Art - BFA, BA, BS

Caine College of the Arts

About This Degree

Students majoring in art at USU have a world of options at their disposal. Each emphasis features in-depth coursework that encourages students to develop their own artistic ideas and style, in addition to solid foundation knowledge of artistic traditions throughout history. Professors are extremely talented artists as well as effective teachers, and they are dedicated to giving students individual attention and mentoring. The Department of Art has a competitive portfolio admission, which allows it to offer smaller classes where students receive individual time with professors. Students also have the opportunity to participate in faculty-supervised group and solo exhibitions.

The Art Department has more study abroad programs than any other department on campus, and students are able to study each year in places across the world, including Switzerland, Korea, Scotland, and Germany. The program also has a longstanding tradition of hosting visiting artists from across the country and the world.

The BFA is a professional degree requiring above-average accomplishment in art. Students must first apply and be accepted to a specific emphasis area. Students receiving a BS do not have an emphasis, and instead have a non-specific, general art degree. To receive a BA, students must also gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages.


Art History:

This is the only emphasis where students complete a BA rather than a BFA. The BA also has a foreign language requirement. The program prepares students for graduate school by cultivating research and writing skills as students seek to understand political, social, and religious contexts of artworks.

Art Education:

This emphasis prepares students to teach art in secondary schools. Students graduate with a BFA and obtain a secondary education teaching license.


Students in the sculpture emphasis investigate specific problems involving technical, aesthetic, and conceptual considerations of sculptures. Students will also develop their own direction based on their experience with form, materials, and techniques, and their understanding of traditional concerns and contemporary issues.


In this emphasis, students are acquainted with the technology of ceramic materials and the firing processes to aid them in developing sound craftsmanship. Additionally, students receive inspiration and instruction from the ceramics collection of the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum on campus, numerous ceramics exhibitions, and visiting guest artists.

Drawing and Painting:

This emphasis includes the two-dimensional study of form and space, as well as the exploration of drawing and painting media, graphic elements, and visual dynamics.

Graphic Design:

Students in graphic design complete a variety of courses that involve working with symbols, trademarks, typography, layout, and all formats of print and publication design. Illustration, digital imaging, motion graphics, animation, and interactive media are also part of the graphic design curriculum.


Rooted in fine art and documentary traditions and guided in our belief in photography’s critical role in contemporary culture, USU Photo guides students in developing thoughtful visual practices marked by rigor, empathy, and community engagement. Led by renowned faculty mentors, students incorporate a range of techniques–from 19th-cen. and darkroom processes to digital technologies–and are supported through generous resources and state-of-the-art equipment.


Printmaking covers the process of creating prints with an element of originality, rather than just a photographic reproduction of the painting. It can be done by etching, woodcut, silk screen, lino cut, etc.

Education Component

This is for the art education emphasis only. In order to obtain a secondary teaching license for grades 6-12, students must complete the 35-credit Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), which includes one semester of student teaching in a public school. This program is administered by USU’s School of Teacher Education and Leadership (TEAL) within the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. Student must apply to the School of TEAL the semester before taking STEP courses. This is usually the fall of their junior year. Students learn subject content through the Art Department, and spend the last year or two studying education techniques through the STEP program.

Students in the art teaching program do not need to have a minor because the program provides students with knowledge in several art-focused areas, therefore, expanding their teaching role.

Career And Outcomes

Career Opportunities

With a degree in art, you will be qualified for the following careers:

Art History Emphasis

  • Gallery work
  • Education
  • Museum curator
  • Art writer
  • Exhibition installation
  • Art librarian
  • Art critic
  • Art restoration
  • Administration
  • Art reproductions and retailing
  • Art consulting
  • Art appraisal
  • Museum inventory specialist
  • Development officer
  • Library assistant

Art Education Emphasis

  • Teaching positions in secondary schools
  • Private art teaching
  • Art therapist
  • Art librarian

Sculpture Emphasis

  • Custom metal fabrication
  • Museum curator
  • Freelance work
  • Education
  • Art/sculpture writer
  • Theatre set designer
  • Model builder
  • Metalsmith
  • Jewelry maker/designer

Ceramics Emphasis

  • Freelance work
  • Museum curator
  • Education
  • Pottery studio management

Drawing and Painting Emphasis

  • Museum curator
  • Education
  • Freelance work
  • Fabric design
  • Illustrator
  • Calligrapher
  • Cartographer
  • Fashion editor/writer
  • Cartoonist
  • Movie art director
  • Police/court artist
  • Theatre set designer

Graphic Design Emphasis

  • Education
  • Freelance work
  • Website design
  • Graphic artist
  • Design consultant
  • Greeting card designer
  • Magazine art director
  • Photo retouching
  • Marketing
  • Typographer
  • Book publisher
  • Advertising agency work

Photography Emphasis

  • Studio photographer
  • Freelance work
  • Press photographer
  • Photojournalist
  • Magazine art director
  • Museum curator
  • Photo retouching
  • Fine art photographer
  • Education
  • Forensics
  • Photo stylist
  • Photographic engineer
  • Commercial photographer

Printmaking Emphasis

  • Printmaker
  • Freelance work
  • Education
  • Typographer
  • Wall covering designer
  • Museum curator
  • Engraver


The Career and Design Center provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.

Job Outlook



Brooke Lambert

Office: FAC 127F
Phone: (435) 797-8096

Schedule an Appointment

Angela Neff

Office: FAC 127F
Phone: (435) 797-8096

Schedule an Appointment

I am not a current USU student

I have not applied or been admitted, even if I've taken a USU Concurrent Enrollment course

I am a current USU student

I have been admitted and plan to attend, or continue attending USU

USU Locations



Admission Requirements

In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the art program has additional requirements:

  • Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing are initially admitted into the art pre-program unless the student has submitted the required portfolio of work to the Art Department. This portfolio is due to the art office by February 1 of the year the student wishes to enter USU. If students are accepted, they will continue in advanced courses starting in the fall. After their sophomore year, students may choose an emphasis area and undergo a review for admission into the BFA program. These reviews are typically scheduled for spring semester. Students not admitted to a BFA program in a studio emphasis may complete the BS degree and graduate in art with no emphasis.
  • Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors  must have a GPA of at least 2.5 and must arrange for a portfolio review when applying to the program.
  • Art History Emphasis: Acceptance into the art history emphasis follows a different pattern. There is no portfolio requirement. Students must have a 2.5 GPA to be accepted and must pursue a BA, which requires proficiency in a foreign language.
  • STEP Requirements (art teaching emphasis only): In order to be accepted into STEP, students must go through an application process, which includes the following:
    • Complete 60 semester credits with a minimum GPA of 2.75
    • Complete certain core courses (see department for more information)
    • Complete a speech and hearing test
    • Pass the Teacher Education Writing Exam
    • Provide an unofficial copy of  your transcript
    • Pass a criminal background check (this should be done one semester before submitting the application)

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Take The Next Step

You May Also Be Interested In

Art History

This interdisciplinary major includes immersive study abroad opportunities while allowing you explore and understand the connection between images and objects as well as the cultural and historical moments from which they emerge.

Interior Architecture and Design

Develop strong design skills for commercial, industrial, or residential interiors from an accredited program that provides exclusive internships, travel opportunities, and hosts design professionals from around the world.

Outdoor Product Design and Development

Learn innovative skills to succeed in the design, development, or management of outdoor product lines. Integrating experiences from engineering to sustainability, this degree offers broad opportunities with leading brands and experts in the field.

Theatre Arts

Become a well-trained theatre artist or educator by gaining a broad education in all aspects of theatre arts, such as design, technical work, stage management, acting, and directing, with the option to focus on the area of your career choice.