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
    .
    Beginning Drawing
    4
    Through observation, this class will concentrate on the essential elements of drawing, its materials, and methods. This is an introductory level class, which prepares the student for higher levels of visual problem solving. Course fee.
  • ART
    111
    .
    History of Art I
    4
    Survey of the human visual cultures from its earliest visual record to the Medieval Period. Course fee.
  • ART
    112
    .
    History of Art II
    4
    Survey of the human visual cultures from the Renaissance through the 20th century. Course fee.
  • ART
    120
    .
    Principles of Visual Design
    4
    Investigation of foundational elements and principles of visual design, as components of visual communication. Two dimensional design and time-based media will be explored traditionally and digitally, using programs such as Illustrator, Photoshop Lightroom, iMovie, and others. Topics include color theory, composition, narrative and non-narrative storytelling, among others. Course fee.
  • ART
    140
    .
    Ceramics I
    4
    Introduction to direct forming processes in clay; hand building and wheel-throwing. Investigation of the uses of slips, glazes, underglazes and other methods of surface enrichment. Participation in class kiln firings. Course fee.
  • ART
    150
    .
    3-Dimensional Design
    4
    Permission
    Introduction to studio work with emphasis on exploring a variety of materials in three-dimensions in solving visual and spatial problems. An introduction to 3-D modeling and the use of 3-D printing technology will provide a contemporary perspective to approaching form, line and surface. Line, volume, mass, scale, composition, plane, as well as other elements of design will be utilized in investigating form. Art majors are given first preference for enrollment. Requires instructor permission. Course fee.
  • ART
    162
    .
    Figure Drawing I
    4
    An introductory drawing course using the human body to discuss proportion and space. Much of the class will focus on developing drawing technique and observational skills for naturalistic rendering.
  • ART
    180
    .
    Topics in Studio Art
    1-4
    Selective topics in studio art. Topics can be taught within the college or external experiences in department recommended workshops, residencies, or other special programming from other qualified institutions. Credit will be awarded based on program content, length of time/hours, and portfolio brought back for review. May require a course fee.
  • ART
    *
    210
    .
    Survey of Ancient Art
    4
    Introduction to the visual cultures of ancient Greece and Rome with emphasis on the context in which the arts were produced. Survey of ancient history, literature and mythology are included to enrich students’ comprehension of the artworks. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    211
    .
    Survey of Medieval Art
    4
    Introduction to the visual cultures of Medieval Europe, with an emphasis on the context in which the arts were produced. Survey of Medieval history, literature and religion are included to enrich students’ comprehension of the artworks. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    212
    .
    Survey of Renaissance Art
    4
    Introduction to the visual cultures of the Renaissance in Northern and Southern Europe, with an emphasis on the context in which the arts were produced. Surveys of Renaissance history, literature and religion are included to enrich students’ comprehension of the artworks. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    215
    .
    Contemporary Art
    4
    Introduction to the major artistic movements and critical theory in the last two decades. Students spend approximately one week in New York City, or other appropriate large city in the U.S or overseas exploring galleries, museums, and artists’ studios. Seminar includes readings, discussion, and a research paper on a special topic. Course fee. Spring Term only.
  • ART
    *
    218
    .
    History of Photography
    4
    Student will explore the history of photography and its social impact. Connections will be made between the various photographic techniques, camera formats, and the aesthetics of the medium as the technology developed through the years. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    218M
    .
    History of Photography
    4
    Student will explore the history of photography and its social impact. Connections will be made between the various photographic techniques, camera formats, and the aesthetics of the medium as the technology developed through the years. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    219
    .
    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
    *
    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
    4
    ART-101, ART-120, or Perrmission
    Exploration of various printmaking processes which may include: relief printing, monotypes, silkscreen digital, lithography, and other traditional and new processes. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    224
    .
    Photography I
    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
    *
    228
    .
    Lighting Studio
    2
    Introduction to studio lighting concepts for still life, portraiture, documenting art work, and commercial uses. These techniques are applicable to film, video and still images. Students will also explore Database Asset Management as it applies to art. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    231
    .
    Raku Ceramics
    4
    Permission
    An introduction to the history, aesthetics and techniques of raku-fired ceramics. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    232
    .
    Digital Imaging Studio
    4
    Exploration of aesthetic and technical relationships between still images, multiple prints and montage, as they are presented in the form of the digital straight print, narratives, and/or series. ART-101, 121 or 224 recommended as preparation for this course. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    240
    .
    Ceramics II
    4
    ART-140
    A continuation of direct hand-building and throwing techniques, continued surface enrichment, and an introduction to basic mold-making and glaze mixing/testing. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    250
    .
    Sculpture I
    4
    ART-150
    An investigation of both traditional and contemporary materials, methods, and subject matter. Form will be approached through processes that utilize addition, subtraction, manipulation and transformation. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    261
    .
    Beginning Painting
    4
    ART-101 and 120
    This course is an introductory course discussing basic concepts of painting in oil. Focusing on value, minimal color, space and developing observational skills. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    262
    .
    Figure Drawing II
    4
    ART-101 and 162; or permission
    This course is an advanced drawing course, which reaffirms practice in proportion, space, drawing techniques and observational skills applied to the figure. In addition, this course will discuss various materials, color, scale, and concept.
  • 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
    *
    319
    .
    Art Theory
    4
    Junior or Senior Standing
    An exploration of the main theoretical discourses (philosophical, critical, historical) that impel both the creation and the reception of art, including the very definition of art, as deployed throughout the 20th century. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    320M
    .
    Photojournalism
    4
    ART-224 or Permission
    Student will explore historic and current photojournalism practices and aesthetic. They will travel to different countries and work on a specific assignment that applies to the cultural experiences of that location. Locations vary from year to year. Course fee. Spring Term only.
  • ART
    *
    324
    .
    Photography II
    4
    ART-224
    An exploration of various camera formats including pinhole, medium and large format cameras, and the manner in which they communicate. Various printing methods will be explored based on aesthetic goals. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    331
    .
    Graphic Design - Web
    4
    ART-101, ART-230, and either ART-120 or NMS-120, or Permission
    Introduction to aesthetic components in web design as it applies to graphic design. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    332
    .
    Graphic Design - 4D Design
    4
    ART-101, ART-230, and either ART-120 or NMS-120, or Permission
    Introduction to the use of various narrative forms in art and graphic design. Techniques include motion graphics as applied to web design, basic animation techniques, stop motion and video techniques are explored. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    333
    .
    Graphic Design - Logos
    4
    ART-230 or Permission
    An intensive consideration of logo design as it applies to graphic design in print and animated form. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    334
    .
    Graphic Design - Corp. Id
    4
    ART-101,120, and 230
    An intensive consideration of Corporate Identity in graphic design. Corporate changes require various marketing techniques that include updated logos, the incorporation of social media, web design, stationery, business cards and a new slogan. This course gives students the opportunity to explore these techniques. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    340
    .
    Ceramics III
    4
    ART-240
    This course is designed around developing an individual voice with fired clay and ceramic surface. Both form and surface will be explored in contributing to the content of the piece. Through research, surface testing, and experimentation, students will develop skills towards a disciplined studio practice. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    350
    .
    Sculpture II
    4
    ART-250
    A continued material investigation in three-dimensions with a focused introduction to wood. Additionally, there will be a stronger emphasis on the students’ individual investigation of material, process, and conceptual thought process. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    361
    .
    Drawing and Painting I
    4
    ART-262 or Permission
    This is an intermediate course, which discusses contemporary as well as traditional ways of creating a drawing and a painting. Time will be devoted to developing ideas of a unique body of work as well as material experimentation.
  • ART
    *
    362
    .
    Drawing and Painting II
    4
    ART-361 or Permission
    This is an intermediate course, which discusses contemporary as well as traditional ways of creating a drawing and a painting. Time will be devoted to developing ideas of a unique body of work as well as material experimentation.
  • 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 Internship
    1-8
    ART-101, 111, 112, 120, 150 and Permission
    Designed to provide on-site working experiences in the student’s area of interest. Examples 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. Internships are arranged with assistance of faculty advisor. Possible course fee.
  • ART
    *
    390
    .
    Advanced Directed Studio
    2-4
    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. 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
    *
    424
    .
    Photography III
    4
    ART-101, ART 224, ART-225, and either ART-120 or NMS-120 or Permission
    An exploration of large format photography and the zone system. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    425
    .
    Photography - Alt. Processes
    4
    ART-101, ART-224, and either ART-120 or NMS-120, or Permission
    Exploration of images made with digital and traditional technology. Students learn to create digital negatives that are printed on light sensitive chemicals made by the students. Platinum/palladium and gum printing are two non-silver processes considered. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    440
    .
    Ceramics IV
    4
    ART-340
    This course is designed around developing an individual voice with fired clay and ceramic surface. Both form and surface will be explored in contributing to the content of the piece. Through research, surface testing, and experimentation, students will develop skills towards a disciplined studio practice. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    450
    .
    Sculpture III
    4
    ART-350
    This course is designed for students exploring complex technical procedures pertaining to sculpture. It will require in-depth research, presentation, and application of knowledge into a focused body of work. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    461
    .
    Drawing and Painting III
    4
    ART-362 or permission
    This is an advanced course, which discusses contemporary as well as traditional ways of creating a drawing and a painting. Time will be devoted to creating a unique series of work, which will be applied to a capstone experience.
  • ART
    *
    462
    .
    Drawing and Painting IV
    4
    ART-461 or permission
    This is an advanced course, which discusses contemporary as well as traditional ways of creating a drawing and a painting. Time will be devoted to creating a unique series of work, which will be applied to capstone experience.
  • ART
    *
    490
    .
    Advanced Directed Studio
    2-4
    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. 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 500 or ART 501 and 502, 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.
  • ART
    *
    501
    .
    Lighting Studio
    2
    Senior standing and permission
    Studio lighting techniques specifically for documenting artwork. Seniors will be required to create a database of their art work and a website that promotes their work for senior show thesis review, graduate school applications and job application. Course fee.
  • ART
    *
    502
    .
    Professional Practices
    2
    Senior Standing and Permission
    This class prepares BA (with an emphasis) and BFA students for success after graduation. This class discusses opportunities, topics, and developments which will best prepare the student to be prepared and competitive in the visual art field after graduating. Course fee.