Department of Art & Design


Student art on the walls in the drawing studio
Department of Art & Design


  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Undergraduate

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

125 credits

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

Prepare for a career in studio production while developing your creative process and techniques. You'll explore a variety of media, including drawing, ceramics, printmaking, sculpting, and painting. You'll also study concepts in art history, aesthetics, and art criticism.

Art may be the right degree for you if you have:

  • a flair for creativity
  • enjoy working with your hands
  • want to show your talents to the world

Why study art at Northwestern?

Faith is the foundation of who we are and it fuels what we do. God’s creative work in our lives gives us the confidence to use our struggles as inspiration, to fuel our creative fire and point back to Him. You can learn how the joy, hardships, and discovery in your faith can produce remarkable results in your own work.

We have facilities available for you to explore your creative side. Our department houses a drawing classroom, ceramics studio, painting studio, and a design lab. You may feature your art in the student gallery for the public to view. Faculty, who are artists themselves, encourage you to compile samples of your work for a professional portfolio to show prospective clients and employers.

With campus so close to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, students can take advantage of opportunities in Minnesota’s thriving art and business industries. Other opportunities include field trips to major art and design centers, like the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Swedish Institute to view others’ work and be inspired.

If you have a flair for creativity, enjoy working with your hands, and want to show your talents to the world, this might be the right degree for you.

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Careers in art

There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in art.

What types of work are related to this degree?

  • Textile design
  • Sculpting, painting, creating art
  • Fashion artist
  • Costume design
  • Floral design
  • Photography or photojournalism
  • Museum technician or conservator
  • Makeup artist
  • Art display designer
  • Merchandise display designer
  • Police sketch artist (forensic artist)
  • Art restoration
  • Studio owner
  • Illustrating/medical illustrating
  • Private art instructor
  • Art sales or gallery management

Who employs people with this degree?

  • Many are self-employed
  • Museums and galleries
  • Local historical societies
  • Craft guilds, arts associations
  • Retail establishments
  • Newspapers and publishing houses
  • Design companies
  • Advertising /public relations firms
  • Photo agencies, studios
  • Commercial firms and corporations
  • Libraries and universities
  • Public and private schools
  • Non-profit agencies
  • Prisons and rehabilitation centers
  • Hospitals and nursing homes
  • Fashion and interior design firms
  • Recreational and after school programs

Strategies for success:

  • Take coursework (or minor) and gain experience in marketing, business, sales, history, writing or computer technology if the idea of being self-employed is appealing to you. The US Department of Labor reports that 62% of artists are self-employed.
  • Develop excellent technical and computer skills in a variety of platforms and design software to complement your artistic skills and give employment flexibility.
  • Save artwork (and a photographic record of artwork) for a strong portfolio – too much is better than too little. Keep your portfolio both digitally and physically.
  • A bachelor’s degree is valuable for entry-level positions, but an advanced degree is usually necessary to attain competitive, upper-level positions.
  • An art degree can and should be tailored to areas of specialization.
View Career Guide

of art graduates felt professionally prepared by their education


of seniors believe the faculty are genuinely interested in their welfare


of seniors grew in their relationship with God during their time at Northwestern

What will I learn?

You will develop an appreciation for aesthetics, become detail oriented, and learn to solve problems.

Still have questions about this program or how to apply?

Our team is ready with answers!

Discover the Department of Art & Design

Professors at Northwestern are focused on their students first. Our faculty include experts in their respective fields who want to help you grow in your faith while you earn your degree.

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