SOVA | Visual Arts Minor Program
The Visual Communication Design program prepares our students for a career in graphic design by focusing on conceptual thinking, semiotics and problem-solving tactics. Our program demands individual creativity, teamwork skills and adaptability while preparing students to enter the job market with practical experience and a full, professionally reviewed portfolio. Graduates are working in print design, editorial design, product and packaging design, web and interaction design, advertising and other related fields.
BFA, Bachelors of Fine Art, Graphic Design, Virginia Tech, Public University, Visual Communication Design, School of Visual Arts, Arts and Technology, Design, Graphics, VCD
page-template,page-template-full_width,page-template-full_width-php,page,page-id-17241,qode-news-1.0.2,qode-quick-links-1.0,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-theme-ver-13.0,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.7.0,vc_responsive

Visual Arts and Society Minor


The interdisciplinary Visual Arts and Society Minor leads students to explore art as a lens through which to view society. It encourages the cultivation of visual intelligence—through both study and practice-based approaches in studio art—relevant to our increasingly visual, media-saturated world and demanded in a variety of STEM and humanities fields. Students learn flexible visual skills and how to apply them to multiple disciplines inside and outside their major, such as business, medicine, law, and the natural sciences. The result is a comprehensive understanding of art and the built environment in a global context, as they intersect with the complexities of historical and contemporary society.

Hosted by the School of Visual Arts with collaboration from numerous departments across Virginia Tech.



Requirements for the Minor include four core courses—ART 1104, ART 1004, ART 2385/6, ART 4104—and two elective courses in the social sciences, totaling 18 credit hours. Students can graduate with the Minor beginning Winter 2019 semester.

ART 1104 – Language of Visual Arts is the gateway course for the minor that introduces foundational understanding of key formal structures in the fine arts and built environment in five major disciplines: architecture, sculpture, painting, photography, and film.

ART 1004 – Topics in Studio Art for Non-Majors explores practice-based media with instruction in design and material processes; class sections vary by topic and include drawing, painting, photography, visual communication design, and other disciplines.

ART 2385/6 – Survey of the History of Western Art I and II examine the changing role of art in global societies from the prehistoric through contemporary eras.

ART 4104 – Interpretation of Visual Arts is the capstone course for the Visual Arts and Society Minor. It offers a summative experience leading students to synthesize methodological approaches learned throughout their coursework in the Minor. Diverse interpretive strategies are applied to a major project with either a global or local focus to achieve an intercultural, multi-disciplinary perspective. The result is a cross-pollination of intellectual positions across the fields of art history, social sciences, visual and cultural studies, and the humanities.

In addition to the above courses, students choose two classes (6 credit hours) from numerous course offerings in the social sciences. From these electives, students learn to critically examine cultural production as it intersects with human behavior and aspects of race, gender, politics, economy, sexuality, and religion (see the VAS check sheet for specific course options).


Step 1
Meet with your academic advisor to discuss the Visual Arts Minor and establish a plan of study to complete its required and elective courses. Contact the Manager of the Minor, Dr. James Jewitt if you wish to learn about the program, ask any further questions, or find out if it is right for you!
* You may also wish to consult the check sheet of courses. Course substitutions for required and elective courses on the check sheet will be considered on a case by case basis at the discretion of the Minor’s Manager.

Step 2
Complete the Declare Minor Form for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. This form requires the signature of the Minor Advisor, Dr. James Jewitt. Contact him to schedule an appointment here.

Step 3
Return the completed form to Robert Jacks, Director of Academic Advising for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Room 202 Cowgill Hall.

Step 4
Get started on the required and/or elective courses for the Minor. They can be taken in any sequence, with the exception of the capstone ART 4104 course.



School of Visual Arts (host)
– Studio Art
– Visual Communication Design
– Art History
Political Science
International Studies
Urban Affairs and Planning
Religion and Culture
Hospitality and Tourism Management
Peace Studies and Violence Prevention
VT Engage