An education in the arts lies between the practices of making, intellectual reflection, and an understanding of the relationship between visual media and society.


At Grand Valley State University, the Department of Visual and Media Arts encourages majors to explore and develop their individual sense of place as human beings in relationship to the world around them. The degree programs integrate the values of a liberal education while preparing graduates for intensive engagement with the production and examination of the visual arts.


Discover Your Potential at VMA

Visual Studies




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10 Questions for our alumni

Kate Garman, BFA, 2013, Visual Studies

"Studio Art degrees provide you with just as many employable skills as other majors. And if you're thinking about going into a Graduate program, take some time in between degrees."

Jason Lee Starin, BFA, Studio Art (Ceramics), 1999

"A career in the arts is about persistence, it never ends. Learn to gracefully accept rejection over and over again. Learn from it. How can you improve? If you want something really bad, apply often to the same call, year after year until you get it."

Kuu Hubbard, BFA, Graphic Design, 2013

"Once you get to school it�s so beneficial to have a great circle of friends that get you out of the classroom. It�s healthy to get out there and explore outside of school!"

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Why study Visual and Media Arts at GVSU?


More than 25,000 students have chosen to study at Grand Valley, making us one of the largest universities in Michigan. We're big enough to have the impact of a major university and small enough to give you the support and resources you need to move forward and succeed. Read below why an arts education at GVSU will prepare you to succeed after graduation.


1. Find Your Voice

We support you during your exciting and challenging transition from learning in the classroom to learning in personal and professional worlds. Students are introduced to many avenues for their creative practice and develop the required skills to succeed in their field. Watch the video above that illustrates what the Department  has to offer.

(Shot and edited by alum, Nick Beardslee, Film & Video Production, 2017)

2. Liberal Arts Education


Grand Valley's liberal education focus prepares students for life in a fast-changing world. It fosters a commitment to economic, social, and environmental sustainability and an inclusive campus that values diversity. Through this forward-thinking education, students are empowered to positively affect the global community now and in the future.

3. Join the #LakerEffect

Students in the Department of Visual and Media Arts not only will hone their creative and critical thinking skills but also will have the opportunity to engage with the university community in a variety of ways beyond their major. Please see the video of alumna Kaitlyn Allison sharing her story at GVSU.

4. Scholarships

Scholarships help ensure that the best and brightest students can access a Grand Valley education and enrich our campus, regardless of their socioeconomic situation. They are a great resource to help reduce your reliance on student loans. Grand Valley has a wide variety of scholarships available to new and returning students. 

Scholarships for Visual and Media Arts Students



Open House & Tour

Attend an Open House and Tour

Immediately following the conclusion of the Laker Experience Days (fall and winter semesters), from 1-3 p.m., we invite you to visit us. You will know exactly how it feels like to be a student in our department, and learn everything that an education in the Arts has to offer. If you are interested in a career in Art and Design, Photography, or Film and Video Production, you're in for an afternoon of great advice and creative activities. You will meet with students, faculty and alumni to discuss the major and learn about future career options.


Register to attend an Open House


(Update: In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department of Visual and Media Arts canceled its open house events for the Winter 2020 semester.)

Student works


The Department of Visual and Media Arts belongs to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a student-centered and diverse learning community that engages in critical inquiry, extending knowledge to enrich and enliven individual and public life.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Website