The First Year Program (FYP) is a time of growth and awareness, both intellectually and artistically. In addition to coursework, students gain awareness of the resources and opportunities found within a research university. The program provides a framework and support as new students consider their areas of concentration.
In addition, students develop and expand their creativity, critical thinking, community engagement, technical skills and awareness of historical and contemporary practice, preparing them for their chosen area of study.
All First Year Program studio courses meet five hours per week for intensive hands-on work, one-on-one instruction and critiques in small studio communities of 16-24 students. Studio homework and research will also be a part of the experience. Coursework is project-based. Assignments and demonstrations are designed to give all students specific skill sets and awareness.
Our instructors are active professionals in their fields. They help guide new students in developing language to talk about, write about, see, and create art. Their mentorship of students begins in the first year, but continues throughout the student’s time at Peck School of the Arts and beyond. First Year Program instructors and staff are also available to help students gain additional creative experiences, individualized guidance and mentoring about university and community resources, internships and other pre-professional opportunities.
Declared Art & Design students receive priority registration for Art & Design courses. Students enter their chosen area of study after completing 27 credits with at least a 2.5 grade point average. The 27 credits include 15 First Year Program credits plus 12 academic credits (this includes the university Math and English requirements).
Courses consist of 15 credits (5 courses) designed to support one another conceptually and technically. In the spring semester of their first year a student may register for a 200-level studio course, provided they have completed or are concurrently registered for the prerequisite. The remaining 12 credits in the first year are taken outside of PSOA in academic subjects of the student’s choice, including english and math requirements. Once a student has fulfilled the requirements outlined below, they may officially declare a major within the Art & Design program.
|Basic Drawing I
|Digital Arts: Culture, Theory, Practice
|200 Level Art & Design Studio Course
Advanced Placement Portfolio and International Baccalaureate Diploma Credits
Students who have successfully completed high school level art Advance Placement or International Baccalaureate Diploma program may qualify for college level credits.
Advanced Placement Portfolio – AP Art Students who receive a final score of 3 or higher qualify for 3 credits of Art & Design elective credits toward their degree. If a student earned a 4 or 5 on their AP Art Portfolio they may make an appointment with the Director of First Year Program to have an in-person portfolio review (actual work and digital images of Breadth portfolio) for consideration of First Year Program course substitution. It is recommended that this portfolio review take place at least two weeks prior to the start of Fall semester classes.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program – Incoming students who have completed IB certificates in Art/Visual and earned a score of 4 or above on higher level examinations will receive 3 Art & Design elective credits towards their degree. Those students who have earned a confirmed score of 6 or 7 may make an appointment with the Director of the First Year Program in Art & Design for a portfolio review to determine whether the IB credits will count toward a specific First Year Program course substitution. It is recommended that this portfolio review take place at least two weeks prior to the start of Fall semester classes.
Events & Opportunities
The First Year Program provides a series of events to specifically help new students become familiar with majors, faculty, facilities, resources, and opportunities including:
- New Student Welcome Event – First Friday of Fall Semester,
- Pre-Registration for Spring Art Classes – Mid-Fall Semester
- Studio Tours – Mid-October
- Advisathon – Monday before Thanksgiving
- FYP Outstanding Student Scholarships – Declared majors currently enrolled in First Year Program courses may be nominated by instructors. Students are eligible to receive scholarships after filling out the general scholarship application and a supplemental department application by logging in to the Panther Scholarship Portal found on the UWM scholarship page.
- FYP Exhibition – Early April
- Test Drive! – Experience upper level Art & Design courses the first week in March.
Go Behind the Scenes with Us
As an arts school, we take campus tours one step further by offering on-the-go information sessions designed for creative minds. Go behind the scenes with one of our arts ambassadors and learn about our programs along the way.