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Grand Valley State University    
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Sep 20, 2018
2011-2012 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Art and Design - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  section in this catalog.

Chair: Jenkins. Professors: Henke, Jenkins, Seley, Thomas, Wong-Ligda; Associate Professors: Colley, Danielson, Eggers, Fisher, Hosterman, Keister, Lee, Strom, Viviano, Weis, Wittenbraker, Zaszlavik,  Zettle-Sterling; Assistant Professors: Bradford, Campbell, Chen, Gopalakrishnan, King. Affiliate Professor: Keister. Visiting Assistant Professors: Greene, Ingold.


The Department of Art and Design offers courses in studio art, art education and art history with degree programs leading to a B.A. or B.S. degree in studio art, a B.F.A. degree in studio art with an emphasis in ceramics, graphic design, illustration, jewelry and metalsmithing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, or visual studies, a B.A. or B.S. degree in art education and a B.A. in art history. Also available are minors in studio art and in art history. The degree programs in Art and Design combine intensive studio training in the visual arts with a liberal arts education. The programs are designed to support students’ acquisition of conceptual and technical skills while fostering their awareness of current issues, theoretical frameworks, as well as the historical and cultural contexts for art production.  Under the guidance of an art and design advisor, students may choose either a generalized program in studio art, an art education degree leading to teaching certification, an art history degree, or a focused program (B.F.A.) preparing them for entry into a specific profession such as graphic design or illustration. They may also prepare for a career as an independent artist or for entry into graduate school.

Course work is augmented by field trips, a campus exhibition program, visiting artists, and international programs. Internships and independent study also enhance coursework, especially in graphic design, where off-campus field experience is required.

Because of current enrollments in art, non-art majors can only be admitted to selected art studio classes.


Admission to Grand Valley State University does not guarantee access or admission to the programs offered by the Department of Art and Design. Once a student has been admitted to Grand Valley and, most importantly, declares an interest in pursuing any of the art programs listed in the admissions materials, a packet explaining the portfolio entrance process is mailed directly to the student. The student is then responsible for following the instructions in the packet. In addition, the highly popular programs of graphic design and illustration are secondary admit programs.  More information regarding application for admission is available online.

Transfer Students

  • Admittance to the department and all transfer credit will be by departmental portfolio review only, both for newly admitted and current Grand Valley students. Contact the department for application information and specific details. Transfer students should bring the results of this review as well as the transfer credit statement from admissions with them at the time they register so they can be advised about advanced placement.
  • Transfer students are required to take a minimum of 15 art credits within the department, including one art history course.
  • Transfer students may take longer to graduate in the B.F.A. or art education programs because of the high number of professional courses required in those programs and the sequencing necessary for skill development.

Art and Design admission details and application packets are available at


The department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Career Opportunities 

A major in studio art provides students with the foundation for careers working as artists and teachers in arts organizations and museums. The program also builds the transferable skills of critical thinking, communication, and problem solving that are necessary for professional careers outside of the arts.

Student Organizations (

The Department of Art and Design has several arts related groups organized by students and faculty. Representing a variety of interests, these activities are open to majors and non-majors alike. 

AIGA: The Professional Association for Design
This is a student chapter of the national organization for designers. AIGA offers a resource for the discussion of design, educational programs, and opportunities to attend national conferences.

C.C.A.: Contemporary Ceramics Association
This group seeks to educate and stimulate a passion for the arts at GVSU by building awareness for and understanding of the ceramic arts. They regularly attend national conference, sponsor workshops, as well as work with civic projects.

S.E.A.S.: The Society for Experimental Artistic Services 
This student group promotes an experiential role for the visual arts in contemporary society through public service, public scholarship, and projects that engage with the community.


The following programs are available:

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Art Education  

Bachelor of Arts in Art History  

Art History Minor  

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Studio Art  

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art  

Studio Art Minor