Foundations Program


Think like a maker and explore conceptual processes.

The Program


The Foundations Program within the Art and Art History Department at Colorado State University is an exciting and intensive prelude to work in the upper- level studio and art history concentrations. Through a series of studio, art history and theory classes, you’ll be introduced to the wide range of opportunities available to you as a visual art student. The variety in the required courses engages you in the exploration of an abundance of ideas, processes, and diverse materials within the visual art disciplines.

Embrace a broad spectrum of foundational knowledge.



Foundations coursework helps students explore concepts that give them a starting point for their art-making. In addition to developing your ideas, the Foundations coursework will also help you gain specific skills and techniques in a variety of 2D, 3D and 4D mediums. In each medium, you will begin to understand the role of color, light, materials, time, and design within each dimension.

Get a hands-on introduction to the processes and principles involved in the creation of contemporary art and design.


Students develop both creative and critical thinking skills as they are introduced to an array of concepts and theories in the visual arts. You’ll be engaged in experimentation with contemporary and traditional art making processes in a very active studio environment.  You’ll be continually involved in personal invention, self-analysis, problem solving, and problem identification within their work. Students are required to develop their skills in both verbal and written expression – you’ll do so by researching underlying concepts that to apply to both the arts and outside fields.

Equip yourself with a unified visual art vocabulary, a thorough exposure to the fundamentals of artmaking, the history of art, and an introduction to current issues and practices within the visual art disciplines.

Jump In


Through your experience in the Foundations Program, you’ll be prepared to make a well-informed commitment to your major area of study within the visual arts. A portfolio review in your sophomore year will help determine your concentration for the final four semesters in the department. Together, these courses provide vital, collaborative experiences for you as an undergraduate student pursuing a career in the visual arts and comprise the required foundation year for all of our students.

Our Faculty