Art

Programs offered
  • Art (major, minor, emphases)
  • Art History and Visual Studies (major)
  • Visual Communications (major)

When you major or minor in Art at Seattle Pacific University, you will find that the Art program:

  • Acquaints you with the fundamental elements and principles of the visual arts and design. 
  • Develops your skills in the use of various traditional and experimental forms of studio and technological media.
  • Encourages application of your skills in a manner that engages contemporary culture.
  • Builds cultural literacy through exposure to art history, global culture, and critical theory.
  • Encourages your exploration of the spiritual nature of art and design as an expression of your faith.
  • Aims to prepare you, through its curriculum, for both professional practice and advanced study.

Find out more about this program’s mission, vision, and learning outcomes.

Art (BA)

The Art major’s curriculum provides you with training in the studio arts, illustration or photography/digital media. It also aims to prepare you for both professional practice and advanced study.

  • A minimum 66–94 credits are required for majors in art, depending on your chosen emphasis, including 23–36 upper-division credits.
  • You will choose one of these emphases: Studio Art; Illustration/New Pictures; General Art; Photography/Digital Media.
  • If your chosen emphasis is Studio Art, Digital Media/Photo or Illustration/New Pictures, as a condition of graduation, you are required to participate in a Senior Exhibition during Spring Quarter of your senior year.  

Art History and Visual Studies (BA)

VIEW DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

The Art History and Visual Studies major is designed to make you a wise navigator of our media-saturated environment. The program has a modern and contemporary focus, and encourages hands-on engagement with mounting, curating, and reviewing gallery shows.

  • A minimum 61 credits are required for this major, including 26 upper-division credits.
  • You will probe the historical origins of our present visual climate, develop strong research and writing skills, and investigate the latest trends in critical theory.
  • An optional biennial excursion to Rome, Italy, gives you the opportunity to both absorb and critique the foundations of Western culture.
  • Additional foreign language coursework is a requirement of this major.

Visual Communication (BA)

VIEW DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

In the Visual Communication major, you will become a trained designer educated in traditional and contemporary media and grounded in historical and cultural knowledge.

  • A minimum of 99 credits are required for this major, including 30 upper-division credits.
  • You will learn the effective application of fundamental elements and principles of visual communication design.
  • As a condition of graduation in this major, you are required to participate in the Visual Communication Portfolio Exhibition during Spring Quarter of your senior year.

Art minors

  • A minimum 33–36 credits are required for minors in art, depending on your chosen emphasis, including 15–17 upper-division credits.
  • You may choose from two minors: Art History and Visual Studies; and Studio Art.
  • Within the Studio Art minor, you may choose one of three emphases: 2-D Media; 3-D; and Digital Media.

Apply to the major or minor

Apply for a major or minor using the online Major or Minor Application form. You must complete the major or minor requirements in effect when you are admitted to the major or minor.

You may make a formal application for a major in Art or Visual Communication upon completion of the specified freshman drawing or design course sequences (see the specific major requirements). If you intend to pursue the Art History and Visual Studies emphasis, you may apply after completion of one art history course.

Your application to the Art major must include: 

  • A designation that you intend to pursue studies in the Art major with emphasis in Studio Arts; Illustration/New Pictures; Art History and Visual Studies; General Art; Photography/Digital Media or Visual Communication.
  • A specified portfolio for review (excluding Art History applicants). (See the Art Department website).
  • A current transcript showing a minimum 2.5 GPA in your art courses.
  • Proof of completion of three of the designated foundational courses (excluding Art History applicants).
  • A specified essay for review.
  • A completed online Major/Minor application.

Portfolio applications for the majors are reviewed on the second Tuesday of September, the fourth Tuesday of January, and the third Tuesday of April. All materials can be submitted to the department assistant or the major/minor advisor. 

Note: If you are applying for an Art minor, you do not need to submit a portfolio for review.

Transfer students

If you are a transfer student with class status beyond the sophomore level, you may apply to the Art or Visual Communication major or Art minor after confirmation of successful completion of equivalent drawing and design course sequences and portfolio review.

See degree requirements for a full list of required courses and electives within the major or minor program.

Future teachers

Elementary teacher certification

If you plan to obtain elementary Residency Teacher Certification and are interested in teaching art, you must choose the Integrated Studies major with a concentration in art.

  • This concentration includes an Arts core, along with courses in mathematics, physical education, and the natural sciences.
  • The faculty advisor for the Arts concentration, Dr. Andrew Ryder (aryder@spu.edu). 

Secondary teacher certification

If you plan to obtain secondary Residency Teacher Certification with endorsement in art, you should pursue a BA in Art, and you must also complete Requirements for Secondary Certification through the School of Education.

If you plan to become a teacher, visit the School of Education for complete information.

The Art Center Gallery at Seattle Pacific University

Art Department

Visit the Art Department website see how a degree in Art or Visual Communication can help you achieve your goals and make a difference in the world.

Time Schedule: Art

Course planning

Suggested course sequences help you complete your degree in a timely manner.

The Art Center Gallery at Seattle Pacific University

Senior exhibition requirement

All Art majors (excluding Art History and Visual Studies emphasis and General Art emphasis) are required to participate in a Senior Exhibition during Spring Quarter of their senior year.

All Visual Communication majors are required to participate during Spring Quarter of their senior year in the Visual Communication Portfolio Exhibition.