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2016-2017 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Art and Design - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section in this catalog.


The Department of Art and Design offers courses in studio art, art education and art history with degree programs leading to a B.A. or B.S. degree in studio art, a B.F.A. degree in studio art with an emphasis in ceramics, graphic design, illustration, jewelry and metalsmithing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, or visual studies, a B.A. or B.S. degree in art education and a B.A. in art history. Also available are minors in studio art and in art history. The degree programs in art and design combine intensive studio training in the visual arts with a liberal arts education. The programs are designed to support students' acquisition of conceptual and technical skills while fostering their awareness of current issues, theoretical frameworks, as well as the historical and cultural contexts for art production. Under the guidance of a faculty advisor in the Department of Art and Design, students may choose either a generalized program in studio art, an art education degree leading to teaching certification, an art history degree, or a focused studio art program (B.F.A.) preparing them for entry into a specific profession such as graphic design or illustration. They may also prepare for a career as an independent artist or for entry into graduate school.

Coursework is augmented by field trips, a campus exhibition program, visiting artists, and international programs. Internships and independent study also enhance coursework, especially in graphic design, where off-campus field experience is required.

Because of current enrollments in art, non-art majors can only be admitted to selected art studio classes.


Admission to Grand Valley State University does not guarantee access or admission to the degree programs offered by the Department of Art and Design. Once a student has been admitted to Grand Valley and, most importantly, declares an interest in pursuing any of the art and design degrees listed in the admissions materials, a packet explaining the portfolio entrance process is mailed directly to the student. The student is then responsible for following the instructions in the packet. In addition, the highly popular programs of graphic design and illustration are secondary admit programs. More information regarding application for admission is available online at

Transfer Students

  • Admittance to the department and all transfer credit will be by departmental portfolio review only, both for newly admitted and current Grand Valley students. Contact the department for application information and specific details. Transfer students should bring the results of this review as well as the transfer credit statement from admissions with them at the time they register so they can be advised about advanced placement.
  • Transfer students are required to take a minimum of 15 art credits within the department, including one art history course.
  • Transfer students may take longer to graduate in the B.F.A. or art education programs because of the high number of professional courses required in those programs and the sequencing necessary for skill development.

Admission information on how to apply to the Department of Art and Design is available online at


The department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

The following programs are available:

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Art Education

Bachelor of Arts in Art History

Art History Minor

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Studio Art

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art

Studio Art Minor

If you are in need of assistance please submit any questions or comments.