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Academic Majors


Visual Arts

The visual arts program at North Dakota State University offers a strong studio major in the context of a broad-based humanities degree. It provides a wide range of courses and involvement in the belief that full development of an individual's creative ability, critical intellect and social and historical awareness is the best preparation for a rewarding life and career. The Department of Visual Arts and the Division of Fine Arts share the conviction that practice and proliferation of art in a society positively reflects cultural awareness, diversity and endurance, as well as freedom of expression.

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The Program

The visual arts are an exciting part of campus life at NDSU. Students from every college in the University take both studio and academic courses in the art program, bringing with them a rich variety of perspectives and interests from professional commitment to sheer personal enjoyment of art. As a primary career specialization, or as a supplement to some other major field, art is one of the most versatile areas of study. Students of art develop a life-long commitment to visual understanding and expression.

The Facilities

Renaissance Hall, a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art facility, houses the Department of Visual Arts. The building provides well-equipped studio facilities for drawing, painting, design, digital media, printmaking, photography, sculpture and ceramics. The department maintains a slide library of art imagery along with a full range of audio-visual equipment. Secure, semiprivate studio space is available for all art majors, and a number of individual student studios are available. Both Macintosh and PC computers with graphic arts software for digital media are available in the Downtown Campus cluster. The print shop houses several etching and litho presses as well as facilities for silkscreen printing. The ceramic studio boasts three gas kilns and a wood burning kiln, clay mixing facilities and 30 throwing wheels. The large sculpture studio houses various types of welders, a plasma cutter and other tools for metal work, woodworking and carving in stone. A high-tech classroom for art history seats 75 and is also available for smaller classes. The department has its own gallery in the Reineke Fine Arts Center on campus as well as gallery space in the Renaissance Hall, the President’s Gallery in Old Main and the Memorial Union Gallery. A wide range of exhibitions, including national traveling exhibitions, and student and faculty shows are always available on and off campus. In close proximity to the Plains Art Museum, the department and the Plains work closely together, enhancing art experiences for the entire region.

The Faculty

The faculty is composed of Michael Strand, department head, Kimble Bromley, Kent Kapplinger, Kristi Groberg, David Swenson, Meghan Kirkwood, Su Legatt and several adjunct instructors. These faculty members are professional artists active at regional, national and international levels in art exhibitions, art research, art organizations and critical writing. All faculty are widely experienced and are committed to the value and importance of art in life. The art faculty prides itself in being very accessible to students at all times for individual consultation and critique.

PEARS Program

The Printmaking Education and Research Studio (PEARS) is housed in the Department of Visual Arts. This specialized program broadens student exposure to artists working in the printmaking medium by facilitating collaborations to create editions of prints. The program provides classes and workshops for students, instructors and artists seeking both traditional and the latest in technological information. The program offers artist residencies, internships and studio rentals to qualified artists and promotes sales and exhibition of artwork produced in the studio.

Career Opportunities

Art students develop a life-long commitment to visual understanding, critical thinking and individual expression. Potential careers include commercial art, graphic design, animation, illustration, arts marketing, commercial photography, museum and gallery work, exhibition design, art therapy, independent studio art, municipal art programs, art criticism, independent art instruction, art media research, arts organizations, arts funding agencies and university instruction.

The Curriculum

The art curriculum places emphasis on developing individual concept and content within a broad range of knowledge and skills. The small size of the program offers a highly flexible and personal approach to each student's development. All students start the program with a strong foundation in design and drawing. Through experience in diverse art media, students develop an area of concentration culminating in a three-credit or six-credit baccalaureate project and thesis exhibition during the senior year. The Tri-College University, which includes Concordia College and Minnesota State University Moorhead, offers students access to specialized courses not offered in the NDSU art curriculum.

Visiting Artist Program

A new and robust visiting artist program brings in artists from around the country to expose students and professors to new ideas, practices and techniques. In the past two years, more than 10 artists from Los Angeles to Boston have come to NDSU to share their work and passion with the department. This program is supplemented by the Rosenquist Resident Artist program, which brings in emerging talent in visual arts to teach and demonstrate their craft at NDSU.


New student scholarships are awarded each fall on a limited basis to incoming freshman. Additional scholarships are awarded to motivated students based upon excellence and need. For more information contact the NDSU Department of Visual Arts at (701) 231-8818.

The Degrees—Art Major

Students majoring in art have a choice of degree options. The Bachelor of Fine Arts is the professional degree requiring 72 credit hours in art with an emphasis in a specific discipline. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) require 45 hours in art. The B.A. also requires a competency in a foreign language through the intermediate level, and the B.S. requires a minor in another discipline. A minimum of 122 credit hours are needed for graduation.

Sample Curriculum

Bachelor of Fine Arts

General Education RequirementsCredits
First Year Experience
        UNIV. 189 - Skills for Academic Success1
        COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
        ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II 3, 3
        English Upper Division Writing3
Quantitative Reasoning3
Science & Technology10
Humanities & Fine Arts
        ART 210 - Art History I 3
        ART 211 - Art History II 3
Social and Behavioral Sciences 6
Cultural Diversity-
Global Perspective-
College/Department Requirements Credits
Humanities Elective(s) 3 or 6
Social Science Elective(s) 3 or 6
Fine Arts Elective 3
Totals 12
Major Requirements Credits
ART 120 - Painting I 3
ART 122 - Two Dimensional Design 3
ART 124 - Three Dimensional Design             3
ART 150 - Ceramics I3
ART 160 - Sculpture I3
ART 170 - Printmaking I3
ART 180 - Photography I 3
ART 185 - Digital Media 3
ART 230 - Drawing II 3
ART 335 - Figure Drawing 3
ART 451 - History of American Art 3
ART 452 - Contemporary Art 3
ART 453 - Topics in Art History 3
ART 489 - Baccalaureate Project (2 times) 6
Art Studio Electives 10
Art Studio Emphasis Electives 18
Intermediate Studio Courses 6

Art Minor

The art minor has been recently updated to be completely flexible and serve as a unique “compliment” to any existing major. By being flexible, you can choose a path that suits your educational goals. For instance, if you loved ceramics in high school, you could choose to take 15 credits in ceramics as a minor that may compliment your degree in archaeology or engineering.

Art 122 - Two-Dimensional Design                           3
Art 124 - Three-Dimensional Design 3
Art 130 - Drawing I 3
Art Electives 9
Total 18

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic adviser or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Reineke Fine Arts Center
Room 107

Reineke Fine Arts Center is located on the south end of campus on the corner of 12th Ave. N. and Bolley Drive (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Department of Visual Arts
North Dakota State University
650 NP Avenue
Dept #2332, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-5813 / Fax: (701) 231-2085

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802



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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU Webmaster

Last Updated: Friday, July 22, 2016 4:34:21 PM