Career Outlook
Average Salary
Projected Regional Growth
  • Advertising Designer
  • Animator
  • Art Director
  • Brand Specialist
  • Concept Designer
  • Content Creator
  • Creative Director
  • Illustrator
  • Motion Graphics Specialist
  • Visual Marketing

For individuals who

Want to work in the creative industry, especially graphic design, animation, user experience, photography, education and studio arts.  

Looking for

Opportunities to build a wide range of creative skill sets. Real-world opportunities from virtual reality design to running a letter press. 

To become

  • Art Educator
  • Graphic Designer
  • Photographer
  • Studio Artist
  • UX/UI Designer

The Visual Arts Department at North Dakota State University is part of the School of Design, Architecture and Art. The Department offers a broad range of degree programs from art emphasis areas in graphic design, painting, printmaking, ceramics, drawing, sculpture, photography and art education. It provides a wide range of courses with the philosophy that a strong foundation in the development of creative strategy, digital literacy, design ability, critical thinking and art/design historical awareness will prepare our students for the art and design world today.


With a vibrant major and minor program, the Visual Arts Department brings together students from every college in the University. As a primary career specialization, or as a complement to another major field, art and design is one of the most versatile areas of study. Housing in one of the finest facilities in the upper Midwest for art and design, the department is home to ten professional artists/designers/scholars who teach every class we offer. We are an undergraduate program only, and are focused on the individual attention, modest class sizes and high quality advising for our undergraduate students.


Renaissance Hall, state-of-the-art facility located in downtown Fargo houses the Department of Visual Arts. The building provides well-equipped studio facilities for graphic design, drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and expanded media and ceramics. Our new digital media lab has been equipped with the most current output devices and the program has access to A second digital media studio, LAAVA Lab, provides a design thinking gathering space with high tech tools including CNC, 3D printing, 3D ceramic printing, laser cutting and virtual reality facilities. The print shop houses several etching and litho presses as well as facilities for letterpress and silkscreen printing. The ceramic student is well equipped with three gas kilns and a wood burning kiln, clay mixing facilities and 25 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 Renaissance Hall and has a partnership with the Memorial Union Gallery on main campus. 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 teaching community is composed of Department Chair and Director of the School, Michael Strand, Kimble Bromley, David Swenson, Meghan Duda, Andrew Stark, Eric Syvertson, Jeff Knight as well as Affiliated faculty members who work directly with out students, Dr. Elizabeth Crisp Crawford (Advertising), Anthony Faris (Gallery Director and Capstone Instructor), Amanda Heidt (Artist Researcher), Aaron Yang, (Ph.D candidate and UX/UI instructor). Our faculty are involved in the practices at local, regional and International levels with the approach that being engaged at a high level in production makes for better instruction. Supporting this community is a professional staff including Administrative Assistant, Kelly Todd and Design Technologist, Ben Bernard. The art faculty prides itself in being very accessible to students at all times for individual consultation and critique.


The Printmaking Education and Research Studio (PEARS) is the research arm of the Department. PEARS has transformed into a community research and printmaking advocacy studio. This program looks for ways to intersect the printmaking process across disciplines within the school and campus. Additionally PEARS serves the Land Grant mission of engagement with communities in a variety of ways through workshops and unique programming. The program also offers artist residencies, internships and studio rentals to qualified artists and promotes sales and exhibition of artwork produced in the studio.


Art and Design students develop a range of skills from creative strategy to technical proficiency. These skills are broadly applicable to careers in many different disciplines. Potential careers include marketing, advertising, illustration, graphic design, user experience specialist, animation, arts marketing, art historian, commercial photography, museum and gallery work, exhibition design, art therapy, professional studio artist, municipal art programs, art criticism, independent art instruction, industrial design, art media research, arts organizations, university instruction and K-12 education.


With an early emphasis on technology and skills relevant in the 21st century, all students graduating from Visual Arts have a background in design. From this foundation, students select tracks including: K-12 education, graphic design/illustration, printmaking, painting, photography, ceramics, sculpture and drawing. The program offers a highly flexible and personal approach to each student’s development. The middle of the program focuses on developing a portfolio strong enough to apply for the capstone experience which is either 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 College of Science offers students access to specialized courses not offered in the NDSU art curriculum.


Students majoring in art have several degree options. The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is the professional degree requiring 75 hours in art with an emphasis in one or a combination of the following: graphic design, painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, photography or drawing.

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the Bachelor of Science (BS) requires 57 hours in art with an emphasis in one of the following: graphic design, illustration, painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, photography or drawing.

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 120 credit hours are needed for graduation.


The multi-million 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 or email


The art minor is flexible with an emphasis on depth over breadth which serves to “compliment” a students major. This flexibility allows a student to choose a path that suits their educational goals. For instance, a graphic design emphasis in a student's minor program would be an ideal compliment to many fields, including marketing, advertising, business, architecture and engineering.