Program Overview

Since the beginning of human history, people have had a need to create images and objects. These impulses emerge for different reasons--communication, commerce, an act of devotion, a necessity for utilitarian wares, personal expression, decoration, therapy, and so on. Courses offered in Studio Arts allow students to examine the history of art and craft, sharpen critical thinking skills, hone their talents, and prepare for graduate school and careers in the visual arts. 

The faculty in the program are accomplished professionals with national and international exhibition histories. Many have won prestigious awards, such as the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, the Jerome Foundation Fellowship and the MCAD/McKnight Artist Fellowship. 

Recognizing that there may be transfer students from other institutions, students should work with the Studio Arts faculty advisor (Erica Rasmussen) to make sure that equivalent classes can count toward the major. At least half of the credits for the major must be taken in residence.

More information about this program

Declare Your Program

To be eligible for acceptance to the Studio Arts major, students must submit a College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Program Declaration Form. Consult with an advisor before enrolling in courses toward the major. 

Note: All Studio Arts majors will be expected to participate in the Student Salon at The Gordon Parks Gallery the year that they graduate.

Declare Your Program

Requirements

Courses required for your specific program are listed in the right column on this page. They include prerequisite, foundation, core and elective courses. Contact your advisor with questions concerning your degree plan.

How Admissions Works

We are looking forward to you joining us. Take the first step by filling out this application.
Course List

Prerequisites

Requirements ( 38 total credits)

Studio Arts Required Courses (24 total credits)

  • ARTS 106 Introduction to Drawing
    4 credits

    This class focuses on the principles and practices of drawing, through an exploration of space, shading, volume, perspective and composition. Class discussions and projects include use of materials, color, artists and movements of the past, and contemporary trends in drawing and painting. Emphasis is placed on the development of hand-eye coordination skills.

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  • ARTS 115 Introduction to Photography
    4 credits

    This introductory course focuses on the aesthetic and practical elements of image making in photography. Basic principles of camera work, framing, light and lenses are covered. This course provides a foundation for further study in photography.

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  • ARTS 300 Museums and Galleries
    4 credits

    As students visit local museums and galleries, they become familiar with many of the Twin Cities' exhibition facilities and reflect on the experience of viewing art. This course offers an approach to understanding and appreciating the visual arts as one develops critical thinking skills. Emphasis is placed on the articulation of ideas through written and spoken words. Note: Students are responsible for their own transportation.

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  • ARTS 304 Topics in Fibers
    0 credits

    This studio course explores historical and contemporary approaches to fiber arts as well as examination of significant figures and movements. Traditional techniques and contemporary applications of paper and fabric bridge the gap between crafts and fine arts. Students should consult the Class Schedule for particular topics (such as papermaking, wearable art and surface design.) Note: This course may be taken three times for credit as long as the topic is different.

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  • ARTS 307 Painting
    4 credits

    This course explores principles and practices related to color, shading, volume, perspective and composition. Class discussion and projects include color theory, application techniques, artists and movements of the past and contemporary trends in painting. Students complete original paintings using acrylics.

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  • ARTS 400 Capstone Seminar
    4 credits

    In this Faculty-Designed Independent Study students learn about the documents, practices and resources necessary to pursue a career in the visual arts. Some pragmatic assignments will demonstrate the artist's talents and accomplishments (such as resumes, statements and portfolios). Other logistical exercises will explore the expectations for the field (like exhibition protocols, employment opportunities, grant proposals, residencies and applications for graduate school). This course is required for all Studio Arts majors and should be executed in the student's final year of study.

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Studio Arts Electives (14 credits from the following):

  • ARTS 301 Current Topics: Variable Subtitles
    0 credits

    Current Topics is a course designation that is used to identify timely themes and various media that supplement and enrich a student's art education. Topics will change from semester to semester. If more than one topics course is taken in fulfillment of the major, they must be different course titles. Topics may include, but are not limited to: book arts, relief printmaking, mosaic sculptures, street photography and assemblage.

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  • ARTS 302 Exhibition Practices
    2 credits

    This internship is designed to give students an opportunity to learn about the basic functions and day to day operations of an educational art gallery. Students will assist in the installation and dismantling of various exhibitions, featuring numerous forms of art. In doing so, students will gather practical knowledge about handling and lighting artwork, creating didactics, generating and distributing publicity, working with artists and creating corresponding programming. This knowledge should qualify a student to apply for entry level positions at other exhibition facilities, create groundwork for additional coursework in Museum Studies, and/or prepare students to mount exhibitions of their own in a professional manner. Variable meeting times. Contact instructor for details prior to registering. S/N grading only.

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  • ARTS 304 Topics in Fibers
    0 credits

    This studio course explores historical and contemporary approaches to fiber arts as well as examination of significant figures and movements. Traditional techniques and contemporary applications of paper and fabric bridge the gap between crafts and fine arts. Students should consult the Class Schedule for particular topics (such as papermaking, wearable art and surface design.) Note: This course may be taken three times for credit as long as the topic is different.

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  • ARTS 306 Intermediate Drawing
    4 credits

    In this class students further develop their hand-eye coordination skills, polish their techniques, deepen their understanding of artists or movements of the past and examine contemporary trends in drawing and painting. Emphasis is placed on drawing as a medium of self-expression.

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  • ARTS 309 Photography: History of a Visual Artform
    4 credits

    This course presents a historical survey of photography within the context of scientific, cultural and artistic forces. From the camera obscura and daguerreotypes to Surrealism and Social Realism, this course addresses the broad and expressive nature of photographic imagery. In addition to exploring the technical history of the medium, the class is designed to promote formal articulation, genre identification and evaluation of meaning within diverse cultural contexts. Students will leave this course with a stronger sense of the ways in which photography has contributed to the global artistic landscape and our conception of reality. Activities include slide lectures, videos, visiting artist presentations and field trips to local collections and studios. No lab component.

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  • ARTS 311 Watercolors
    4 credits

    This course explores the fundamental principles and techniques associated with the medium of watercolor paints, The coursework includes color theory, application techniques, and traditional/contemporary trends in painting. Once rudimentary skills are established through representational compositions, students will have the opportunity to investigate the expressive nature of watercolors through abstract imagery. Two field trips are schedules outdoors.

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  • ARTS 316 Intermediate Photography
    4 credits

    Intermediate photographic techniques and approaches to image making using digital cameras, editing, software, printers, and lighting equipment. Class projects and discussions include image manipulation, composition, lighting, and film/analog photography, as well as artist movements of the past and contemporary trends in photography. Students explore photography as a creative form.

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  • ARTS 320 Topics in Clay: Variable Subtitles
    3 credits

    Topics in Clay is a course that explores the artistic possibilities of working with ceramics. Functional and sculptural approaches are addressed. These twelve-week, three credit courses are taught at Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis. Topics will change from semester to semester. If more than one topics course is taken in fulfillment of the major, they must be different course titles. Topics may include, but are not limited to: Wheel Throwing, Hand Building, Surface/Imagery Technique and Firing Methods.

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  • ARTS 350I Arts Individualized Internship
    0 credits

    Students obtain internships in selected areas of study to gain deeper understand of knowledge, skills and the context of a given field. Faculty members serve as liaisons and evaluator between the internship sites and the university, providing information to students and potential supervisors and supervising the learning experience. Internships normally earn between one and four credits, required 40 work hours per credit, and may be served through a standard hours/work schedule or with flexible work hours scheduling, depending on the nature of the internship and site preferences.

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  • Please verify that your Course List is separated by ',' (comma) or 'OR'
  • HUM 333 The Photo and the Other
    4 credits

    This course introduces students to visual culture theory with an emphasis on the photographic image. The course examines how photography has shaped Western culture's understanding of how to "read" images of people and their spaces for their status, meaning and utility within a community. Contemporary theories debate the place of the photo in distinguishing and contesting our representations of people in terms of race, ability, class, gender, sexuality and size. Students will learn how modern views of photography as both an art and a science create an often contradictory set of beliefs about what a photo shows that is "real" or "true."

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  • SCRW 315 Film Production and Editing I
    4 credits

    The course introduces the principles and practices of electronic filmmaking as a personal and creative art form. Students will engage in exercises and projects to explore and understand editing, camera work, light, composition, and sound. A variety of cinematic forms will be examined. Student screenplays may be produced. Students will film and edit individual creative projects.

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  • WRIT 377 Writing Proposals and Grants
    4 credits

    This course offers a rhetorically-based, process-oriented approach to strategic, effective writing of proposals and grants for individuals and organizations. The course is designed primarily for writers, artists and technical communicators who expect to find themselves, as freelancers or as employees, seeking funding for a variety of programs and projects in academic, nonprofit or corporate situations. This course provides a systematic process for analyzing audiences, writing needs statements and finding sponsors all within an electronic context.

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