Students admitted to UMBC's visual arts program declare a concentration within the visual arts department: animation, art history and museum studies, cinematic arts, graphic design, intermedia, photography or print media.
Students who plan to major in visual arts must submit a portfolio application to the visual arts department. Students are encouraged to submit the portfolio prior to enrollment or within the first semester in order to gain priority access to required courses. Portfolio guidelines can be found on the department Web site, www.art.umbc.edu. Visual arts candidates are evaluated on originality, commitment, motivation, presentation skills and overall creativity.
A number of special opportunities exist for students to gain experience in the visual arts field and exposure to established artists. Affiliated with the department is the Imaging Research Center (IRC), a state-of-the-art facility combining research, education and professional training in animation, computer visualization and exploration into new imaging technologies. The IRC offers internships to advanced students in 3-D animation projects. Through the Shriver Center’s cooperative education and internship program, advanced-level visual arts majors find internships at area firms and companies.
Students have the opportunity to exhibit work in an annual juried exhibition and to participate in Filmmakers Anonymous, a student-run open forum where students share their work in a critical yet supportive environment. The visiting artist program at UMBC exposes students to a mix of prominent and emerging national and international artists. And the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC), also affiliated with the Department of Visual Arts, exhibits contemporary art by nationally known artists.
Graduates are hired by art, design and media production companies, and a significant percentage continue their education at the graduate school level.