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Studio Art, B.A., B.S., B.F.A.

Each studio art degree integrates the values of a liberal education while preparing graduates for intensive engagement with the production and examination of the visual arts.

Visit the program website for more information.

Available as a minor.

Program Overview

Students can pursue an emphasis in ceramics, graphic design, illustration, jewelry and metalsmithing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and visual studies. The program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

A studio art minor is also offered, requiring completion of eight courses.

Why Study the Visual Arts at Grand Valley?

An artist's work incorporates creativity, but it is enriched by the consideration of broader ethical, historical, scientific, and cultural ideas. Joining the processes of making with investigation and analysis fosters thoughtful artists whose work contributes to the public dialogue about those ideas. Visual arts students:

  • Work in small classes that ensure individualized attention from faculty at all levels of the program.
  • Complete their studies in state-of-the-art facilities that ensure they acquire the skills essential for their chosen media.
  • Benefit from a program that encourages collaboration across emphasis areas to support students individual interests.
  • Acquire the expertise necessary for participation in arts communities and for self-advocacy after graduation.

Location & Format

Undergraduate students in this major study at the Grand Valley Allendale Campus.

  • Face To Face


During their first year, studio art majors focus on the foundations courses that introduce them to technical and conceptual approaches to the visual arts. As students continue in the program they create a personal body of work under the supervision of faculty mentors in their emphasis area. For information about admission to the program, please visit the department website.

Career Options

Students may pursue a variety of career paths, including:

  • Entrepreneur
  • Jewelry designer
  • Printmaker/screen printer
  • Painter/muralist
  • Ceramist
  • Sculptor/installation artist
  • Performance artist
  • Graphic/web designer
  • Illustrator/cartoonist
  • Exhibition planner
  • Arts organization leader
  • Gallery/museum work
  • Art teacher/educator
  • Community/public art

Majors also build the transferable skills of critical thinking, problem solving, and communication necessary for professional careers outside of the arts.

Combined Degree Programs

This undergraduate degree can be combined with a master's degree to save you time and money, and get you into the workforce sooner. On average, students save $8,500 in our combined degree programs and take up to four fewer classes than if earning the degrees separately.

You can even build your own combined degree from programs in different disciplines to further personalize your education and meet specific career goals.

Admission Requirements

Students admitted to Grand Valley who are pursuing studio arts degrees will receive a materials packet explaining the portfolio entrance. The student is then responsible for following the instructions in the packet. In addition, film and video production, graphic design, and illustration require a secondary admission. Students can find details on the website or consult with their academic advisor. More information regarding application for studio art and art education admission is available online at

For More Information

Department of Visual and Media Arts
1105 Alexander Calder Art Center
(616) 331-3486

Admissions Office


“Grand Valley really gave me the essential foundations of art making. I don’t believe that my work would be as strong as it is if I would not have gone there. The faculty gave me key knowledge of what it is to be an artist and how to survive outside of the educational environment. I really had an idea of what to do once I left school.”