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Programs

The Department of Art at Metropolitan State University of Denver is a vibrant, diverse environment full of options for students interested in pursuing a degree in a creative field.

Whether you are interested in being a professional artist, designer, educator, researcher, or creative entrepreneur, you will learn traditional tools of art production and research as well as innovative approaches to art and design. Students at MSU Denver respond critically to visual culture in a variety of contexts and work independently and collaboratively to develop thoughtful and reasoned outcomes. No matter what your ultimate career goals are, the degrees in the Department of Art at MSU Denver offer you the flexibility of diverse options as you train to become an innovative creative professional.

Major and Minor Degree Programs

Professional Degree Programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Art

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art prepares students to be critical, creative thinkers and makers. Students often become practicing artists who exhibit their work in galleries both near and abroad and might continue their research in graduate studies. Whatever your final career choice, the skills of the B.F.A. are appropriate for careers throughout the creative economy.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art is interdisciplinary.  Students select an emphasis of 9 credits in ceramics, drawing, jewelry, painting, photography, printmaking, or sculpture, and 6 credits in a complementary area.  If the emphasis is in a two-dimensional area, the complementary area would be one of the three-dimensional areas; if the emphasis is in a three-dimensional area, the complementary area would be one of the two-dimensional areas.  Students also take at least 15 credits in interdisciplinary integrated media coursework.

Consistent with the Department of Art, student learning outcomes are designed around three assessable themes: research, execution, and articulation.

In the B.F.A. in Art, instruction should prepare students to:

  • make artworks that show evidence of intellectual inquiry and curiosity;
  • convey ideas that are consistently reinforced through the execution of cohesive work(s) that are the result of the process of making;
  • use effective and eloquent oral, written, and visual communication of enduring ideas.

 

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Art Education

Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Art Education concentration fuses a progressive 21st century approach in the discipline of Art Education with your development as an artist. Within the discipline of Art Education, students focus on generative, authentic, contextualized exploration where inquiry is driven by socially engaged research and contemporary art practices. You will learn how to apply issues and themes poetically, building curriculum to discover the possibilities of what it means to instruct through an idea versus about an idea. As a future artist-teacher, you will put into practice informed research while working in the K-12 classroom. Combining artistic practice, educational studies, and field experience as an educator, you will be prepared to bring about creative change in the world through the lives of your students.

In addition to the learning outcomes listed for the BFA in Art, instruction in the Art Education degree should prepare students to:

  • Successfully teach in an art classroom applying and testing principles and methods of diverse age appropriate instructional approaches and curriculum development that illustrates respect and professionalism for the field of teaching.
  • Assess aptitudes, experiential backgrounds and interests of individuals and diverse groups of students, and devise learning experiences to meet assessed needs.
  • Develop and present a professional portfolio of work including lesson plans, examples of student work and an art education philosophy statement that demonstrates current best practices in the field.

 

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Communication Design

MSU Denver’s Communication Design program challenges students to become informed, thinking designers. Through specific course work that fuses semantics, pragmatics and syntactics, students discover how to design for the people and contexts that require communication while learning to craft effective and culturally appropriate messages in a broad range of design media. The program positions five pedagogical pillars as significant to our mission: making meaning, furthering function, pursuing process, mediating messages, and fostering form. These pillars are underscored by a contemporary practice that integrates design fundamentals with emerging media, research, and history/theory.

Consistent with the Department of Art, student learning outcomes are designed around three assessable themes: research, execution, and articulation.

Graduating students earning the B.F.A. in Communication Design should be able to:

  • show evidence of intellectual inquiry and curiosity in design research;
  • convey ideas that are consistently reinforced through the execution of cohesive work(s) that are the result of the process of making;
  • effectively articulate oral, written and visual design processes and concepts.

 

Portfolio Review and Admission

All students entering the department as majors are admitted under either the B.A. in Art or the B.A. in Art History, Theory and Criticism. After completing the foundation courses and one other course in ART, CDES, or ARTH, those wishing to pursue the B.F.A. in Art, the B.F.A. in Art Education, or the B.F.A. in Communication Design will be required to pass a formal portfolio review for admittance.

Portfolio Review Guidelines

Portfolio Review Rubric

 

Liberal Arts Degree Programs

Bachelor of Arts in Art (BA)

The Bachelor of Arts in Art is a liberal arts degree that provides students with an opportunity to gain a broad background in visual art. As a student in this program, you will select a minor that complements your studies in Art. Through this degree program, you will learn creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills useful in a variety of career applications and personal aspirations toward lifelong learning.

Consistent with the Department of Art, student learning outcomes are designed around three assessable themes: research, execution, and articulation.

Graduating students earning the B.A. in Art liberal arts degree should be able to:

  • Select, evaluate and apply appropriate research resources to develop and support their ideas.
  • Apply creative processes to the design and completion of works of art that communicate compelling ideas.
  • Clearly synthesize ideas about visual art in verbal form.

 

Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Theory and Criticism (BA)

The Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Theory and Criticism provides students with a well‐rounded liberal arts education suitable for a variety of careers including, but not limited to, galleries and museums. It also prepares students for graduate studies in art history, theory and criticism and advanced scholarly research.

Consistent with the Department of Art, student learning outcomes are designed around three assessable themes: research, theory and methodology (execution), and articulation.

Graduating students earning the B.A. in Art History, Theory and Criticism liberal arts degree should be able to:

  • Locate and synthesize a range of scholarly sources of sufficient breadth and depth to thoroughly investigate an art historical problem.
  • Apply appropriate art historical methods and theoretical frameworks to analyze an art historical problem.
  • Develop and support a clear, logical thesis derived from an art historical study that is eloquently articulated in both oral and written formats.

 

Licensure

The Department of Art offers a licensure program in K-12 Art Education.

Minors

Minors are offered in Studio Art, Art History, Theory and Critcism, and, in cooperation with the Departments of Communication Arts and Sciences, and Journalism and Technical Communication, Digital Media. 

 

Accreditation

The Department of Art programs are fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). MSU Denver is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Teacher Education Programs are also accredited by the Colorado State Board of Education (CSBE) and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

 

Galleries

The Center for Visual Art (CVA), located in the Santa Fe Arts District, is the off-campus exhibition space of Metropolitan State University of Denver. In addition to showing significant contemporary art, the award-winning CVA serves as an interactive art laboratory for MSU Denver students and the larger community. The CVA was founded in 1990 to expose students to a broad spectrum of contemporary art from around the globe and to broaden MSU Denver’s art program.

The Emmanuel Gallery, located on the Auraria Campus, exhibits work from renowned visual artists and designers in addition to faculty and student practitioners from MSU Denver, University of Colorado at Denver, and Community College of Denver.

 

Visiting Artist, Scholar and Designer Program

This interdisciplinary initiative brings nationally and internationally renowned artists, designers, and scholars to engage with the Department of Art. Through lectures, workshops, student critiques, exhibitions, and public presentations, these individuals provide intellectually enriching experiences for our students, faculty, and the broader community.

 

Department Policies

The Department of Art provides students on a semester basis with syllabus policies regarding mandatory-first-week attendance, registration, withdrawal, accommodations, and student conduct. Students may also refer to the University Catalog, Student Handbook, the Department of Art FAQ, and Notes in the Class Schedule for policies. 


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