Areas of Study

Students creating art

The Department of Visual Art + Design offers a Bachelor of Arts in Art (BA) degree program. This program is designed for students who seek a bachelors degree and desire a career in Art, as well as for the students who wish to add aesthetic study to their preparation for careers.

A student's first year is typically devoted to the Foundations curriculum. These courses incorporate a broad overview of the art historical canon; a thorough study of two-dimensional design including principles of visual organization and color theory; a study of three-dimensional design that examines the relationships between form and space; and a firm grounding in drawing from observation and from the figure. Through the foundation series of courses, students acquire the common body of knowledge and skills that will allow for their further growth as artists and prepare them for more advanced studies in Studio Art, Art History or Art Education. 

Students have the option of selecting a specific concentration area with which to become deeply engaged or to choose up to three areas to explore artistically. Both options are further enhanced with art history courses and additional studio electives, while students also take a full compliment of liberal art courses throughout the university. Students complete their experience by preparing a senior project and developing a coherent body of personal work under the supervision of a faculty mentor. 

Within their chosen area, students develop a sustained relationship with a faculty mentor who will guide them through the program. While students are expected to show growth and focus within their artistic medium, they are not limited exclusively to it. Many students benefit from the cross-disciplinary perspectives, and faculty provide encouragement toward interaction and open dialogue among areas.

 Art Education


Art Education

Art Education is offered jointly by the Department of Visual Art + Design and the College of Education Our program emphasizes the importance of being an artist as well as a teacher. Coursework prepares students to become competent in studio practice, art history, art criticism, the theoretical knowledge of teaching, and the practical skills necessary to become proficient art teachers.

Students also choose one studio area in which to specialize. Through applied teaching, students learn how to plan lessons and develop interdisciplinary and multicultural curricula based on national and state learning standards for the visual arts while examining the practical, social, and political aspects of contemporary art education.

Art History

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The Art History concentration provides students with the foundation to pursue a graduate degree in art history, arts administration, art education, museum studies, or to establish a career in an art gallery, a museum, or an auction house.In the introductory courses students develop a solid understanding of significant artists, monuments, and art historical periods. Students are encouraged to remain object-oriented in their formal examination of an art work while understanding the work within its historical context.

In their coursework, students develop the ability to properly analyze, discuss, and describe works of arts. Along with providing an in-depth look at the artistic production of specific time periods or themes, upper-level classes focus on improving students' writing and research skills and introduce them to a variety of methodological approaches as preparation for a career in the field.



Ceramics embraces several directions in clay: pottery, sculpture, tile mosaics, and other specialty interest areas. Early studio courses focus on methods of hand building, wheel throwing, and mold work, as well as basic glaze chemistry and application. Students also learn to use decorative techniques, and studio maintenance. As students become more advanced, traditional and experimental techniques such glaze mixing, clays, slips and kiln firing are explored.

Students may concentrate exclusively in throwing or hand-building. Our ceramics facility includes areas for throwing, hand building, and ceramic sculpture. There is also a completely stocked glaze laboratory, clay-mixing equipment, and a patio with kilns for electric, gas, raku, salt, and pit firing.



The Drawing course sequence introduces students to a wide range of traditional and contemporary practices in studio art. Pictorial concerns addressing form, spatial conventions, and composition are taught in conjunction with contemporary issues such as, invented worlds, the human figure as a means to explore content, and experimental approaches to materials and process. The Drawing area is part of the core foundations program as well as an avenue for advanced study in Studio Art. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Art degree in Visual Art with Drawing as their focus, either as an area of emphasis, or as part of the combined concentration in Painting & Drawing.

Drawing shares its concentration with Painting in order to broaden students' understanding of the rich exchange of approaches between the two mediums. Together with Painting, the Drawing area offers a significant amount of advanced coursework in order to provide students with a variety of processes, techniques and perspectives, both conceptual and formal. Facilities include well-lighted studios and a comprehensive digital lab. Indoor project spaces are dedicated to installation, performance, or other exhibition use as needed.



Foundations is the gateway for all students into the Art + Design Program. The Foundation experience leads students toward an awareness and understanding of basic artistic and design-based principles, skills, and working methods all of which are fundamental to the student's future life as an artist or creative professional. The foundations core includes ART 111, 112, 151, 152, and 153.

In these courses, students are introduced to a variety of media and technologies including 2-D and 3-D design, color theory, and drawing. This broad-based approach encourages students to explore a wide range of media so that they are more fully prepared to succeed in the area of their choice. A blend of traditional art making practices along with an introduction to digital approaches is provided and is central to the Foundation Program experience.

Graphic Design


The Graphic Design program offers a Bachelor of Arts Concentration Degree in Graphic Design that has an enrollment of over two hundred students. This course of study is built on a professional graphic design practice level emphasizing creative problem solving and industry standard digital procedures to prepare the student for this industry.

Students take courses that investigate the study of Typography, Logo Design and Publication Design, Package and Label Design, Internet Design, the History of Graphic Design, and Senior Projects where the assembly of their portfolio (both traditional and electronic) and the self-identity branding is developed for the entry into the field. Our Graphic Design Internship Program has been in existence for over sixteen years and has placed hundreds of students in the Graphic Design industry where they earn college credit. This required course also serves to network the student for future employment in the industry after graduation.

Additional courses within the curriculum are offered in Motion and Interactive and Environmental Design to broaden the scope of capabilities for our Graphic Design students. Innovative and creative research through a multitude of problem-solving methods is practiced in this Graphic Design program. Our lab facility provides technology for all students with the latest in industry standard professional software, twenty-two networked Macintosh workstations with a projection demonstration workstation, digital cameras, Wacom drawing tablets, and five printers that include full-color laser tabloid and large format printers.

There are open lab hours with a scheduled technical lab monitor throughout the week and weekend that allows for students to have access to the equipment outside of class. Graphic Design Alumni at Southeastern are actively working in this industry in printing companies, web design firms, and advertising agencies throughout the United States in cities including Seattle, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Florida, Washington DC, New York City, New Orleans, and Europe.

New Media & Animation

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New Media and Animation focuses on fine arts and experimental approaches to studio practices. Students work with a variety of methods within a framework that includes the history and theory of New Media in connection with contemporary and traditional art practices. Coursework introduces digital imaging, 2D Animation, and internet technologies.

Advanced Studies include an exploration of 3D Computer Graphics, 2D and 3D Animation, 2D and 3D Interactive Multimedia, Rapid Prototyping, Digital Video, Sound Design, and emerging computer art technologies. In all levels of coursework, students are encouraged to explore media and materials outside of their focus and discover ways to integrate digital technologies into those disciplines.

The New Media and Animation Lab provides students with professional software packages and access to networked workstations, 3D print systems, large-format color printers, and numerous computer peripherals.



Infused with tradition and activated by contemporary ideas, the painting curriculum is based on the development of strong craftsmanship, using a wide range of techniques and approaches. The painting program affirms and nurtures the creative spirit of each student while providing knowledge, structure and discipline.

Students are encouraged to experiment and explore innovative ideas and approaches as they develop their own unique style. Technical skills in painting, color, and pictorial composition through extensive studio work in oils, acrylics, watercolor, and non-traditional media are also developed. Facilities include well-lighted studios and a comprehensive digital lab. Indoor project spaces are dedicated to installation, performance, or other exhibition use as needed.



Photography examines the techniques, aesthetics, history and contemporary concepts surrounding the ever-changing medium. Introductory assignments are designed to help each student develop their own style, understand their work in a cultural and fine art context, and become visually literate makers and consumers of images.

Coursework gives students a comprehensive skill set, from digital capture and large-format inkjet printing to traditional black and white practices, studio lighting, bookmaking, and advanced post-production. Our program focuses on the generation of conceptual ideas in synthesis with technology, guiding seniors to create self-generated capstone projects under the guidance of faculty mentorship.

Students graduate with real world skills, prepared for a future in fine art, editorial, and commercial photography. Our facility includes spacious darkrooms, a shooting studio, and a computer lab equipped with industry-standard software. Equipment includes digital, small, medium, and large-format cameras, professional lighting, and large-format inkjet printers.



Printmaking explores the aesthetics, nature and process of the printed image. The sequence of courses expose students to a multitude of traditional and contemporary processes such as woodcut, monotype, intaglio, serigraphy, and relief as well as photolithography, photo silkscreen, photopolymer, and photo etching. Students accumulate a broad range of printmaking knowledge and skills before deciding on an individual artistic specialization.

Our print shop features two presses and has a fully equipped and ventilated etching area, solvent area, and aquatint box. Students have access to a dedicated computer lab complete with a postscript laser printer and a large format inkjet printer for contemporary hybrid print exploration.



Sculpture involves three-dimensional experimentation with forms and ideas, materials and techniques. Our program embraces traditional media and concept based experimental media as important parts of contemporary art. Students receive instruction in modeling, metal casting, welding, plastics fabrication, stone and wood fabrication, and mixed media applications.

In addition to sculpture courses, students have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of 3D modeling and engage in electronic means of sculpture production. The spacious facility includes areas for metal fabrication and welding, carving/ pneumatics, sandblasting, and metal casting as well as a state-of-the-art wood shop. An outdoor project space is dedicated to installation, performance, or other use as needed.