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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, Aaron Kirchhoff and Andrew Stark. 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, university instruction and K-12 education.

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, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Minnesota State University Moorhead and North Dakota State University of Science offers students access to specialized courses not offered in the NDSU art curriculum.

The Degrees - Studio Art and Art Education

Students majoring in art have several degree options. The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is the professional degree requiring 72 hours in art with an emphasis in one or a combination of the following: Painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, photography, drawing or design and digital media.

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Bachelor of Science (BS) requires 51 hours in art with an emphasis in one of the following: Painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, photography, drawing or design and digital media.

The BA also requires a competency in a foreign language through the intermediate level and the BS degree requires a minor in another discipline.

Art Education is offered as a BS degree in collaboration with the NDSU School of Education. A minimum of 122 credit hours are needed for graduation.


The new multimillion dollar James Falck Endowment for Visual Arts is part of a new suite of scholarships for incoming freshman and existing Visual Arts majors. Scholarships are awarded based on academic excellence and portfolio review. For more information contact the NDSU Department of Visual Arts at (701) 231-8818.

Sample Curriculum

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Credits        General Education Requirements
First Year Experience
1         UNIV. 189 - Skills for Academic Success
3         COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking
3, 3         ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II
3         English Upper Division Writing
3 Quantitative Reasoning
10 Science & Technology
Humanities & Fine Arts
3         ART 210 - Art History I
3         ART 211 - Art History II
6 Social & Behavioral Sciences
2 Wellness
- Cultural Diversity
- Global Perspective

College/Department Requirements
3 Humanities Elective(s)
3 Social Science Elective(s)
3 Fine Arts Elective

Major Requirements
3 ART 120 - Painting I
3 ART 122 - Two Dimensional Design
3 ART 124 - Three Dimensional Design
3 ART 131 - Foundations Drawing
3 ART 150 - Ceramics I
3 ART 160 - Sculpture I
3 ART 170 - Printmaking I
3 ART 180 - Photography I
3 ART 185 - Design and Digital Media I
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
6 ART 489 - Baccalaureate Project (2 times)
10 Art Studio Electives
18 Art Studio Emphasis Electives
6 Intermediate Studio Courses

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.

3   Art History/Art Appreciation Electives
15   Additional Art History/Studio Electives
18   Total

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 advisor 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: Wednesday, September 06, 2017 2:21:47 PM
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