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The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in art is a liberal arts degree program at Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) that provides students with a broad background in visual art through a highly creative, challenging and supportive learning environment. Students respond critically to visual culture in a variety of contexts and work both independently and collaboratively to develop thoughtful and reasoned outcomes through various mediums.

The Department of Art at MSU Denver is a vibrant, diverse community that is full of engaging options for its students. Here you will learn the traditional tools of art production and research as well as innovative approaches to art and design. The creative problem-solving and critical-thinking skills you acquire will be useful in a variety of career applications and can provide you with a solid foundation for lifelong learning.

Program Options

Students complete 27 semester hours in required art courses, 18 semester hours of art electives and 18–27 semester hours of courses toward a chosen minor. Other graduation requirements apply.

Students who begin in this program also can choose to go through a formal portfolio review process to qualify for application to one of our Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) programs.

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

The art department values inquiry and investigation and engages students in creative processes that support a holistic approach. Earning your BA in art from MSU Denver provides you with:

  • An unparalleled urban environment and a strong sense of community within the local art scene.
  • A liberal arts education grounded in contemporary practices, with an emphasis on broad learning.
  • Freedom to create artwork that goes beyond material objects; you can create experience.
  • Art history classes that are taught thematically, with content that is relatable and memorable.
  • Courses that keep social practice and sustainable design in mind and teach related techniques.
  • Optional internships that can prepare you for the realities of seeking a career.
  • The ability to articulate concepts visually, orally and in writing.
  • A jump-start on the research skills that are heavily relied upon in graduate programs.
  • Experienced, professional faculty who are dedicated to your success—and who will provide hands-on advising.
  • The most affordable BA in art program in Colorado and among the most affordable in the nation.

As an art student at MSU Denver, you’ll also have access to the university’s off-campus art gallery, the Center for Visual Art (CVA). In addition to showing significant contemporary art, the award-winning CVA serves as an interactive art laboratory for our students and the larger community.

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

four images, a student drawing, a dance student in the studio, students painting, and a gallery display

No matter what your ultimate career goals are, earning your BA in art at MSU Denver offers you the flexibility of diverse options as you train to become an innovative and creative professional.

Many careers make use of the skills and knowledge students acquire in an arts program. Commercial design and graphics, environmental design and architecture, education, business, museum work, gallery management, crafts and fine arts all offer an array of possibilities for art graduates.

Students seeking professional careers in communication design, art education and studio art should start in the BA in art program and submit a portfolio for entry into the BFA in art or the BFA in communication design program. There is also a degree program for a BA in art history, theory  and criticism. Some careers may require further education, apprenticeship training or certification.

Hear from our students:

“ A BA in art from MSU Denver creates a strong combination of studio art, liberal arts and freedom to tailor your degree to your interests through elective choices and inclusion of your choice of minor. I really enjoyed learning from faculty working in their field. The flexibility the BA allowed me while in school was great, as well as diversity of career options after graduating.”

—Devon Clay (BA in art and BA in history 2015)

Alumni at Work

Organizations that have hired MSU Denver art department graduates include IBM Design and ArtHaus. Other graduates have started successful business ventures of their own—like Big Kitchen Papers—or gone on to prestigious graduate programs, including those at Cornell University, Tufts University, the University of Colorado, the University of Denver and many more.

Sample Classes

students taking notes in class

The art department at MSU Denver offers a full range of course work, including art history, theory and criticism; ceramics; communication design; drawing, jewelry design and metalsmithing; painting; photography; printmaking and spatial media. Students may also choose course work from our interdisciplinary integrated media offerings, which include:

  • The Visual Journal
  • Video Art
  • The Artist’s Book
  • Electronics and Experimental Systems
  • Digital Fabrication
  • Pattern Networks
  • Art and the Everyday
  • Networks and Interactivity
  • Socially Engaged Art
  • Performance Art
  • Drawing in Space
  • Drawing Identity
  • Painting and New Contexts
  • Variable Topics in
  • Integrated Media
  • Installation Art
  • Cinema as Visual Art
  • Design Media
  • Creative Computation
  • Creating Web Interfaces
  • Narrative Design
  • Community-Based Design
  • User Interface Design

Program Accreditation

The degree programs in the Department of Art at MSU Denver are fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

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