Advising FAQs for Current Students

Can I get into a class if it is full?

Class space, especially in STA courses, is limited. If you are a major, contact your advisor and they can see what can be done. If not a major within AAHD, you can also contact the department advisor, but you might not receive priority over those with declared majors. Advisors can help with STA, ATD and HA courses.


What is an override?

An override is permission granted by an academic advisor to let a student enroll in a course. The advisor will determine whether the student has the required background or prerequisites for the course or have explicit permission from the instructor in order to grant an override.  Instructors cannot grant overrides, so this process must go through an advisor.


When and how do I apply to the College of Ed if I’m an Art Education Major?

To be admitted for your junior year, you will apply during the fall of your sophomore year. Before applying, you need to have passed the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification Basic Skills Test (all three parts: reading, writing, and math).


Your overall GPA must be 2.75 or higher by the end of the fall semester you apply and all remedial or developmental courses in math (e.g., MTH 1825) and writing must be complete. The web-based, proctored application essay and application are available at You will submit all required hard-copy documents to 134 Erickson Hall.


For current juniors or seniors wishing to accelerate their teacher education program; submission is required of an acceleration planning grid (available via the application website) to show plan to complete all degree and teacher education undergraduate requirements by summer 2013. Students must make an appointment with an academic advisor for the desired major to evaluate and approve their plan to accelerate.


Questions for the College of Education can be directed to advisors in 134 Erickson Hall or by calling 353- 9680


When and how do I apply for the BFA admittance?

BFA reviews take place in both the fall and spring semesters. There will be a workshop prior to the review where you will be advised regarding submission requirements.


You need to apply for the BFA in Studio Art before you have accumulated a total of 30 STA credits (including Foundations courses). This generally happens during your second year, either in Fall or Spring. If you are declared as a BFA major, you will receive an email telling that you are now eligible to apply. If you are now a BA but considering the BFA, you will need to contact an advisor.


BFA Apparel and Textile Design students will apply after their foundations courses are complete and they have completed either ATD 222 or ATD 323. If you are declared as a BFA major, you will receive an email saying that you are now eligible to apply. If you are a BA and wanting to change to a BFA, you will need to contact an advisor.


For both STA and ATD, you will fill out an application and be required to write a statement about your work. A digital portfolio, presentation and  statement will be reviewed by a committee of faculty. The review shows the department that your studio work and understanding of concepts are at an adequate level to go forward in upper-level, more concentrated courses in the BFA.


Can I switch from a BA to a BFA, or vise-versa?

Yes. If you have less then 56 credits you can go to your nearest Undergraduate University Division (UUD) office to change your major. If you have more than 56 credits you can simply email an advisor with your change or meet with them to discuss the degree requirements.


Can I take a class in Studio Art or Apparel and Textile Design if I’m not a major?

Any student can enroll in a class that has no prerequisites (e.g., Drawing 1). However, the enrollment of these classes will be restricted to majors until about a month before classes begin. At that point, these courses can be added by a non-major. For enrollment questions, please email AAHD adviser Britta Urness (


Can I minor in Art?

We offer a minor in Art History and Visual Culture that requires 17 - 21 credits in Art History courses. We do not offer a minor in Studio Art or Apparel and Textile Design, but these could be a secondary major or fulfill a cognate area for another major.
We also offer the Museum Studies Program, which prepares undergraduates and graduates for innovative careers in museums and interpretive centers of learning. This program results in a minor for undergraduates and a certificate for graduate and Lifelong education students.


I’m thinking about studying abroad. Can I earn credits that apply to an AAHD degree?

Roughly half of all MSU students choose to study abroad or away during their time at MSU. The AAHD department offers Summer Study Abroad programs in which you can earn Studio Art, IAH or Art History credit. Summer trip schedules will become solidified by the end of Fall semester. You can meet with an advisor to weigh options and discuss credits.


  • Visual Art in Florence
  • Music, Art, Literature and Language in Bregenz, Austria
  • Ceramics in China
  • The Art of Photography in London, Paris, and Arles
  • Expressive Arts, Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies in South Africa
  • Regent's College in London and Paris- Fashion Studies
  • Online Photography for Study Abroad


Even more opportunities are available through the College of Arts and Letters


Can I get an internship and have it count for class credit?

An internship is a required part of the graphic design concentration in studio art. Roughly 50% of Apparel and Textile Design students do intern work during their time at MSU. Other STA students in other concentrations (e.g., painting, sculpture…) can find internships as well.  The department will not place you in these positions, but may assist in providing links and contacts for you.


All internships need to be approved by both an instructor and the chair of AAHD to make sure that the work relates directly to your concentration.


ATD // Dr. Sally Helvenston Gray

Studio Art, Graphic Design // Prof. Kelly Salchow MacArthur

Studio Art, Photography // Prof. Peter Glendinning

Art History and Visual Culture // Prof. Phylis Floyd

Museum Studies // Britta urness


Art Education students are required to complete a one-year teaching internship as a part of their degree and certification. The College of Education places you in a student teaching position after you have applied to their college.


How do I make an appointment with an AAHD advisor?

You may schedule an appointment through the MSU Advising Calendar. Faculty advisors may be reached via email. When contacting an advisor, please include your student PID #.


What is an Independent Study? How do I do one?

Independent Study courses are generally for those in their last few semesters. With a specific instructor, you can set up an amount of work to be completed independent from a class. There should be a good reason as to why you want this kind of arrangement as opposed to enrolling in an established course.


The credit amount is agreed upon by you and the instructor. The Independent Study Contract details the course plan, amount of work and number of contact hours with the instructor is to be filled out and approved by the Chair of AAHD. These forms can be turned into the AAHD Academic adviser, Britta Urness (105E Kresge). After approval, you will then be enrolled in the specific section of ATD, HA or STA 490 for the required amount of credits.


What are Special Topics courses? Can I get into them?

Special Topics courses are numbered 391 or 491 in each area. These are courses that may not be regularly offered and/or cover a very specific topic in the field. For example, topics could include “Comics and Visual Narrative” or “Special Topics in Accessories”.  All Special Topics courses need an override from an advisor and may have certain restrictions or prerequisites.


How do I address advisors, staff and professors?

This question is relative to each individual, but it is always wise to formally address someone before getting to know them. You can use “Professor” or “Ms.” or “Mr.” if you’re unsure of their title. You may later be told that they prefer you to use their first names. In general, most office staff and advisors don’t mind being addressed by their first names.