This major offers a comprehensive approach to studio art, photography and graphic design. Students may immerse them­selves in a variety of traditional and contemporary media, taught by practicing artists with local, national and international professional experience. Learning takes place in a state-of-the-art facility that’s unmatched in the region, offering dedicated spaces for a variety of media such as ceramics, digital arts, graphic design, photography, printmaking, studio arts, video editing and woodshop.

Classes are small (usually ranging from 8–15 students), giving each student the opportunity to develop enriching educational relationships with classmates and professors. The Art & Design department emphasizes the importance of blending the faculty’s professional experience with the students’ understanding of contemporary aesthetics and their development of ambitious studio practice.

Art & Design students will:

  • Gain an understanding of the visual arts in relation to culture and history
  • Be introduced to historical and contemporary artistic and design practices
  • Learn in an environment that fosters critical thinking
  • Use facilities that are current with industry standards


  • Graphic Design: Addresses a traditional design core coupled with digital, portfolio, and seminar courses for preparation to work as a design professional.
  • Photography: Designed to secure students introductory to upper level knowledge in photography application, practices, history, and theory. The primary goal of this concentration is to prepare the student for a career in a photography related position.
  • Studio Art: Equips students with a sound foundation for entry into a graduate program or a career as an artist.
  • Visual Arts Education Major: Prepares students to be licensed to teach art. Open only to students who are also pursuing a Professional Educator License. The major is jointly administered by the College of Education and the Art & Design department.


  • Art & Design
  • Fine Arts History
  • Photography


The University of St. Francis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, a regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.


USF has given me an unforgettable experience. Faculty members have allowed me to grow both intellectually and as a person. Each professor has supported me and my goals, and was more than willing to help me achieve anything I set my mind to. I was pushed and motivated to learn, grow, and become a better person. This incredible support system has surrounded me with an incredible group of colleagues, mentors, and friends.”
–Autumn Lee

What Can You Do With This Degree?

If you’re creative and imaginative, the sky’s the limit with a degree in art and design. The art and design staff at the University of St. Francis has been successful in preparing students for careers as traditional and new media artists, traditional graphic designers, web designers, commercial photographers, fine art photographers, and kindergarten to 12th grade art teachers. With the right complementary courses, those interested in the administrative side of things could plan and organize arts-related events, or work in arts management. There are additional endless opportunities in fields such as media, marketing, communications, public relations, and more.

Grow Through Real-World Experience

Faculty members work with junior and senior students to locate and secure challenging internship opportunities—especially in the graphic design and photography fields. Student also have the opportunity to work with USF’s art gallery director to gain important curatorial and art-preparation skills, or to serve as student workers, who further develop important technical skills such as framing, matting, painting, equipment maintenance, software maintenance and more. In addition, upper level studio art majors have access to work studios that allow them to develop serious work in an environment that prepares the individual for graduate studies or to work in the fine arts industry.

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