Two students talk with a professor about an art project in a hallway lined with colorful paintings.

Begin your exploration of majors where your heart is—in the Fine Arts. Learn about careers that give you the chance to use your talents. Discover other fields that blend well with your artistic interests.

In this highly creative area of Exploratory Studies, you'll get advice from advisors and build connections with other students who dance, paint, act, sing, and want to learn about the opportunities available in the arts.

First-Year Course Guidelines

Below, you'll find the typical first-year courses taken by students in Exploratory Arts. Your courses may be slightly different, based on placement testing and courses you've already taken through dual enrollment or Advanced Placement (AP).

First Semester (Fall)

  • Course in the ARTS (Major Courses—Select Art, Theater, or Dance courses at the 100- or 200-level as advised, depending on availability OR if interested in Music may audition for placements in ensembles) (1-3cr)
  • ENGL 101 OR ENGL 100 (based on placement) (3cr)
  • Social Science Course (3cr)
  • FIAR 281 Pathways in the ARTS (1cr)
  • DVST 160 Learning Strategies (1cr)
  • Natural Science Course (4cr)

Second Semester (Spring)

  • Math (based on placement score and major) (3cr)
  • Social Science Course (3cr)
  • Course in the ARTS (as advised) (3cr)
  • Dimensions of Wellness Course (3cr)
  • HIST 196 OR HIST 197 OR HIST 198 (3cr)

Courses are part of the required First-Year Experience

Possible Courses in the Arts


  • DANC 102 Introduction to Dance
  • DANC 150 Fundamentals of Dance

Theater/Music Theater

  • THTR 111 Foundations of Theater
  • THTR 486 Practicum in Theater or Dance Production


  • ART 100 Arts of the 20th Century
  • ART 112 Fundamentals of Drawing
  • ART 113 Three-Dimensional Design
  • ART 114 Color and Two-Dimensional Design


  • APMU 101-121 (as directed, based on studio)
  • MUSC 140 Popular Music Ensemble
  • MUSC 120-138 (Ensembles/audition usually required)

Liberal Studies Courses to Consider Your First Year

Social Science Electives

Students must complete three alternatives in fulfilling social science requirements. Some may be required or strongly recommended by the major. Note that you may use a prefix only once. Courses marked (GMA) may also fulfill the Global and Multicultural Awareness requirement.

  • ANTH 110 Contemporary Anthropology (GMA)
  • ANTH 211 Cultural Anthropology (GMA)
  • ANTH 213 World Archaeology
  • CRIM 101 Crime and Justice Systems
  • ECON 101 Basic Economics
  • ECON 121 Principles of Economics I
  • GEOG 101 Geography of Human Environment Interaction
  • GEOG 102 Geography of US and Canada
  • RGPL/GEOG 103 Global Cities: Issues in Planning and Development (GMA)
  • GEOG 104 World Geography/Global Context (GMA)
  • JRNL 105 Journalism and the Mass Media
  • PSYC 101 General Psychology
  • PLSC 101 World Politics (GMA)
  • PLSC 111 Power and Democracy in America
  • SOC 151 Principles of Sociology
  • SOC 231 Contemporary Social Problems

Natural Science Electives

Students must complete one of two options:

Option 1 (8cr): two laboratory courses, may be non-sequential -OR- Option 2 (7cr): one laboratory course (4cr) and one non-laboratory course (3cr)

  • BIOL 103 Life on Earth
  • BIOL 104 Human Biology: How the Human Body Works
  • BIOL 106 Human Genetics and Health
  • CHEM 101 College Chemistry I
  • CHEM 111 General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 113 Advanced General Chemistry
  • GEOS 101/102 The Dynamic Earth + lab
  • GEOS 103/104 Oceans and Atmospheres + lab
  • GEOS 105/106 Exploring the Universe + lab
  • PHYS 111/121 Physics I + lab
  • PHYS 131/141 Physics I + lab [needs calculus]
  • SCI 105 Physical Science I (physics)
  • SCI 107/117 Chemistry for Everyone