This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

The Department of Craft and Material Studies offers a professionally oriented program that leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts with focus areas in ceramics, fiberwork/fabric design, glassworking, metalsmithing/jewelry or woodworking/furniture design. Within these areas of specialization, courses are designed to assist students in developing concepts, personal direction, and the necessary skills and technical competencies to enable them to pursue a professional career or graduate study. In addition to the areas of study, students have the opportunity for a diverse education in the liberal arts and humanities. Students are encouraged to select courses in other schools in the university that will add to their general knowledge. A student may elect a minor area of study in any department or program offering a minor. The minor can be used to fulfill career objectives or to investigate a discipline of secondary interest.

Career opportunities for craft majors include setting up an independent studio or gallery, restoration or repair work, teaching or participating in the Artist-in-Residence programs in the public schools, and consulting and designing for industry.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of craft and its potential impact on art and culture

  2. Translate their creative ideas and develop a personal voice through their studio practice

  3. Demonstrate competency in the use of new and traditional craft techniques and media 

  4. Utilize professional practices in the field of craft and art

Special requirements

Successful completion of the Art Foundation curriculum is required before admittance into the craft and material studies major. To enroll in an advanced-level craft and material studies course, students must have earned a minimum grade of C in all course prerequisites.

Degree requirements for Craft and Material Studies, Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

Course Title Hours
General education
Select 30 credits of general education courses in consultation with an adviser.30
Major requirements
• Major core requirements
CRAF 282Sophomore Seminar3
CRAF 382Junior Seminar3
CRAF 480Senior Studio/Critique Course4
CRAF 482Senior Seminar3
• Major electives
Basic craft (select from the list below)12
Advanced craft (select from the list below)24
Ancillary requirements
Art Foundation Program
ARTF 131Drawing Studio3
ARTF 132Surface Research3
ARTF 133Space Research3
ARTF 134Time Studio3
ARTF 139Project Studio2
or ARTF 138 Project Seminar
ARTH 103
ARTH 104
Survey of Art I
and Survey of Art II
Additional requirements
ARTH electives (select from ARTH 145-ARTH 599)6
ARTH non-Western elective (select from list below)3
Studio electives (must be taken outside of the Department of Craft and Material Studies) 14
Open electives
Select any course.8
Total Hours120

Studio courses outside of the Department of Craft and Material Studies include CINE, COAR, GDES, IDES, KINE, PAPR, PHTO and SCPT.

The minimum number of credit hours required for this degree is 120.


Course Title Hours
Art history non-Western
ARTH 207Global Art History3
ARTH 245Survey of Asian Art3
ARTH 304Art of Ancient African Cultures and Kingdoms3
ARTH 335Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture3
ARTH 347Studies in Asian Art3
ARTH 348Art of the African Diaspora3
ARTH 349Body Adornment, Masks and Masking in Africa3
ARTH 351Oceanic Art and Architecture3
ARTH 358African Art and Architecture3
ARTH 440Modern and Contemporary Art and Architecture of Africa3
ARTH 449Studies in Asian Art3
ARTH 452Studies in Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture3
ARTH 454Studies in African Art3
Basic craft
CRAF 211Jewelry4
CRAF 221Woodworking Techniques4
CRAF 240Introduction to Ceramics4
CRAF 250Introduction to Glass Fabrication4
CRAF 260Introduction to Textiles4
CRAF 291Introductory Topics in Craft/Material Studies1-3
Advanced craft
CRAF 301Advanced Metal Fabrication: Forming4
CRAF 302Advanced Metal Fabrication: Mechanisms4
CRAF 303Advanced Metal Fabrication: Surface Techniques4
CRAF 304Advanced Metal Fabrication: Casting and Stone Setting4
CRAF 320Furniture Design4
CRAF 321Advanced Woodworking and Furniture Design4
CRAF 322Advanced Woodworking and Furniture Design4
CRAF 341Advanced Ceramics4,6
CRAF 342Advanced Ceramics4,6
CRAF 344Ceramics: Mold-Making4
CRAF 346Tableware4
CRAF 351Intermediate Glass Fabrication/Hot4
CRAF 352Intermediate Glass Fabrication/Kiln Forming4
CRAF 353Glassworking: Lampworking4
CRAF 354Intermediate Glass Fabrication4
CRAF 361Intermediate Textiles: Tapestry/Weaving4
CRAF 362Intermediate Textiles: Pattern Weaving4
CRAF 363Fabric Design I4
CRAF 364Fabric Design II4
CRAF 391Topics in Craft/Material Studies1-3
CRAF 447Ceramic Technology: Claybodies and Glaze Formulation4
CRAF 481Senior Studio/Critique Course4
CRAF 491Topics in Craft/Material Studies1-3
CRAF 492Independent Study1-3
CRAF 493Fieldwork3
CRAF 494Fieldwork6

What follows is a sample plan that meets the prescribed requirements within a four-year course of study at VCU. Please contact your adviser before beginning course work toward a degree.

Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
ARTF 131 Drawing Studio 3
ARTF 132 Surface Research 3
ARTF 139
Project Studio
or Project Seminar
ARTH 103 Survey of Art I 3
UNIV 111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I Focused Inquiry I (satisfies general education UNIV foundations) 3
General education course 3
 Term Hours: 16
Spring semester
ARTF 133 Space Research 3
ARTF 134 Time Studio 3
ARTF 139
Project Studio
or Project Seminar
ARTH 104 Survey of Art II 3
UNIV 112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II Focused Inquiry II (satisfies general education UNIV foundations) 3
General education course 3
 Term Hours: 16
Sophomore year
Fall semester
CRAF 282 Sophomore Seminar 3
UNIV 200 Advanced Focused Inquiry: Literacies, Research and Communication (satisfies general education UNIV foundations) 3
Basic craft 4
General education course 3
General education course 3
 Term Hours: 16
Spring semester
ARTH non-Western topic 3
Basic craft 8
Studio elective 4
 Term Hours: 15
Junior year
Fall semester
CRAF 382 Junior Seminar 3
Advanced craft 8
General education course 3
 Term Hours: 14
Spring semester
ARTH elective (ARTH 145-ARTH 599) 3
Advanced craft 8
General education course 3
 Term Hours: 14
Senior year
Fall semester
CRAF 482 Senior Seminar (capstone) 3
ARTH elective (ARTH 145-ARTH 599) 3
Advanced craft 4
General education course 3
Open electives 2
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
CRAF 480 Senior Studio/Critique Course 4
Advanced craft 4
Open electives 6
 Term Hours: 14
 Total Hours: 120

The minimum number of credit hours required for this degree is 120.