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Tacoma Community College » Areas of Study » College Transfer » Art » Academic Program

Academic Program


The art program introduces you to and allows you to hone your skills in ceramics, painting, sculpture, drawing, print making, two-dimensional and three-dimensional design, and photography.  The Art Program also guides you to research, explore and interpret the visual expression of individuals, cultures, and civilizations from the past through the present, locally and globally.

Through TCC’s art program, you will explore and analyze human culture and history and gain deeper insights into the world in which we live, enabling you to approach and solve problems, based upon well-reasoned arguments and firm foundations.  TCC’s Art Program will prepare you well for a career in the world of art, for work in education, architecture, and design, in galleries, museums, media centers, and public agencies, among others.

TCC’s art program offers courses that cover the first 2 years of a typical 4-year college Art program (college-level courses designed for transfer to a bachelor degree program) as well as courses to develop skills needed for college-level Art courses. Most courses offered can be applied to meet humanities requirements for transfer and degree purposes.


Our Mission

The mission of the TCC art arogram is to offer courses in a wide range of visual arts that help to put the present into context. Through analysis of past political, economic, social, and cultural factors, faculty are committed to aid students in their cultivation of critical thinking skills, as well as their development of research and communication (written and oral) skills as they progress through their academic studies.


Contact and Advisor Information:



Our Art Faculty Advisors look forward to supporting you on your educational and professional pathway. Faculty advisors are available throughout the academic year and can provide general and detailed advising and career counseling to help you achieve your educational goals.  We recommend that you reach out to us if a career in Art interests you so that our faculty advisors may guide you toward completion of your Associate Degree and successful transfer into a bachelor degree program.

Our faculty advisors will help you establish an educational pathway that meets your goals from start to finish and will be available to support you throughout your studies at TCC.  Make your first appointment today!



TCC offers two degree opportunities related to art.  The Associate in Arts dgree is a transferable degree that enables you to continue your studies and complete a bachelor’s degree at a transfer institution.  The Associates in General Studies degree is NOT a transferable degree; this degree is for individuals who seek a career in art that does not require a bachelor or higher level degree.



PLAN OF STUDY: Associate in Arts degree (Option A) (PDF) – Visual Arts Track

The following suggested program represents Option A of the Associate in Arts Degree as described in the TCC Catalog. While this program offers the prospective pre-art major only a minimal selection of art courses, it does conform to the requirements of the transfer agreement between most Washington State senior institutions and the community colleges. (See Option B if you are certain of your transfer destination). The specific art courses listed are basic requirements in all art programs.

Students who wish to transfer to University of Puget Sound (UPS) must plan carefully in order to ensure maximum transferable credits and fulfillment of UPS core requirements. Contact the TCC transfer advisor or the UPS admissions counselor if necessary for more information.

Two year recommended plan of study for the Associates Degree in Arts (transferable) - (Suggested program for maximum art content)

OPTION ACreditsOffered

1st YEAR

ENGL& 101*5F, W, SP, S
ENGL& 102* or 1035F, W, SP, S
Quantitative Skills Course5F, W, SP, S
Humanities**5F, W, SP, S
Social Science**5F, W, SP, S
Natural Science**5F, W, SP, S
Physical Education3F, W, SP, S

2nd YEAR

ART 201***5F
ART 202***5W
ART 203***5SP
Humanities**5F, W, SP, S
Social Science**10F, W, SP, S
Natural Science**10F, W, SP, S
  • Bold type indicates required courses.
  • A course requiring a prequisite(s).
  • ** These courses should be chosen from the approved lists of the TCC catalog to meet general distribution requirements.
  • ***Students should utilize their elective options to develop their art studio skills and art Art background according to their goals. See an art advisor for help with a personalized program.
  • In transferring to other universities, additional Humanities classes may be required after transfer.


PLAN OF STUDY: Associate in Arts degree (Option B) – Visual Arts Track

As described in the TCC catalog, Option B may be more appropriate for the student who intends to major in art, since it is an agreement between the student and the transfer institution (university, four-year college, or art school) to complete lower division requirements at TCC before transferring. To discuss this option, see an art faculty advisor: Rick Mahaffey (253.566.5260) Bldg. F1, Marit Berg (253.566.5031) Bldg F1., or Kyle Dillehay (253.566.5256) Bldg F1.


PLAN OF STUDY: Associate in General Studies (not considered a transfer degree)

The associate degree in general studies offers the student who is interested in a concentrated art program a broader selection and greater depth of study in art than is possible within the requirements of the Associate Degree in Arts. (See AA degree requirements in the TCC Catalog) This is not a transferable degree. This option provides an excellent opportunity to prepare for further studies in art fields such as craft design, illustration, fine arts, theater design, visual communication arts, etc.  Consult with the art faculty advisors (Rick Mahaffey 253.566.5260 Bldg. F1, Marit Berg 253.566.5031 Bldg. F1, or Kyle Dillehay 253.566.5256 Bldg. F1) for additional information.



Students should check the specific requirements of the four-year institution of their choice, as admission and degree requirements vary across colleges and universities.  Also see World Language Requirements for Bachelor Programs in the region (WA).



Course Offering

Humanities Offerings for Winter 2017

The Art Program offers courses under two prefixes, ART& and ART, and provides:

  • An introduction to understanding and appreciating the visual arts (fine arts, crafts, architecture, and new media) from a global perspective
  • A study of the organization of visual elements as applied in a variety of two-dimensional design media
  • Training in the basic elements and principles of design how to apply them to three-dimensional space
  • Foundation in drawing from observation with emphasis on composition, new media, and visual communication concepts
  • Exploration of art materials and techniques suitable for classroom use; includes planning and assessment components directed at art education
  • An introductory survey of Western art's foundation and early development to the present
  • Exploration of color theory for advanced studies in two-dimensional media.
  • Portfolio for application to a transfer institution

mahaffey at ceramic wheelThe Art Program includes a comprehensive performance skill program and offers introductory to intermediate and advance level performance skill training in:

  • Representational painting, compositional aesthetics, and painting techniques
  • Drawing from the posed model, clothed and nude
  • Visual structure concepts using two-dimensional design
  • Creating ceramic forms using hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques
  • Traditional and contemporary print processes including relief, etching, and lithographic methods
  • Black and white and in digital photography
  • Sculpture design, materials, techniques, tools and approaches
  • Sculpture, including modeling, mold-making and casting; carving of stone, wood and plaster, fabrication techniques of wood and metal; and metal casting with iron, bronze and aluminum

CatalogCourse Descriptions



At TCC we are committed to helping you reach your educational and career goals.  In Art this typically requires a bachelor degree or higher.  Here are some of the local options available: 

Evergreen State College: visual and media arts, community studies, cultural studies, architecture, art history, media arts, media studies, moving image, visual arts

Pacific Lutheran University: Art History, Acting/Directing, Studio Arts, Ceramics, Education (Visual Art), Graphic Design, Painting , Photography, Printmaking, Publishing & Printing Arts, Sculpture

St. Martin’s University: Theatre arts

University of Puget Sound: Art & Art History, Humanities, Theatre Arts

University of Washington, Seattle: Art History, Comparative History of Ideas, Digital Arts and Experimental Media, Drama, Interdisciplinary Visual Arts, Three Dimensional Forum, Visual Communication Design   

University of Washington Tacoma: Arts, Media and Culture (TAMC), Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (TIAS)

Western Washington University: Art Studio, BA, Art History, BA, Art Studio, BFA, Art—Elementary, BAE, Art—P-12, BAE, Design, BA, Design, BFA, Humanities—History of Culture, BA, Humanities—Religion and Culture, BA



Academic Program Overview: Introduction to the Academic Program, Associate Degree Options

Academic Program: Academic Program, Degree Planning and Advising, Curriculum, Bachelor Degree and Transfer Options

Academic Resources: Faculty and Advisor Contact Information, Community Engagement, Scholarships

Tacoma Community College Art Gallery: The Gallery at TCC is a place where students and the surrounding community can find artistic expression in all mediums, and from all world cultures and historic eras.

InsideTCC: Get personalized email updates about your programs of interest and access the students-only website.

Jobs and Careers: Research jobs and careers for this area of study.



Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information or if you have any questions, suggestions or need guidance. Thank you!



Tacoma Community College


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