Art

Programs offered
  • Art (major, minor, and emphases)
  • Art History and Visual Studies (major and minor)
  • 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 68–92 credits are required for majors in art, depending on your chosen emphasis, including 23–37 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.

Art minors

    • A minimum 30–36 credits are required for minors in art, depending on your chosen emphasis, including 15–21 upper-division credits.
    • You may choose between 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.

    entering and completing a major or minor in art or art history and visual studies

    In order to earn a degree, you must complete an academic major. SPU encourages students to explore various academic paths, and students are not required to enter a major immediately upon admission to the University. However, you should enter a major by the end of your sophomore year to help ensure your timely completion of a degree. Students who transfer as juniors and seniors should identify and enter their major within their first two quarters at SPU.

    • If this is your first quarter at SPU or you have an SPU GPA of 2.0 or better, apply to an Art or Art History and Visual Studies program by using the online Major or Minor Application form
    • In addition to submitting the online Major or Minor Application form, you must also submit the following:
      • A written statement on why you are choosing to pursue studies in the Art major with emphasis in Studio Arts; Illustration/New Pictures; Art History and Visual Studies; General Art; or Photography/Digital Media. This should be approximately 200 words.
      • Those pursuing the Art major also must submit a specified portfolio for review. (See details on the Art Department website).
    • Applications for the minors are reviewed on a rolling basis. 
    • Portfolio applications to the Art major 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 coordinator or the major/minor advisor. 
    • Students on academic probation (with an SPU cumulative GPA below 2.0) will not be permitted to enter a new major or minor until they regain good academic standing.
    • The University requires a grade of C- or better in all classes that apply to a major or minor; however, programs may require higher minimum grades in specific courses. You may repeat an SPU course only once for a higher grade.
    • To advance in this program, meet with your faculty advisor regularly to discuss your grades, course progression, and other indicators of satisfactory academic progress. If your grades or other factors indicate that you may not be able to successfully complete the major or minor, your faculty advisor can work with you to explore options, which may include choosing a different major or minor.
    • You must complete the major or minor requirements in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year of admittance to the major or minor.

    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.

    visual communication admission data

    Admission to the Visual Communication major is selective and based upon prior academic performance and portfolio. Admission data for recent years is depicted below.

    Academic Year 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18
    Average GPA of Admitted Students 3.4 3.2 3.4
    Lowest GPA of Admitted Students 2.9 2.5 2.2
    Number of Applicants 12 18 18
    Number Admitted12 18 18

    Apply to the visual communication major or minor

    Apply for the Visual Communication major via the following steps:

    • Apply on Banner using the online Major or Minor Application form. You may make a formal application to the Visual Communication major upon completion of the specified freshman drawing or foundations courses. 
    • In addition to submitting the online Major or Minor Application form you must also submit the following:
      • A written statement on why you are choosing to pursue studies in the Visual Communication major. This should be approximately 200 words.
      • A specified portfolio for review. (See details on the Art Department website).
      • Proof of completion of three of the designated foundational courses.
    • Applications to the major 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 coordinator or the major/minor advisor.
    • You must complete the major requirements in effect when you are admitted to the major.

      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.

      interdisciplinary art programs

      Learn more about these additional interdisciplinary art majors and minors.

      • Information Studies: Art minor
      • Information Studies: Art History and Visual Studies minor
      • Interactive Computing and Art minor
      • Film Studies major and minor
      • Social Justice and Cultural Studies: Art for Social Change major

      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.