The Department of Visual and Media Arts

682 majors are enrolled in five programs offering ten different degrees. Located in two buildings on the GVSU campus, the department is equipped with the specialized equipment necessary to complete work in traditional and new media. Students’ efforts in the program are supported by twenty-four, full-time faculty members and a dedicated staff.

Housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Department of Visual and Media Arts is also an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).  This association establishes national art and design standards for undergraduate (and graduate) degree programs like ours.

We are located on the Allendale campus, halfway between Lake Michigan and Grand Rapids. The second largest city in Michigan, Grand Rapids has a thriving arts community that includes regional museums and independent arts venues. The campus is less than a three-hour drive from both downtown Detroit and Chicago. Close proximity to these cities offers students broader contexts for their classroom experiences.

Mission, Values and Vision

The Department of Visual and Media Arts at Grand Valley State University seeks to uphold the values of a liberal education while providing and intensive engagement with the production and examination of the visual arts.


As educators, artists, and scholars, we value investigation of the world through participation in broad cultural discourses. In addition to preparing students formally and conceptually for careers in the visual arts, the department strives to foster the broadly transferable skills of inquiry, reflection, critical analysis, dialog, and expression.


  1. Student will become familiar with the central issues and processes in their chosen area of study.
  2. Students will develop competency progressively throughout the degree program and will work independently at the advanced level.
  3. Students will achieve a high level of expertise in the practice of their chosen area of study.
  4. Students will evaluate and present their work in a professional manner appropriate to their discipline.
  5. Students will be encouraged to engage in learning experiences designed to enhance their ability to contribute to artistic and other communities.


The Department of Visual and Media Arts will continue to offer excellent undergraduate programs in studio art, art education, and art history that include traditional and contemporary practices enriched by a strong foundation in liberal education.

Professional Organizations

Many art and design organizations offer undergraduate memberships or chapters. These provide students with an introduction to current practices and opportunities for professional development. Several of them host annual conferences where students can participate in exhibitions, presentations, or workshops.

Art and Design Organizations

Health & Safety

The Department of Visual and Media Arts at Grand Valley State University is committed to ensuring appropriate health and safety procedures in all of our facilities. Faculty and staff work with students to help them learn the skills necessary to work safely with their chosen media.


Page last modified February 12, 2019