Visual Studies: Architecture Practice and Technology, BA

Visual Studies at the University of Pennsylvania prepares students to forge innovative connections across the disciplines that study vision and images. Students acquire a critical awareness of seeing and the problems and possibilities for investigating, thinking, and writing about seeing in the 21st century. Fundamentally interdisciplinary, the Visual Studies Program partners with the Departments of Philosophy, Psychology, History of Art, Fine Arts, and Architecture. Students may also find interest in Penn Programs such as Cinema Studies and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies or outside of the School of Arts and Sciences in the Annenberg School of Communication, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Sector C enables students to develop skills in the making of art ranging from the two- and three-dimensional to digital and time-based media, and includes both fine arts and architecture tracks.

The minimum total course units for graduation in this major is 36. Double majors may entail more course units.

For information about the General Education requirements, please visit the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum page.

College General Education Requirements and Free Electives
Foundational Approaches + Sectors1 + Free Electives20
Major Requirements
Stage 1 - Core Courses
VLST 1010Eye, Mind, and Image1
VLST 1020Form and Meaning1
Stage 2 - Core Courses
VLST 3010What is Visual Studies?1
Select 2 course units in each Sector:
A. Philosophy and Science of Seeing: 22
Visual Neuroscience
Research Experience in Perception
What is an Image?
Select one of the following:
Introduction to Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy and Visual Perception
Philosophy of Perception
B. Art and the Culture of Seeing:2
The Artist in History,1400-Now
American Art
Modern Art: Picasso to Pollock
Art Now
The Rise of Image Culture: History and Theories
Select one of the following:
Art and Civilization in East Asia
Art of Global Asia
Introduction to Visual Culture of the Islamic World
C. Architecture Practice and Technology:
ARCH 1020Introduction to Architecture1
ARCH 2010Design Fundamentals I1.5
Stage 3 - Concentration Requirements
Architecture Practice and Technology: 3
ARCH 2020Design Fundamentals II (required)1.5
Select 3 course units in ARCH Practice/Technology3
Select 1 course unit in Philosophy/Science or Art/Culture of Seeing1
Stage 4 - Capstone Course
VLST 3950ASenior Project0.5
VLST 3950BSenior Project0.5
Total Course Units36

You may count no more than one course toward both a major and a sector requirement. For Exceptions, check the Policy Statement.


Important -  Check for pre-requisites on PSYC and some FNAR courses.


Four courses (4.5 course units) in your concentration and one course (1 course unit) from another sector. (No Stage 2 courses may be double-counted in Stage 3).


Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.70 in the major.

  • Senior Project Completed (Grade of A)

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.