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Art Degree Options

Art Course Descriptions | Faculty and Staff | MSSU Spiva Art Gallery

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Become a designer, art teacher or studio artist

The Art Department provides a solid foundation in basic visual skills and the manipulative and conceptual abilities necessary to create works of art, followed by a flexible, individually tailored studio program. Students become a trained artist who will become a professional designer, teacher, or studio artist able to create objects and images spanning a broad selection of media and techniques. Elective courses in art appreciation, art history, and studio art broadens awareness and knowledge of the arts of the past and the present.

Solid Academics

The MSSU General Education and the Art Department curriculum feature eight of the ten best practices that improve student academic outcomes as documented in the 2008 Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) Publication, High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter, by George D. Kuh.

  • Capstone course (senior exhibit)
  • Common intellectual experiences (Art Exhibits and Visiting Artists, Common UE 100 Reader, Themed Semesters)
  • First-Year Seminar (FYE UE 100)
  • Global learning (art history courses, themed semester, UE 100, foreign languages, and study abroad programming)
  • Internships
  • (creative) Research
  • Service Learning (art education)
  • Writing-intensive courses (art history)

Required courses for all art majors

As an art major, you must complete 18 hours of Art Foundation courses such as Art Theory, Color Theory and Basic Drawing.

Rigorous assessment practices

Art majors undergo three important assessments:

  • Foundation Review: After you complete the Art Foundation courses, you must present a portfolio of your coursework to the art faculty. This review is as an opportunity for the art faculty to review your academic and artistic progress. Also, for students wanting to pursue a B.F.A. in Studio Art, the Foundation Review is the entrance examination for enrollment into the B.F.A. program.
  • Junior Review: During your Junior year, you must submit an essay and have a formal meeting with the department faculty to present a prepared visual presentation of your art coursework. You must pass this Junior Review to be eligible to enroll in Senior Exhibit.
  • Senior Exhibit: A capstone course that culminates in a formal exhibition of your artwork to the public.

Involvement opportunities help to further develop your creativity

As an MSSU art student, additional training and inspiring experiences are available to further develop your creativity and your connection to culture, including study abroad opportunities, internships, and student groups.

Art Department

Christine Bentley
Department Chair, Department of Art
Associate Professor of Art
Fine Arts Room 205
3950 E. Newman Rd.
Joplin MO 64801-1595
Office: 417.625.3066