Students - SOVA
School of Visual Arts, SOVA, Virginia Tech, Graphic Design, Studio Art, Art, Creative Technologies, Art History
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Students

OVERVIEW

The School of Visual Arts has four undergraduate degree programs with different courses of study:

  • ART HISTORY
    • BA/Minor
    • Do not apply through portfolio review

  • STUDIO ART
    • BFA
    • Must apply through portfolio review

  • CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY
    • BFA
    • Must apply through portfolio review

  • GRAPHIC DESIGN
    • BFA
    • Must apply through portfolio review

  • MFA in Creative Tech
    • MFA
    • Apply through VT Graduate School

  • MA in Material Culture
    • MA
    • Apply through VT Graduate School

GETTING STARTED

Prospective students, both freshmen applicants as well as transfer students, should declare ART as their major. Students must then be accepted to Virginia Tech, SOVA is not involved in the acceptance process and does not review portfolios at that time. Once accepted, students will be enrolled in the three prerequisite courses: ART 1204 Principles of Art and Design, ART 1404 Drawing I, and ART 1604 Principles of New Media Art & Design for the fall semester.

PORTFOLIO REVIEW

Application to Studio Art, Creative Technology and Graphic Design BFA programs are made at the end of a student’s first semester at Tech through a portfolio review process– Students applying for acceptance into Virginia Tech do not submit portfolios for admission.

OUR MISSION

The School of Visual Arts prepares undergraduates to enter visual design professions and graduate programs in the visual arts. The School serves the public, regionally, nationally, and internationally through events, exhibitions, internships, competitions, workshops, and courses that nourish and renew the vitality of art and design leading innovation in art and design as it interfaces with technology.

 

A goal of the school is to present the world with culture-enriching leaders, talented visual communicators, and innovative designers. The studies of Art History, Studio Arts, Creative Tech and Graphic Design lead to careers in museums, auction houses, galleries, graphic design, computer animation, and more. SOVA’s FourDesign is the school’s professional student-run, faculty-led graphic design agency. The XYZ Gallery at 221 N. Main Street is home to the Student Art Association, which operates its program of exhibitions by students and local artists.

SCHOLARSHIPS AND FINANCIAL AID

Full-time SOVA undergraduate majors are eligible to apply for scholarships offered through the School of Visual Arts during spring semester. Applicants must apply at University Scholarship Central at https://vt.academicworks.com/. Students must meet the criteria set by the University, by the School of Visual Arts and by individual scholarships in order to be eligible for support. Students awarded a scholarship that wish to renew must reapply each year and maintain eligibility in order to keep their scholarships after the initial awarding.
Please direct questions about specific SOVA scholarships to Dr. Simone Paterson at simpat@vt.edu and Ray Callahan at rcallah@vt.edu. If you experience technical problems with the scholarship system please contact staff in University Scholarships and Financial Aid by email at finaid@vt.edu or by phone at 540-231-5179.

ADMISSION

Information and application materials may be obtained by contacting:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
965 Prices Fork Rd, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Phone: (540) 231-6267
FAX (540) 231-3242
Email: admissions@vt.edu

VISITING OR APPLYING TO SOVA

Prospective students wishing to study Art or Art History at SOVA should apply through Virginia Tech Admissions. All students who wish to pursue a bachelor of fine arts in the Studio, Creative Technology or Graphic Design programs must take foundation art courses (ART 1204, 1404, 1604) before they are eligible to participate in Portfolio Review at the end of Fall semester. Students must pass portfolio review for acceptance into the VCD, CT and Studio programs. Currently enrolled Virginia Tech students who wish to change their major to Studio, CT or VCD should email Ray Callahan, the School Adminstrative Assistant, at rcallah@vt.edu for information on enrolling in foundations art courses.

Transfer Student Information

FRESHMAN AND TRANSFER ADMISSIONS INFORMATION

Information about Virginia Tech’s School of Visual Art Majors:

*Note – This is just a cursory information page, designed for initial enquiries from prospective students, usually those just graduating from high school.

 

All students, including those planning to transfer to Virginia Tech from another higher-ed institution, should contact Ray Callahan at the School of Visual Art (SOVA) office, at 540 231 5547, or our primary  academic advisor, Tracey Drowne at hokies@vt.edu.

AREAS OF STUDY

  • The School of Visual Art has four degree programs with different courses of study: a BA in Art History, and BFA’s in Studio, Creative Tech (CT) or Graphic Design / Visual Communication Design (VCD).
  • Those students intending to major in the BFA Program in Studio, CT or Graphic Design must apply to gain entry to these majors – SOVA has a restricted program in these three areas of study.

FOUNDATION COURSES

  • Prospective students, both freshmen applicants as well as transfer students, should declare ART as their major. Students must then be accepted to Virginia Tech, SOVA is not involved in the acceptance process and does not review portfolios at that time. Once accepted, students will be enrolled in the three prerequisite courses: ART 1204 Principles of Art and Design, ART 1404 Drawing I, and ART 1604 Principles of New Media Art & Design for the fall semester.
  • In these foundations courses, students will be guided toward preparation of a qualifying juried portfolio review towards their acceptance into the Studio, CT or Graphic Design BFA degree programs.

APPLICATION PROCESS

  • Application to the Studio, CT and Graphic Design programs is made at the end of a student’s first semester at Tech through a portfolio review process – Students applying for acceptance into Tech do not submit portfolios.
  • Art History majors are exempt from the restricted program review process.

PORTFOLIO REVIEW

  • Annually, the Portfolio Review takes place toward the end of the first semester, usually during the first week of December.
  • Students who pass the Portfolio Review are then placed in their selected BFA major if accepted.
  • Students who pass the Portfolio Review are then eligible for SOVA scholarships. No separate portfolio is needed for scholarship applications.

Requirements

The minimum laptop requirements are as follows for Studio Art, Graphic Design and the MFA Program:

Macbook Pro 15inch

15 in Recommended

16 GB memory

Quad Core Core i7

minimum 256 SSD

The cost of the Macbook can range from $1800 – $2799+, depending on the specifications. Basically, any latest 15inch MacBook Pro will do the job. But get the highest spec you can afford! Get AppleCare +! (at least AppleCare)

Adobe Creative Cloud required; billed/distributed by VT Software

ART HISTORY MAJORS

You are required to follow the University minimum computing requirements. However you may find it beneficial to purchase a Macbook for use in your foundation studio art class.

SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

Adobe Creative Cloud subscription
This subscription will provide updated software requirements for Foundations of Art and Design courses. Billing and distribution is managed by VT software per annual base. Annual cost is much lower then you would pay as an individual. Once the fall semester starts, students need to go to Student Software Distribution for sign up. 

Foundations

Portfolio Review

Students must pass the annual Portfolio Review in order to enter the B.F.A. programs of Studio Art, Creative Technology or Graphic Design. The SOVA Foundations of Art and Design curriculum will supply students with the necessary information and proficiency to compete in Portfolio Review.

ELIGIBILITY

Studio Art, Creative Tech and Graphic Design candidates must be currently enrolled or have passed all three Foundation courses (1204, 1404 and 1604). Acceptance is contingent on successfully passing all three of these courses.

Students must have and maintain a QCA of 2.0 or greater to enter and remain in Studio Art, CT and VCD programs.

All artwork must be original and produced by the applicant. The committees encourage submitting work produced during foundational courses.

REVIEW COMMITTEES

The Studio, Creative Technology and Graphic Design Portfolio Review Committees (comprised of SOVA Faculty) screens properly submitted portfolios for outstanding qualities in artistic ability, creativity, presentation skills and overall motivation. The process takes place once a year without exception. You may re-submit a portfolio for review annually as often as you wish.

 

Contact Eric Standley, Foundations Coordinator, with any questions. (email: ericst@vt.edu)