Art

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

When you pursue a major or minor in the Art Department at Seattle Pacific University, you will find that the programs acquaint you with the fundamental elements and principles of the visual arts and design; develop your skills in the use of various traditional and experimental forms of studio and technological media; and encourage application of your skills in a manner that engages contemporary culture.

Your curriculum will also build cultural literacy through exposure to art history, global culture, and critical theory; and encourage your exploration of the spiritual nature of art and design as an expression of your faith.

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 73–92 credits are required for majors in art, depending on your chosen emphasis, including 36–37 upper-division credits.
  • Application to this major requires submission of a portfolio and written statement in addition to the online major application.
  • You will choose one of these emphases: Studio Art; Illustration/New Pictures; Photography/Digital Media.
  • 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 do not need to submit a portfolio to enter this major.
  • 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 arts (BA)

VIEW DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

If you are interested in receiving an overview of the visual arts without a professionalized specialization, this is the major for you. This major will provide you with a broad experience of the visual arts and a foundation for a rich, life-long engagement as a creator.

  • A minimum of 68 credits are required for this major, including at least 23 upper-division credits.
  • You do not need to submit a portfolio to enter this major.
  • The relatively low credit requirement will allow you to pursue a second major or a minor.
  • This major is well suited to the pursuit of teacher certification.
  • Participation in a Senior Exhibition is not required for 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.
  • Application to this major requires submission of a portfolio and written statement in addition to the online major application.
  • 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 Admitted 12 18 18

minors IN THE ART DEPARTMENT

    • A minimum 30–36 credits are required for minors in the Art Department, 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 the art department

    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.

    • 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.
    • Requirements for admission to specific majors and minors in the Art Department are found below.

    Apply to the Art major or minor

    • If this is your first quarter at SPU or you have an SPU GPA of 2.0 or better, apply on Banner using the online Major or Minor Application form.
    • Admission to this major is selective and based upon prior academic performance and portfolio.
    • 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. This should be approximately 200 words.
      • A specified portfolio for review. (See "Portfolio Guidelines" below.)
    • Applications for the minors are reviewed on a rolling basis.
    • You must complete the major or minor requirements in effect when you are admitted to the program.

      TRANSFER STUDENTS

      If you are a transfer student with class status beyond the sophomore level, you may apply to the major after an advising/work sample review with the head of your intended concentration. You should be sure to apply in your first quarter at SPU.

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

      Apply to the Art History and Visual Studies major or minor

      • If this is your first quarter at SPU or you have an SPU GPA of 2.0 or better, apply in Banner using the online Major or Minor Application form;
      • Applications for the minor are reviewed on a rolling basis.
      • You must complete the major or minor requirements in effect when you are admitted to the program.

      Apply to the Visual Arts major

      • If this is your first quarter at SPU or you have an SPU GPA of 2.0 or better, apply in Banner using the online Major or Minor Application form;
      • You must complete the major requirements in effect when you are admitted to the program.

      Apply to the Visual Communication major

      • Apply to the Visual Communications 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 Visual Communication major. This should be approximately 200 words.
        • A specified portfolio for review. (See "Portfolio Guidelines" below.)
        • 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 major after an advising/work sample review with the head of your intended concentration. You should be sure to apply in your first quarter at SPU.

        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.

      Portfolio guidelines

      The Art major (all areas of emphasis) and Visual Communication major require submission of a portfolio. The minors, Art History and Visual Studies major, and Visual Arts major require only that you submit the online Major or Minor Application form.

      Before submitting a portfolio, you must submit the online Major or Minor Application form and have completed the following courses: ART 1105 Art Foundations 1: Surface; ART 1106 Art Foundations 2: Space; and ART 1107 Art Foundations 3: Time. For equivalency of previous course offerings and/or transfer credits, please consult with the head of your intended concentration.

      Portfolios must include:

      • A declaration that you intend to pursue studies in the Art major with an emphasis in Studio Arts; Illustration/New Pictures; Photography/Digital Media; or the Visual Communication major.
      • A document listing the address of your on-line portfolio
      • Required artwork samples: Three projects from each core course, for a minimum of nine pieces.
      • A current transcript.
      • Suggested physical artwork samples: In addition to the on-line portfolio, some programs require the submission of physical artifacts. Please consult with the head of your intended concentration for specific requirements.
      • Submit all portfolios to the Art Department administrative office. These works should be submitted in a portfolio case large enough to contain all original work. The exterior of the portfolio should include a document that includes your name, the major for which you are applying, your SPU email address, and your expected year of graduation.

        Application deadlines

        Students have one opportunity each quarter during every academic year to apply to one of the majors. After acceptance into the major, it typically takes a minimum of two full years to complete the sequence of courses. Completed portfolios are due to the Art Department offices no later than 5 p.m. on the following dates:

        • Autumn Quarter: second Tuesday in September
        • Winter Quarter: fourth Tuesday in January
        • Spring Quarter: third Tuesday in April

          Post-application review process

          You will be notified by email of the status and final decision regarding your application. Portfolios can be collected at the Art Department administrative office during office hours. Criteria for acceptance will be based upon the quality of the work, grades, essay content, and success in academic coursework.

        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.