Art Department

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Majors and Minors

Bachelor of Art Education

The underlying philosophy of the program is that of the artist-teacher: meaning an art education student will become a better teacher when they can draw on their strengths and insight as an artist. For these reasons art education students at Viterbo focus first on their own creative productivity, at some point developing a special interest in a particular area of artmaking. Art education students go through much the same rigor that a studio art major would undertake, first by completing a year of foundations drawing, design, and art history. Every art major takes this sequence of beginning courses. We assume that everyone in the art education program is an artist and has an interest in the history of art. Our aim is to produce future teachers who are confident as both artists and teachers. Not all programs have a foundations sequence that prepares all art majors for a major in studio art, art education, or graphic design One advantage of our foundations program is that all freshman art majors can change their major easily within the first year between art education, graphic design, and studio art.

Although we have a studio classroom for art education, Viterbo students spend much of their time out of the classroom, in the community, and in schools. We are involved in many hands-on teaching experiences. Students at Viterbo learn to teach by practicing teaching in art education courses designed specifically for the art education major. Some schools put all of the education majors (art majors and non-art majors) together in art methods courses. They are often large lecture classes without the opportunities we have as a small group. For instance, our art education students teach an eight-week art course in the Viterbo Afterschool Art Workshop for children ages 5-12 years. This program draws approximately 50 children from area schools every fall semester. In addition to this, art education students go into middle and high schools and other community art centers as visiting artists, conducting workshops and showing their work. These hands-on teaching experiences, that take place long before a student does their final semester of student teaching, encourages Viterbo students to build upon a philosophy of teaching and making art. By the end of a student's education at Viterbo they have built relationships to the wider community and K-12 area schools. 
[Degree requirements]

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art

With concentrations in:

  • Design
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
  • Ceramics
  • Interdisciplinary Media
  • Pre-Art Therapy
  • The B.A. program is a liberal arts degree with an emphasis in studio art (up to 61 credits in studio art), and is suitable for students interested in becoming professional artists, applying to graduate schools in art (M.A. and M.F.A. programs), or working in related fields.
  • The B.F.A. is an honors program that provides further concentration in studio art and is the preferred degree for application to M.F.A. programs. Admission to the B.F.A. program (up to 85 credits in studio art) is granted on submission of a body of work during or after the second semester of the sophomore year. Admission criteria include quality, cohesion, and personal direction.

In the first year students take an 18-credit art foundations program combining drawing, 2D and 3D design, color studies, and a survey of art history. They then go on to take further art courses, culminating in independent studio work in which they are encouraged to develop a personal direction. B.F.A. students select a concentration in one of the following areas: ceramics, design, drawing, interdisciplinary media, painting, photography, pre-art therapy, printmaking, or sculpture. At the completion of their degree program, studio art majors exhibit their work in Viterbo's gallery.
[Degree requirements]

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Arts Administration

Viterbo University offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Arts Administration through the Department of Theatre and Music Theatre. This interdisciplinary degree program prepares arts advocates with excellent leadership, managerial, and administrative skills, grounded in a respect and appreciation for all of the fine and performing arts. The strengths of the Viterbo School of Fine Arts' performing and visual arts departments, and those of the Dahl School of Business, are combined with the many activities in the magnificent Viterbo University Fine Arts Center to provide an exceptional learning environment and opportunities for the arts administration major. 
[Degree requirements]

Art Therapy, Pre-Professional Program

The Viterbo University pre-art therapy program provides students with a strong foundation at the baccalaureate level that helps them prepare for graduate studies in art therapy and art in communities. Students in the pre-art therapy program declare an undergraduate major in art, and after the first semester of their sophomore year, apply to the BFA program in Studio Art with a concentration in pre-art therapy. The pre-art therapy program at Viterbo University has three philosophic purposes: to mentor students in art theory and practice; to prepare students to make meaningful choices concerning their career path in art therapy and art in community settings; and to prepare students academically for successful entry into an accredited art therapy program. Entry into an art therapy program requires students to have completed specific course requirements and a studio portfolio.
[Degree requirements]

Art Minor

Arts Administration Minor

Post-baccalaureate in Art Education


A list of courses is available through the Searchable Course Catalog.