Printmaking Emphasis - B.F.A.

Degree Information

Format: Face-to-face

Credits: ~126

The Printmaking emphasis offers you full access to a comprehensive printmaking curriculum including intaglio, relief, screen printing, a digital lab, papermaking and a dedicated darkroom. You will develop both skills and a personal voice allowing you to function as an exceptional contributor to visual and creative culture. Beyond preparation for professional studio practice, printmaking is supportive for many graphic designers, illustrators, educators and studio artists who primarily practice in other media.

Degree Options

Students interested in a Printmaking education may pursue a B.F.A. in Studio Art with this emphasis, or pursue a B.A./B.S. degree in Art Education with this emphasis as well.

BFA in Studio Art, Printmaking Emphasis

The B.F.A. in Studio Art is designed for students interested in a professional career in art. Aside from Printmaking, seven other Emphasis Areas are available to choose from in the B.F.A. degree.


BA/BS in Art Education and K-12 certification

Students may also pursue a BA or BS Degree in Art Education in which they can choose to take Printmaking courses. 


A range of methods is introduced at the beginning level including intaglio, relief, digital, and screen printing. In the intermediate level courses students work to develop a personal approach to the medium as they learn autographic, photo-based methods, as well as complex color and layering processes. Majors are encouraged to take charge of their personal artistic direction as they advance through these courses. The students' articulation of ideas and the clarity of communication become the central measures of one's achievement.

Studio Art (Printmaking) - B.F.A. Advising Guide 2022-23Transitional Advising Guide to New and Previous Studio Art BFA DegreePrintmaking - Degree Checklist (Previous)Printmaking - Detailed 4-year Plan (Previous)

Working primarily with screen print and block printing, students will gain skills in each, while also learning the historical context for these techniques. Experiences will include the production of hand-drawn and photographic screen stencils, carving both linoleum and wood blocks, mixing and modifying inks, and printing by hand and printing press. Offered fall and winter semesters.

Credits: 3

A hands-on overview of intaglio and planographic print processes. Working primarily with etching and monotype, students will gain skills in both, while also being presented with their historical context. Specific intaglio techniques to be covered include dry-point, hard-ground, soft-ground, and aquatint. Approaches to monotype will include painterly, subtractive, and trace. 

Credits: 3

Students will continue to explore stencil and relief printmaking processes, with particular focus on the ways in which materials and techniques can be combined, how prints can change formally and conceptually through their development, and how replicating an image can alter or enhance its meaning. Offered fall and winter semesters.

Prerequisite: ART 263.

Credits: 3

Students continue to explore the potential of intaglio and planographic print processes, with particular focus on how combining, layering, replicating, or altering images through a series of steps can inform and enhance their meaning.

Prerequisite: ART 264.

Credits: 3

For studio artists and designers about to enter graduate school or professional design studios. Includes a required three-day field trip to Chicago, information concerning resume preparation, exhibitions, interviewing, portfolios, design agencies, galleries, museums, and analysis of the professional literature through written assignments. Students will learn how the professional art world works. Offered fall semester.

Prerequisites: Art major and senior standing.
Credits: 3

Students will explore intaglio, planographic, relief, and stencil processes with an emphasis on the development of personal content and craft. Students are expected to create original work within a self-determined thematic framework, working in series or suites of prints. 

Prerequisite: ART 363 or ART 364.

Credits: 3

This course is the final work toward the B.F.A. Senior Exhibition and must be taken in the semester in which students hang their degree shows. Students will work closely with their major professor in their emphasis area, and may have an additional course assigned from their Junior Review. Students must seek the advice of their major professor for the selection of works for their exhibition. They may also seek advice of any other faculty members with whom they have worked or from whom they would like additional feedback. Offered fall and winter semesters.

Credits: 6


Brett Colley
Area Coordinator

Bill Hosterman

Students' Work

“"I love how versatile my education was. I appreciated my time at GVSU a lot, so much so that I feel fully able to teach art in a different language to probably the most difficult age group."”



The spacious printmaking facilities offer students the tools necessary to work in diverse printed media. The studios are equipped so that students can work in relief, intaglio, digital, screen printing, and photo-based methods. The department’s papermaking equipment is also located in these studios. Majors pursuing a BFA in this emphasis area have individual workspaces adjacent to the main printmaking classrooms.


Alumni Outcomes

Graduates of the Studio Art – Printmaking program possess knowledge, experience, and unique skills that are highly desirable and transferable, enabling them to seek employment in career fields both within and outside of the fine arts. Art degrees can lead to future work opportunities in a gallery, non-profit cultural organization, or museum.

Printmaking Emphasis Graduates Work As...

  • Freelance artist/ entrepreneur
  • Printmaker/screen printer
  • Gallery owner/assistant/ director/ curator
  • Exhibition planner/ coordinator
  • Community-based artist
  • Printmaking Studio Technician
  • Educator
  • etc...

Where GVSU Alumni Have Worked / Been Accepted to Graduate Degrees...

  • Royal College of Art, London
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • DePaul University
  • University of Memphis
  • Evergreen College
  • Kalamazoo Book Arts Center
  • Deep Woods Press
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
  • Dwelling Place and Avenue for the Arts, Dwelling Place

Professional Networking

Printmaking emphasis students are encouraged to pursue professional connections from the start in the program, engaging in exhibition work, on-campus employment, among other options.

GVSU Career Center

The Career Center offers a wide variety of events to help you successfully land after graduating from GVSU! 

Career Center Website



Interested in visiting VMA? Schedule your student lead tour today! 

Tours are available during open VMA Office hours:
Monday -Friday 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
(Closed on Public Holidays)
VMA Main Office: (616) 331-3486
[email protected]

Request Information/Visit

For questions about the Printmaking area, please contact:

Brett Colley
Printmaking Coordinator
1211 Alexander Calder Fine Arts Center
(616) 331-2952
[email protected]


Page last modified March 9, 2023