Chief Departmental Advisor
VAB 212 : 757.683.5462
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is my advisor?
When you first enter an art program as a freshman or a transfer student you must see the Chief Departmental Advisor (CDA) who will explain the curriculum and your options to you. The CDA will also lift your “advising block” so that you can register for classes. This block is in place each semester until you are advised. Once you have declared a major and/or a concentration, the CDA will assign you to a faculty member in your program for further advising. The current CDA is Professor Elliott Jones. His office and contact information is given above.
How do I access my screen with Leo Online?
Go to www.odu.edu and choose Leo Online from the drop down menu. Access your screen by using either your social security number (SSN) or your university identification number (UIN). Your password is your birth date until you change it. You may also access your screen through your MIDAS account using your SSN or UIN and your password.
What is the difference between the BA and BFA?
The BA degree is a liberal arts degree offered by the College of Arts & Letters in which you choose a major. The Art Department offers three majors: Art History, Art Education, and Studio Art with a minimum requirement of 42 credit hours in the major. Transfer students must take a minumum 21 credit hours in Studio Art at ODU. In addition to the university general education requirements you must fulfill the college requirements which are (1) foreign language at the 201/202 level, (2) an additional history course, and (3) an additional course in social sciences. (Note that the courses in social sciences should be in different disciplines.)
The BA in Art History is a preparatory degree for further graduate study in such fields as art history, museum studies, and humanities. Both the BA in Art History and the BA in Studio Art provide ample room for electing a second major or an extensive minor. For example, if you wanted to go into a career in art therapy, you might consider a double major in studio art and psychology; or if you wanted a career in conservation and restoration, you might major in Art History and take a minor in Chemistry. For a career in art criticism or journalism, you could consider a double major in Art History and English, or perhaps Philosophy.
The BA in Art Education is a 120 hour degree that includes a semester of student teaching. With it you receive a license to teach in Virginia. You must successfully pass the PRAXIS I and the PRAXIS II examinations in order to continue in the degree program and to receive certification and licensure.
The BFA degree is considered a professional major degree and is recommended for anyone intending to go on to graduate study in studio art (MFA). For the BFA you select a concentration in one of the following areas: (1) Drawing & Design, (2) Graphic Design, (3) Fibers, (4) 2D Media, (5) Painting, or (6) Print & Photo Media. You declare a concentration when you finish your studio foundation courses. A minimum of 75 hours in art courses is required. Transfer students must take a minumum 36 credit hours in Studio Art at ODU. You may declare an additional concentration, but it will not be a substitute for a minor or a cluster in fulfilling upper division general education. The additional College of Arts & Letters academic requirements for general education as listed above for the BA are not required.
Do I need to submit a portfolio to get into the BFA program or for the BA in Studio Art?
At this time there is no entrance requirement for a portfolio review to enroll in the studio degree programs. For the Graphic Design concentration in the BFA there is a review process for continuing into the upper division courses of the program. This review is conducted by the graphic design faculty twice a year.
When should I declare my major? Should I wait until I have completed my lower level general education courses to declare?
You may declare your major upon successful completion of ENGL 110C, and 111C, English Composition, which you should take in your freshman year. It is advisable to declare your art major as soon as possible and begin taking studio courses along with your academic courses. Do not wait until your junior year to declare and take art courses if you plan on graduating in four years. Students intending to take a BA in Art Education or the BFA should begin taking foundation studio courses in their freshman year prior to declaring a major. Many of the studio concentrations have course sequences of prerequisites that span up to five semesters. It is always advisable to take a balanced load (3:2 ratio) of academic and studio courses each semester.
How do I declare a major?
See the Chief Departmental Advisor (CDA) who will go over the requirements for your intended degree and give you a checklist. The CDA will submit your declaration of major to the Registrar’s Office through Leo Online. This usually takes several days to be entered by the staff of the Registrar’s Office. Check your personal screen on Leo Online to verify that the declaration has been properly recorded.
Once I have declared my major may I take courses at another institution and transfer them back for credit for my degree?
Yes, you may do this, but only with the approval of the CDA, and the courses must be initialed on your checklist. Courses that you intend to transfer and have credited to your concentration must be approved and initialed on your checklist by your concentration advisor. If you intend to take a course at another Virginia institution as part of your full time load at ODU, you must do this through the Consortium. Forms for this are available from the Registrar’s Office and must be signed by the chair or the CDA.
I’m a transfer student. How many credits may I transfer in for my major and how many courses will I need to complete my major at ODU?
All courses in which a C or better is earned will be transferred in to ODU. All art history courses that are accepted will transfer to the major. All transfer studio courses will be accepted for the major only through portfolio review by the CDA or other designated faculty. Transfer students should be aware that there are minimum requirements for on campus hours in the major to earn a degree from ODU. For the BA degree 21 hours of art history or studio art are required; for the BFA degree 36 hours of studio art are required. Therefore it is possible for a student to transfer more courses to ODU than can be used for the major.
What catalog year am I under?
You are responsible for completing the requirements of the University Catalog for the year and semester when you first matriculated full time. Each catalog generally covers a two-year period. While you are a student you have the option of choosing a later catalog, but not an earlier one. You have six years to finish your degree requirements under the Catalog with which you entered. After six years, you move on to being responsible for the requirements of the next two-year Catalog.
When do I register for classes?
For currently enrolled students there is a preregistration period. You may preregister for spring semester classes in late November; you may preregister for summer session and fall semester during early April. A week in each month is set aside for preregistration. Check your Leo Online screen for your Time Ticket. This will appear shortly after the schedules are published. It will tell you the exact time and day on which you are eligible to preregister. It is important that you preregister at this time to avoid problems with closed classes later on. Be sure to see your advisor or the CDA well before your preregistration date to go over your schedule, update your checklist, and have your advising block removed.
What is the difference between an advising block and a hold? I had my advising block lifted, but I still cannot register—it says I have a “hold” on my account.
An advising block is in place each semester. It ensures that you will see an advisor who will go over your schedule and make sure you are taking classes you need and a balanced workload. The advisor will lift your advising block so that you may register for the next semester.A hold is different from an advising block. A hold could be for any number of reasons. Most common is an “Accounts Payable” hold that means you owe ODU money for something. It could be a tuition payment, payment of a library fine, payment of a parking ticket, payment of a fee, etc. A hold can be entered by the Student Health Services if you have not gotten a required vaccination. If you are a transfer student you must take the Writing Sample Placement Test during your first semester at ODU; if this is not done, a hold will be placed on your record, preventing you from registering for the next semester. You can personally check your hold screen via Leo Online.
If I had three years of a foreign language in high school (or two years each of two languages), will that satisfy the general education requirement?
It will qualify as 101F and 102F, but it will only satisfy the general university lower level general education requirements for the BFA. All BA students must take 201F and 202F to satisfy the College of Arts & Letters lower level requirements for foreign language. A placement test will be required to determine if a student is qualified to take 201F. If not qualified, a student will be required to take either 111F or 102F. Students may test out of any of these courses.
English is my second language. Do I still need to complete the foreign language requirement?
No, but the waiver from taking a foreign language must be approved by the Department of Foreign Languages.
How do I fulfill the computer literacy (D) and oral skills (R) requirements for general education?
These requirements may be fulfilled through the major. ARTS 279, Fundamentals of Digital Art, will fulfill the computer literacy requirement. ARTS 400, Senior Show; ARTS 401, Design Portfolio; ARTH 350W, Introduction to Art Criticism; ARTH 351W, Research Methods; and the oral critiques and reviews held in studio classes will satisfy the oral skills requirement.
What are “W” courses and which ones do I need?
Courses designated with a “W” are writing intensive courses. Every student is required to have at least one in the major. The Art Department offers four: ARTH 320W, History of Design; ARTH 350W, Introduction to Art Criticism; ARTH 351W, Research Methods; and ARTH 435W, Modern Architecture. Art Education and Teaching Licensure students must take ARTH 350W. Art History majors must take ARTH 351W. Studio art majors (BA and BFA) must take their choice of one.
What do I have to do to complete the upper level general education requirement?
The University Catalog gives you three options (A, B, or C) for completing this requirement. (A) You may choose to complete a minor in another discipline, a second major (for the BA and BFA teaching licensure is considered a second major), a second degree altogether (BFA, BA, or BS). You may choose (B) a “Cluster.” Clusters consist of studying a particular topic from the perspective of different subject fields. There are eleven to choose from, and they are listed in the catalog with the course options for each. There is also an option (C) that includes the International Certificate program or Teaching Licensure (actually now considered a second major). You will find details for this program in the Catalog following the list of clusters.
What about minors? If I’m a BFA student may I take another studio concentration as a minor?
BFA majors may take two concentrations and both will appear on the diploma, but the second concentration will not count as a minor. It will not fulfill the upper division general education requirement. BA studio majors and BFA candidates who opt for a minor must choose one in a non-studio discipline. BFA candidates cannot take a second studio concentration as a minor; they too must take a minor in a non-studio discipline. Art history is an acceptable minor for both since it is an academic research field.
Consider taking a minor that is in a field of interest to you, and one that will complement your professional goals. The most common minors taken by art students are: marketing, business management, creative writing, technical writing, communications, film and video studies, theater, psychology, and philosophy. Art history is also a favorite minor for BA studio art majors and BFA candidates. And BA art history majors often will take a studio art minor.
The studio art minor requires four courses at the 330/400 level exclusive of any prerequisites that might be required. Non-majors who wish to minor in studio art or art history should consult with the CDA for selection and approval of courses.
A minimum grade of C is required in all courses for both the art history and studio minors.
If you are minoring in a field other than art, you must fill out paper work, declare your minor, and request certification through the department that offers the minor you are seeking. Note that Marketing minors are now conducted "on-line" and that there may be others.
I am a BFA student and want to minor in Art History. How many additional courses in art history do I need?
You need two more 300/400 level courses art history courses (6 credit hours) in addition to the five (15 credit hours) required for the BFA degree, or the four art history courses (12 credit hours) required for the BFA with Licensure.
Are there scholarships available? How do I apply for one?
The Art Department offers several scholarships based on both merit and need. A faculty review of scholarship applicants’ work is scheduled each spring, usually on a Friday in late March or early April. Be sure to look for the announcement for the date. To be eligible for need-based scholarships, you must fill out the standard FAFSA form which is available online or from the Financial Aid Office. This completed form is usually due in the Financial Aid Office before the middle of February. The Financial Aid Office can also assist you with applying for college and university scholarships, as well as with applications for loans.
How and when do I apply for graduation?
You apply for graduation in the semester before your anticipated graduation date. Application deadlines are published in the fall, spring, and summer schedule books; you can also check the ODU online calendar. You may register after the deadline, but your name will not appear in the commencement booklet. Application for graduation can be made via Leo Online. Also, when you apply, you must give a copy of your checklist to the CDA who will certify you for your major, concentration and/or minor. If you are minoring in a field other than art, you must fill out paper work, declare your minor, and request certification through the department that offers the minor you are seeking.
What are the minimum requirements for graduation?
You must complete a minimum of 120 hours with a minimum overall GPA of 2.0. You must have a minimum cumulative GPA in your studio art or art history major and/or concentration of 2.0. You must have a minimum of grade of C in all courses that will be applied to completion of your major/concentration. Any course in which you get a grade of F, D-, D, D+, or C- must be retaken if it is to count toward completion of your major.
For the BA in Art Education you must have a minimum GPA of 2.75 overall with no grade less than a C in the content area (art history and studio art), and no less than a C- in the professional area (education). All students must pass the Writing Exit Examination and complete the online Senior Assessment.
Old Dominion University, Art Department, Visual Arts Building, Room 203, 49th Street, Norfolk VA 23529 757.683.4047