k.   Experience with a variety of professional practices and exposure to numerous points of view in historic and contemporary interior design.

l.   Easy access to studios, libraries and resource centers that are appropriately equipped for the study of interior design.

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N.   Jewelry/Metals

O.   Painting

P.   Photography

Q.   Printmaking

R.   Sculpture

S.   Textile Design

3. Essential Competencies, Experiences, and Opportunities (in addition to those stated for all professional degree programs in VIII.B. and C.)

a.   Understanding of visual forms and their aesthetic functions, particularly as related to the design and production of fabrics. Development of this understanding continues throughout the degree program in such areas as form analysis and integration, configuration and composition.

b.   Knowledge and skills in the use of basic tools, techniques, and processes sufficient to produce work from concept to finished product. This includes awareness of the potentials and uses of current and developing materials, media, and technologies, and involves studio work in two-dimensional design for both woven and printed fabrics.

c.   The ability to determine design priorities and alternatives; research, define, and evaluate criteria and requirements; and coordinate project elements in multi-media applications.

d.   Understanding of the history of textile design.

e.   Functional knowledge of basic business practices.

f.   Opportunities to develop a balanced orientation to the practical and theoretical aspects of weaving and textile design, including understanding of the profession’s connection with other design fields.

g.   Easy access to studios and libraries with appropriate weaving and textile design resources.

h.   Opportunities for field experiences and internships. Participation in these is strongly recommended.

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T.   Theatre Design

U.   Weaving/Fibers

V.   Woodworking

XI.   BACCALAUREATE DEGREES IN ART EDUCATION

C.   Desirable Personal Qualities, Essential Competencies, and Recommended Procedures

1.   Personal Qualities

Desirable characteristics of the prospective art teacher are:

a.   The potential to inspire others and to excite the imagination of students, engendering a respect and desire for art and visual experiences;

b.   The ability and desire constantly to seek out, evaluate, and apply new ideas and developments in both art and education;

c.   The ability to maintain positive relationships with individuals and various social and ethnic groups, and empathize with students and colleagues of differing backgrounds;

d.   The ability to articulate and communicate the goals of an art program to pupils, colleagues, administrators, and parents in an effective and professionally responsible manner.

2.   Art Competencies

The following basic competencies are essential to all prospective art teachers:

a.   Studio Art

The prospective art teacher must be familiar with the basic expressive, technical, procedural and organizational skills, and conceptual insights which can be developed through studio art and design experiences. Instruction should include traditional processes as well as newer technological developments in environmental and functional design fields. Prospective art teachers must be able to make students emphatically aware of the all-important process of artistic creation from conceptualized image to finished art work.

b.   Art History and Analysis

The prospective art teacher must have an understanding of (1) the major styles and periods of art history, analytical methods, and theories of criticism; (2) the development of past and contemporary art forms; (3) contending philosophies of art; and (4) the fundamental and integral relationships of all these to the making of art.

c.   Advanced Work

The student in a Bachelor of Arts program should have an opportunity for advanced work in at least one or more studio and/or art application areas. These studies should build upon the competencies outlined in Sections XII.C.1. and C.2., and should require 6 to 9 semester hours.

d.   Technical Processes

The prospective art teacher should have functional knowledge in such areas as the physics of light, chemistry of pigments, the chemical and thermal aspects of shaping materials, and the basic technologies involved in printmaking, photography, filmmaking, and video.

3.   Teaching Competencies

The artist-teacher must be able to connect an understanding of educational processes and structures with an understanding of relationships among the arts, sciences, and humanities, in order to apply art competencies in teaching situations and to integrate art instruction into the total process of education. Specific competencies include:

a.   An understanding of child development and the identification and understanding of psychological principles of learning as they relate to art education;

b.   An understanding of the philosophical and social foundation underlying art in education and the ability to express a rationale for personal attitudes and beliefs;

c.   Ability to assess aptitudes, experiential backgrounds, and interests of individuals and groups of students, and to devise learning experiences to meet assessed needs;

d.   Knowledge of current methods and materials available in all fields and levels of art education;

e.   Basic understanding of the principles and methods of developing curricula and the short- and long-term instructional units that comprise them.

f.   The ability to accept, amend, or reject methods and materials based on personal assessment of specific teaching situations.

g.   Awareness of the need for continuing study, self-evaluation, and professional growth.

4. Professional Procedures

a.   Art education methods courses should be taught by faculty who have had successful experience teaching art in elementary and secondary schools and who maintain close contact with such schools.

b.   Institutions should encourage observation and discussion of teaching prior to beginning formal study in teacher education, whether at the freshman or at the more advanced level.

c.   Supervised practice teaching opportunities should be provided in actual school situa-tions. These activities, as well as continuing laboratory experience, must be supervised by qualified art education personnel from the institution and the cooperating schools. The prospective art teacher for certification for kindergarten through high school (K–12) ideally should have a period of internship at both elementary and secondary levels and should be given substantial responsibility for the full range of teaching and classroom management in these experiences. The choice of sites must enable students to develop competencies consistent with the standards outlined above, and must be approved by qualified art/design personnel from the degree-granting institution.

d.   Institutions should encourage ongoing professional studio involvement for art teachers.

e.   Institutions should establish specific evaluative procedures to assess student progress and achievement. The program of evaluation should include an initial assessment of student potential for admission to the program, periodic assessment to determine progress throughout the program, and further contact after graduation. It is recommended that a college supervisor be enabled to make at least visits each month during the internship to conduct individual conferences with the student teacher and confer with cooperating school personnel.

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XII. BACCALAUREATE DEGREES IN PREPARATION FOR ADVANCED PROFESSIONAL STUDY

A.   Art Therapy

B.   Medical Illustration

C.   Art Conservation

XIII. GRADUATE PROGRAMS IN THE VISUAL ARTS AND DESIGN

A.   Fundamental Purposes and Principles

4.   Creative Work, Inquiry, Research, and Scholarship

a.   Professional work in art and design specializations is produced through creative endeavor, inquiry, and investigation. Each type of work and each individual work of art or design exhibits specific intent, content, methodology, and product. Individual or group decisions about these four elements shape the ways that creativity, inquiry, and investigation are used to produce work in various artistic, scholarly, research, pedagogical, or other specializations. Competency to practice in one or more fields of specialization includes the ability to conduct the types of creative work, inquiry, and investigation normally associated with the specialization(s) chosen.

b.   These types include but are not limited to:

(1) Work in studio art or design that results in contributions to the body of knowledge and practice in art and design.

(2) The development and application or incorporation of various types of inquiry and investigation, including formal research or scholarship in various fields, the artist or designer wishes to use in the creation or production of a work of art or design.

(3) Research and scholarship as defined and practiced by professional humanists, scientists, and social scientists. In art and design, this includes but is not limited to such areas as art and design history, theory, and criticism; the relationship of art and design to inquiry in the humanities, the sciences, and the social sciences; the influences of art and design in and on larger social, cultural, educational, economic, and technological contexts; and the nature and application of art and design thinking and pedagogy.

(4) The development, compilation, and application or incorporation of inquiry results, including those produced by formal research and scholarship, in decisions about pedagogy and teaching, applications of art therapy, and policy-making in various contexts.

5.   Types of Degree Programs

Different specializations and different degree programs reflect specific goals with respect to relationships among fields of practice and approaches to creative work, inquiry and investi-gation, and to research and scholarship, whether broadly or narrowly defined. The basic degree frameworks are described below. The following classifications differ from the standard research-oriented and practice-oriented labels usually applied to graduate degree programs. NASAD uses the four degree fields categorized below for the purposes of clarity in representing the nature of the various types of work in the area of art and design.

a.   Studio Art and Design. These degrees combine creative work, inquiry, and investigation in ways that focus on the advanced preparation of artists and designers.

Degree titles reflect level of study and curricular content, and normally include Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Master of Fine Arts.

b.   Scholarly Fields. These degrees combine inquiry, investigation, and creative work in ways that focus on the advanced preparation of scholars and researchers.

Degree titles reflect level of study and curricular content and normally include Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy.

c.   Art Education, Art Therapy, Art-Related Professions. These degrees combine practice-oriented study in the field of specialization, inquiry, investigation, research, and scholarship in various ways that focus on the advanced preparation of practitioners, scholars, and/or researchers.

Degree titles reflect level of study and curricular content and normally include Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Education, Doctor of Education, and Doctor of Philosophy.

d.   Multiple Orientations. These degrees focus on the simultaneous development of (1) the ability to produce advanced research and scholarly findings, often using the practices and protocols of the humanities, sciences, or social sciences, and (2) the ability to utilize, combine, or integrate these findings with practice of the artistic, design-oriented, pedagogical, therapeutic, or other art and design-related professions.

Degree titles reflect level and content and are consistent with the character and requirements of the degree rubric chosen.

6.   Breadth of Competence

a.   Cultural, Intellectual, and Technical Components. Breadth of competence is characterized by the ability to work in one or more fields of art and design with a broad range of knowledge, skills, and perspectives. As examples, breadth of competence includes the capacities to be engaged artistically, intellectually, and operationally beyond the major specialization or field, connect art and design to other fields and issues, and apply appropriate techniques and technologies to work in and about art and design.

b.   Opportunities and Relationships. Graduate programs in art and design should provide opportunities for individual students to enlarge their breadth of competence. This includes opportunities for deepening understanding of the relationships among art and design specializations in areas such as studio, history, theory and analysis, and pedagogy. The development of breadth of competence normally includes studies beyond the undergraduate level.

7.   Preparation for the Professions

a.   Career Development.

b.   Teaching.

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XIV. ADMISSION TO GRADUATE STUDY

C.   Evaluation of Creative, Scholarly, or Professional Work

Admission to graduate study shall be based on critical examination of the academic record; the content of courses taken; and the portfolio of studio work, papers, and/or professional experience as appropriate.

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XV. SPECIFIC INITIAL GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMS

A.   Studio Art and Design

B.   Art History and Criticism

1.   The Master of Arts degree in art history, assuming the completion of a Bachelor of Arts in art history or equivalent or the make-up of any deficiencies, requires at least 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of advanced study in the discipline.

2.   Work for the degree should develop a broad general knowledge of the history of art, as well as specialization in a more limited area.

3.   Students should be aware of historiography and methods of scholarship and be capable of undertaking independent research.

4.   Students should have a reading knowledge of at least one, preferably two, appropriate foreign languages.

5.   Normally, the awarding of the degree requires the satisfactory completion of a thesis and/or a comprehensive examination.

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C.   Design Research and Scholarship

1.   The research- and/or scholarship-oriented Master of Arts or Master of Science degree in design or design studies, assuming the completion of appropriate undergraduate work, requires at least 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of advanced study in the discipline and related areas.

2.   Work for the degree develops a broad general knowledge of design, including but not limited to design history, theory, criticism; design planning and strategy; or design methods. Students must be able to relate to various design audiences and contexts; describe various critical perspectives on design; and employ appropriate methods for the study of design as a discipline and as a practice.

3.   Students have functional knowledge of research, analysis, methods, and interpretive progress, are capable of undertaking independent research, and are competent in the use of research tools and technologies appropriate to their field of study.

4.   Normally, the awarding of the degree requires the satisfactory completion of a thesis and/or a comprehensive examination.

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D.   Museum Studies.

E.   Art Education

3.   All programs should include one or more advanced seminars concerned with developments and philosophy of education and with contemporary problems in art education. This may include a review of curriculum developments, teaching methodology, innovations, and multidisciplinary concepts. Whether or not there is an advanced survey in contemporary general education, there should be specialized study of contemporary needs and developments in art and art education.

4.   Some institutions make distinctions between practice-oriented and research-oriented programs.

a.   A practice-oriented program emphasizes the extension of specialized studio work for art teachers. Institutions making such a designation should require at least fifteen semester hours in studio.

b.   A research-oriented program emphasizes theoretical studies and research projects in art education. If an institution uses such a designation, at least fifteen semester hours should be required in art education and associated research areas.

5.   Students are expected to complete a final project indicating achievement within a specialized area of inquiry. This may take the form of an exhibit, a thesis, a portfolio, or another demonstration of competence related to the graduate program.

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F. Art Therapy

3.   At least 50% of the course work shall be in art therapy and shall include the following:

a.   An extensive history of the discipline with attention given to the basis of art therapy found in the work of art therapists, artists, pedagogues, psychiatrists, psychologists, philosophers, and critics; a research component should be provided, and the opportunity for individual research projects is recommended.

b.   Studies in the theory and practice of art therapy, including experience with the technique of practice, distinction between diagnostic and therapeutic applications, and work with both children and adults. Differing theoretical viewpoints should be presented.

c.   Practical training opportunities including a practicum or internship for which credit is given, and field work for which no credit is given. (See guidelines for practical training below.)

d.   Opportunities during the latter stages of the program for specialization in art therapy requiring sequences of at least two courses in a given area, and elective courses and directed individual study in art therapy to provide flexibility to the individual program.

Provision should be made for studies in disciplines related to art therapy, including psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, art history, criticism, and aesthetics.

4.   The program shall meet the following guidelines for practical training:

a.   Practicum.

b.   Field Work.

c.   Supervision.

d.   Settings.

5.   The institution must maintain an appropriate collection of library materials to support the art therapy program. Medical art, art education, and psychology holdings are required in addition to basic works on the theory and practice of art therapy. The development of a collection of case materials appropriate for instructional use is essential.

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G.   Multiple Orientations

1.   The Master of Arts or Master of Science degree combining studio practice and scholarship or research, assuming the completion of appropriate undergraduate work, requires at least 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours of advanced study in art/design and related areas.

2.   Work for the degree produces competencies to develop research studies and utilize findings in design or studio practice. Students must demonstrate knowledge and skills in research methodology, the ability to conceptualize problems generically, and the ability to connect research to problem solving in the creation of art/design.

3.   Requirements for work in other disciplines must be correlated to the goals and objectives of common or individual degree programs.

4.   Normally, the awarding of the degree requires the satisfactory completion of a thesis and/or a comprehensive examination.

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XVI. SPECIFIC TERMINAL DEGREE PROGRAMS

3.   General Requirements. The elements outlined below should be combined and synthesized in an individual exhibiting exceptional skill in studio art or design and a well developed personal aesthetic.

a.   Advanced professional competence in some aspect of studio art or design as exemplified by a considerable depth of knowledge and achievement which is demonstrated by a significant body of work.

b.   A breadth of understanding in art and/or design and/or appropriate related disciplines, and the ability to think independently, to integrate, and to synthesize information associated with practice in an area of specialization.

c.   Awareness of current issues and developments that are influencing the principal field(s) of study, and the basic ability and clear potential to contribute to the expansion and evolution of these field(s).

d.   Writing and speaking skills to communicate clearly and effectively to the art and/or design communities, the public, and in formal or informal teaching situations.

e.   Advanced capabilities with technologies utilized in the creation, dissemination, documentation, and preservation of work in the field(s) or area(s) of specialization.

f.   A basic knowledge of bibliographic or information resources associated with work and analysis in the major field(s) of study.

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B.   Doctoral Degrees

1.   Purpose. Doctoral degrees are earned only in graduate programs that emphasize research or scholarship in some aspect of art and design.

2.   Time Requirements. Doctoral programs require the equivalent of at least three years full-time graduate work.

3.   Procedures. Programs leading to the doctorate utilize similar procedures, the specifics of which are determined by each institution. These are outlined in Section XIII.C. above.

4.   Qualifying Prerequisites. Whatever their area(s) of specialization, candidates for the doctorate in a field of the visual arts normally demonstrate the following as a prerequisite to qualifying for the degree:

a.   Intellectual awareness and curiosity sufficient to predict continued growth and contribution to the discipline;

b.   Significant professional-level accomplishment in one or more field(s) of study;

c.   A knowledge of analytical techniques sufficient to perform advanced research or analysis or produce scholarly work in one or more fields or specializations;

d.   A knowledge of the historical record of achievement associated with the major field(s) of study;

e.   A knowledge of general bibliographical and information resources in art and/or design;

f.   Considerable depth of knowledge in some aspect of art and/or design, such as an historical period, an aspect of theory, properties and behaviors of materials or systems, psychological inquiry, and educational methodology;

g.   Sufficient writing, speaking, and visual skills to communicate clearly and effectively to members of the scholarly and research communities and the wider community;

h.   Research skills appropriate to the area of study as determined by the institution, such as computer programming, including web-design language(s), statistics, foreign languages, and so forth.

5.   Final Project. The final project requirements for the doctorate include a dissertation demonstrating scholarly competence.

6.   Content Areas

a.   Art or Design History, Criticism, Theory, and Aesthetics. The program shall prepare professionals for the scholarly study of art and/or design at the highest level. Course work and research projects may involve art or design from many cultures and contexts; new critical perspectives and modes of inquiry; and research relationships to other fields.

b.   Art Education. The program shall prepare professionals to develop vital research studies and utilize research findings in the day-to-day instructional process at the K–12 level and/or produce high levels of scholarship in art education and related areas. Course work and research projects may involve research into the foundation of visual intelligence; the mechanisms of influencing values in the visual arts; the psychology of teaching and learning in the visual arts; curriculum and methods; policy; the history of art education; and so forth.

c.   Design. The program shall prepare professionals for the scholarly study of design at the highest levels. Course work and research projects may involve issues related to a variety of audiences/users and contexts; new research methods and applications; and the relationship of design to other fields.

d.   Unique Programs. A program may be based on a particular combination of disciplines, scientific or technological research based in some aspect of art or design, oriented toward applications of research in specific fields, professions, or industries, and so forth.

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C.   Degrees Combining Research and Practice Orientations

1.   Basic Requirements for Terminal Master’s Degrees. Terminal master’s degrees—Master of Fine Arts or equivalent—with multiple core objectives in studio and research or scholarship require the equivalent of at least two years of full-time graduate study with a minimum of 60 semester credit hours or 90 quarter hours. Specific programs and procedures applicable to awarding these degrees are determined by the institution.

2.   Basic Requirements for Doctoral Programs. Doctoral programs with multiple core objectives in studio and research or scholarship require the equivalent of at least three years of full-time graduate work. Procedures and requirements are determined by the institution.

3.   Design Degrees

a.   Degrees combining studio and scholarship shall prepare professionals who develop research studies and utilize findings in professional design practice.

b.   Course work and research projects for this degree category should include studio work, such as designing and testing prototypes and the execution of demonstration projects that illustrate design research concepts or methodologies.

c.   Final requirements for master’s students may be a written document or a visual body of work demonstrating research approaches or results.

d.   Final requirements for the doctorate should include a dissertation which has a significant project component that is of relevance to either the study or practice of design.

e.   Research/practice programs should be led by faculty who have expertise in design research. In acknowledgement of the interdisciplinary nature of design research, it is appropriate for the student’s course work and final project to involve faculty support from relevant disciplines outside the specific area of design specialization.

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Last modified February 7, 2007
by Boris Teske, Prescott Memorial Library,
Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272