Program Overview

The visual studies student learns to critically engage with these forms and to understand them as a window into discussions about identity, society and the formation of values. Visual studies bridges the world between multiple traditional academic disciplines with a focus on the theory, history and cultural implications of visual culture. Students will take classes in art history, communication, cinema studies, critical theory, American studies, gender and sexuality studies, and English, among others. 

Students in this concentration are interested in critical theory and how that might apply to a professional career where disciplinary overlap and a broad knowledge-base are essential. Future career opportunities could include curatorial work, non-profit and arts administration, or entrepreneurial creative fields. 

Arts & Visual Culture, B.A., Visual Studies Concentration

The Arts & Visual Culture major with a concentration in Visual Studies requires the completion of five core courses and six visual studies courses, including a capstone course. 

Sample Visual Studies Courses

Graphic Design Foundations

This course is an introduction to the field of graphic design. Students learn the various processes involved in graphic design from initial ideas/concepts through working stages to finished presentation, applying the principles of design to projects pertaining to the design and production of primary print and screen-based solutions. Students sharpen basic computer skills in preparing their projects using Adobe software Illustrator and InDesign. Basic Adobe Photoshop is also introduced.

Navigating the Media Landscape

First-Year Seminar
This course will provide an overview of the history, structure, performance, content, effects, and future of mediated communication, including issues of media ownership, regulation, and media literacy. As a first-year writing-intensive seminar, students will engage in frequent writing assignments, rigorous analysis of texts, critical thinking and information literacy.

Exhibitions and Collections: An Inside Look

Capstone Course
This capstone course serves as an inside look at the contemporary art world. Visits to art galleries, museums, auction houses, and corporate and private collections introduce students to a variety of art institutions and professions. Students assist in curating an exhibition at the Carole Calo Gallery: meeting with artists to choose work, organizing the exhibition, installation, writing and designing a catalogue, postcards and poster; and planning a reception.

Career Development Resources

The Stonehill Career Development Center offers extensive assistance to students seeking employment, pursuing advanced studies or participating in postgraduate service opportunities. By completing internships and utilizing mentors, students are empowered to build lifelong career management skills.

Visual & Performing Arts Specific Career Resources

  • Extensive on-campus recruiting program for internships and entry-level positions
  • Annual career fairs
  • Various industry-specific career lunches – arts administration, nonprofits
  • Externships and internships in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. (weeklong and semesterlong programs).

Active Mentors

  • Boston Interactive Web Designer
  • Cengage Learning Associate Content Project Manager
  • Gibbes Museum of Art Membership Coordinator
  • New Hampshire Historical Society Education Programs Coordinator
  • Smithsonian Institution Education Specialist

Visual & Performing Arts Internship Opportunities

Places where visual and performing arts students have recently interned include:

Contact us with any questions.

Adam D. Lampton

Associate Professor of Visual & Performing Arts, Visual & Performing Arts Department Chair, Studio Arts Program Director, Art History Program Director
Visual and Performing Arts