Art and Design

Requirements & Courses

  • Two degree options are offered by the Art and Design Department. The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Art and Design is a pre-professional program designed for those who are seeking to continue to graduate school and/or who would like to work within a specific area of art. Students will select an area of concentration from: ceramics, drawing and painting, graphic design, photography, and sculpture. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Art and Design provides an overview of various media within the Studio Arts. Designed for various employable options beyond Art specific applications. Students pursuing the B.A. are strongly encouraged to pursue additional credits within an area of concentration to increase employment opportunities within the arts.

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree Requirements

    Acceptance to the B.F.A. program requires the candidate to submit a portfolio to the Department for approval after completing 24 studio credits. This portfolio must be submitted by December of the junior year. The Department may elect to consider portfolios of students with an overall GPA below 3.0 or those submitted after this deadline.

    1. Thirty-two credits in ART which must include: ART-101, 111, 112, 120, 150, 162, 213, and 319
    2. Cognate course: NMS-101
    3. Art History: 4 credits from 210, 211, 212, 215 or 218
    4. Concentration: 34 credits from one of the following:

    a. Ceramics: ART-140, 240, 250, 340, 440 and 14 additional credits of pre-approved electives in the area of concentration

    b. Drawing and Painting: ART-102, 202, 261, 361, 362, 461, 462 and 6 additional credits of pre-approved electives in the area of concentration

    c. Graphic Design: ART-230, 331, 332, 333, 334, NMS-232, ART/NMS 385, and at least 6 credits from any of the following: ART-222, 224, 430, NMS-220, 381, or other pre-approved electives from ART or NMS

    d. Photography: ART-224, 324, 424, 425, NMS 232, ART/NMS 385, and at least 10 credits from the following: ART-222, 320, 460, NMS-204, 210, 220, 381 or other pre-approved electives from ART or NMS

    e. Sculpture: ART-140, 240, 250, 350, 450, PHY-140, and 12 additional credits of pre-approved electives in the area of concentration

     5. Ten additional ART elective credits, at least 6 of which must be upper level.

     6. Capstone: ART 501, ART-502, a senior exhibition approved by the Department with a successful Advisory Board review.

     7. A 3.0 GPA in courses from ART and NMS (and PHY-140 if taken)

     8. To earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art and Design students must complete a total of 156 credits.

  • Bachelor of Arts (Art Major) Degree Requirements

    Thirty-six credits in ART which must include:

    1. 24 credits from: ART-101, 111, 112, 120, 150, 319
    2. 8 credits from: ART-140, 162, 210, 211, 212, 213, 215, 218, 222, 224, 228, 230, 250, 380, 385, or NMS-232
    3. Capstone: ART 501, ART-502, a senior exhibition approved by the Department with a successful Advisory Board review.

    Students pursuing the B.A. are strongly encouraged to pursue additional credits within an area of concentration to increase employment opportunities within the arts.

  • Art Minor Requirements

    Twenty-four credits which must include ART-101, 111, 112, 120, 150, and 4 elective credits in Studio Art courses

  • Art History Minor Requirements

    Twenty-four credits which must include:

    1. Art-111, 112
    2. Sixteen upper level credits in Art History from 210, 211, 212, 215, 218, 280 (which may be taken more than once for credit if different topics), or other pre-approved course. Students may substitute up to four upper level credits from other related disciplines with prior department approval.
  • Program Considerations for Art History Minor

    Students who have had little or no studio experience are strongly encouraged to complete at least one studio course from the 100-200 level series.

    Because graduate programs in Art History typically require proficiency in at least two foreign languages, students who are considering advanced studies in this discipline should plan to include at least four terms of foreign language coursework in their curriculum.

    B.A. or B.F.A candidates in ART may count up to eight credits toward both the major and the Art History minor requirements.

    Completion of a senior thesis is strongly encouraged if student is considering graduate school.

  • Transfer Credits in Studio Art

    Up to three studio art courses may be included in the major by transfer from an accredited institution. Transfer of upper level studio work will require Departmental review.

  • Four credits from ART, with the exception of practicum or independent study courses, count towards the Distributive Requirements in the Humanities.
  • ART
    101
    .
    Drawing Studio
    4
    Exploration of graphic media with emphasis on developing drawing skills. Course fee.
  • ART
    111
    .
    Art History I
    4
    Survey of human artistic achievement from its earliest visual record to the Medieval Period. Course fee.
  • ART
    112
    .
    Art History II
    4
    Survey of art from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Course fee.
  • ART
    121
    .
    2-Dimensional Design
    4
    Introduction to the elements and principles of design as the foundation needed to create conceptually and aesthetically resolved visual problems in the plastic, graphic and media arts. Course fee.
  • ART
    122
    .
    Tools & Materials
    4
    Art majors given first preference for enrollment.
    Introduction to studio work with emphasis on three-dimensional theory and the use of basic tools and techniques. Art majors are given first preference for enrollment. Requires instructor permission. Course fee.
  • ART
    180
    .
    Topics in Studio Art
    3-8
    Topics in studio art. Subject varies according to instructor’s field. Course content and artist announced in advance. May be repeated for credit if course content covers a different topic. May require a course fee.
  • ART
    *
    220
    .
    Sculpture Studio
    4
    Exploration of sculptural form through the processes of modeling, carving and assemblage. Consideration of sculptural ideas and imagery from various times and cultures with emphasis on contemporary practices. Day trip to Meijer Sculpture Gardens, Grand Rapids. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    222
    .
    Printmaking Studio
    4
    Exploration of relief, intaglio and planographic techniques with emphasis on works of art in multiples. Some attention to the history of the print as art, the craft of printing, and print preservation and connoisseurship. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    223
    .
    Ceramics Studio
    4
    Introduction to direct forming processes; handbuilding and wheel-throwing. Investigation of the uses of slips, glazes and other methods of surface enrichment. Participation in class kiln firings. Course fee for clay.
  • ART
    *
    224
    .
    Photography Studio
    4
    Introduction to basic 35mm traditional and digital photography techniques. Students will develop and print using traditional black and white film. Scanning and Digital Asset Management techniques will be used as means to edit, manage and archive photographic work. All final images are gelatin silver prints created using traditional wet darkroom methods. Traditional 35mm SLR camera is required. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    226
    .
    Painting Studio
    4
    Introduction to basic procedures, tools and materials for oil and acrylic painting. Emphasis on composition, form and color. Discussion of historical development of all painting media. ART-101 or 121 recommended as preparation for this course. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    227
    .
    Life Drawing Studio
    4
    Introduction to expressive drawing of the human figure including some study of anatomy. ART-101 recommended as preparation for this course. Course fee for cost of models.
  • ART
    *
    230
    .
    Graphic Design Studio
    4
    ART-101, 121, 224, 232 or NMS-120
    Development of communication skills through the organization of image and text to inform, persuade, identify, or clarify an idea to a specific audience. Students will design works for printed media and Web-based communications. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    231
    .
    Raku Ceramics
    4
    Permission
    An introduction to the history, aesthetics and techniques of raku-fired ceramics. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    250
    .
    Contemporary Art in New York
    4
    Permission
    Introduction to the major artistic movements and critical theory in the last two decades. Students spend approximately one week in New York City exploring galleries, museums and artists’ studios. Seminar includes readings, discussion and a research paper on a special topic. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    280
    .
    Topics in Art History
    4
    Selected topics in the history of art. Subject varies according to instructor’s field. Course content and instructor announced in advance. May be repeated for credit if course content covers a different topic. (Past courses include women in art, history of prints, art history in Rome, and world ceramics: London). Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    290
    .
    Directed Studio
    4
    Permission
    Exploration at the intermediate level through a studio project in a selected medium. Open to majors and non-majors. Utilizes a directed studio format. (Past courses included bookarts, jewelry, watercolor, wheel-thrown ceramics, etc.). Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    299
    .
    ART Independent Study
    1-4
    Permission
    Individual study of a subject in Art or Art History. Course fee may apply.
  • ART
    *
    341
    .
    Survey Ancient Art
    4
    Introduction to the arts of ancient Greece and Rome with emphasis on the context in which they were produced. Survey of ancient history, literature and mythology are included to enrich students’ comprehension of the artworks. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    342
    .
    Medieval Art
    4
    Introduction to the arts of Medieval Europe, with an emphasis on the context in which they were produced. Survey of Medieval history, literature and religion are included to enrich students’ comprehension of the artworks. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    343
    .
    Renaissance Art
    4
    Introduction to the arts of the Renaissance in Northern and Southern Europe, with an emphasis on the context in which they were produced. Surveys of Renaissance history, literature and religion are included to enrich students’ comprehension of the artworks. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    345
    .
    Survey of Non-Western Art
    4
    Sophomore Standing
    An introduction to the visual arts of India and Southeast Asia, China, Japan, Korea, the Pacific, and the Americas with emphasis on the historical and cultural contexts in which they were created. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    346
    .
    Modern American Art
    4
    Survey of American artists, architects and craftsmen from the Civil War period to the present day. Consideration is given to the influences of technology, women and minority artists in the development of American art. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    380
    .
    Topics in Studio Art
    4
    ART-101, 121, NMS-120 or Permission
    Selected topics in studio art. Subject varies according to instructor’s field. Course content and artist announced in advance. May be repeated for credit if course content covers a different topic. (Past courses included advanced illustration, landscape photography and architectural ceramics.) Studio courses taught overseas during Spring Term. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    385
    .
    ART Practicum
    4
    ART-101, 111, 112, 121, 122 or Permission
    Designed to provide on-site working experiences in the student’s area of interest. Examples of typical practica include: apprenticeships with professional artists, internships with museums or art centers, internships with community art councils, or short-term employment in firms specializing in an art-related area. Practicum arranged with assistance of faculty advisor. Departmental approval is required.
  • ART
    *
    390
    .
    Advanced Directed Studio
    4
    Permission
    In-depth study in the student’s area of interest under direction of a faculty member in that area. Designed for junior and senior Art and Design majors who have completed 12 credits of studio work. Exceptions to this policy made only with Departmental permission. Subject matter arranged through close consultation with advisor according to individual needs or to specified curricula available. Advanced Directed Studio Projects have been offered in, but are not limited to, the following: Ceramics: wheel-thrown ceramics, ceramic sculpture, glaze chemistry. Drawing: advanced drawing, life drawing, color media, scientific illustration. Graphic Design: corporate/visual identity, brochure design, digital prepress. Painting: advanced painting, color theory, airbrush painting, watercolor. Photography: small and large format camera techniques, color photography. Printmaking: intaglio, lithography, monotype, collagraphy, screenprinting. Sculpture: welded and constructed forms, casting media, arving media. Three-Dimensional Design: furniture design, jewelry, papermaking, fiber. Special Projects: performance art, bookarts, studio practices for teachers, liturgical art. Students may take up to six Advanced Directed Studio Project courses. Consult the Art Students’ Miscellany for specific course offerings. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    399
    .
    ART Independent Study
    4
    Permission
    Individual study of a subject in Art or Art History. Course fee may apply.
  • ART
    *
    400
    .
    Art History Thesis
    2-4
    Permission
    Readings, discussion and research paper on special topics in Art History. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    490
    .
    Advanced Directed Studio
    4
    Permission
    In-depth study in the student’s area of interest under direction of a faculty member in that area. Designed for junior and senior Art and Design majors who have completed 12 credits of studio work. Exceptions to this policy made only with Departmental permission. Subject matter arranged through close consultation with advisor according to individual needs or to specified curricula available. Advanced Directed Studio Projects have been offered in, but are not limited to, the following: Ceramics: wheel-thrown ceramics, ceramic sculpture, glaze chemistry. Drawing: advanced drawing, life drawing, color media, scientific illustration. Graphic Design: corporate/visual identity, brochure design, digital prepress. Painting: advanced painting, color theory, airbrush painting, watercolor. Photography: small and large format camera techniques, color photography. Printmaking: intaglio, lithography, monotype, collagraphy, screenprinting. Sculpture: welded and constructed forms, casting media, carving media. Three-Dimensional Design: furniture design, jewelry, papermaking, fibers. Special Projects: performance art, bookarts, studio practices for teachers, liturgical art. Students may take up to six Advanced Directed Studio Project courses. Consult the Art Students’ Miscellany for specific course offerings. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    499
    .
    ART Independent Study
    4
    Permission
    Individual study of a subject in Art or Art History. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    500
    .
    ART Senior Show
    2-4
    Permission
    Explores all aspects of show preparation, including emphasis on selection and presentation of creative work, publicity, gallery installation, reception and the production of an electronic portfolio. The capstone experience ends with participation in the Senior Exhibit and Advisory Board Critique in the winter semester. All three components (ART 500A/ART 500B, Senior Exhibit, and Advisory Board) must be approved and passed for completion of the BA or BFA. Students must take this course in both the fall and winter term, for a total of 4 credits, during the senior year. Course fee.