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Art: BFA, BA, BS


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.


Students who do not choose an emphasis receive a BS or BA in art.

  • 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.
  • Sculpture: 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.
  • Ceramics: 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.
  • Photography: Within the photography program, students learn needed aesthetic and technical skills. Students have ample studio time to practice wet darkroom processes. They can also gain experience with a full range of digital equipment and techniques.
  • Printmaking: 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.

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


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

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.

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

American Institute of Graphic Arts: This is a professional association for design. It stimulates thinking about design, demonstrates the value of design, and empowers the success of designers at each stage of their career. AIGA’s mission is to advance designing as a professional craft, strategic tool, and vital cultural force.

College Art Association: This association facilitates the exchange of ideas and information among those interested in art and art history. It promotes excellence in scholarship, teaching art history, criticizing visual arts, creativity, teaching art, and practicing art. 

Guilds: The Department of Art is home to several different guilds, which are useful for disciplines within the department. Each guild is involved in several activities throughout the year, including various auctions, fundraisers, and exhibits designed to help students generate revenue and display their work for the enjoyment of others. Currently, USU is home to four different art guilds: art guild, ceramics guild, photography guild, and printmaking guild.

Labs, Centers, Research

With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.

Art Education and Two-Dimensional Design Studio: This is used by art education students as a place to practice lesson plans and improve upon teaching skills. The space is also used as a workplace for 2D design and for other students to work on specific projects and assignments.

Art History Auditorium: This is used as a teaching space where professors can supplement lectures with slides and other visuals designed to give art students a better understanding of the world of art.

Fine Arts Building: Utah State’s Fine Arts Building offers an array of labs for art students, including lighting studios, wet labs, sculpture labs, print making labs, ceramics labs, painting and drawing labs, and photo labs.

Interdisciplinary Media Research Consortium: This houses a digital laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and software, and is staffed with experienced faculty and students from three departments and two colleges.

Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art: This museum collects, maintains, preserves, and regularly exhibits art in diverse media created primarily in the American West with an emphasis on modern and contemporary movements. Through exhibitions and education programs, the museum provides the campus and community with opportunities for growth, discovery, and scholarly research.

Studio 102 Gallery: This is a space where students, faculty, and guest artists may display their work for everyone to view.

Tippetts Exhibit Hall: A 4,500-square-foot open space with movable display walls, the Tippetts Exhibit Hall supports art exhibits of all types and styles and serves as one of the main display venues for the Art Department and Interior Design program.

University Reserves Graphics Laboratory: This lab features an updated learning center for design students. The lab is equipped with the latest Mac systems along with up-to-date professional scanners and printers.



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

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