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Degree Information

Whether you envision yourself building a professional studio practice, pursing a career in graphic design, teaching art at a primary or secondary school, or exploring a world of art history, we're ready to help you reach your goals. With programs that vary in length and concentration, the WKU Department of Art & Design supports and challenges students along a variety of life-enriching paths.

Whatever path you choose, you will be working with energetic art professionals who have gained national and international recognition in their respective fields. Join us, and meet visiting artists, designers, and scholars, show your work in professonal exhibitions, travel with us to conferences, and stretch your mind on study-abroad programs around the globe!

"Our department offers three majors: the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Visual Arts, a professional arts degree; the Bachelor of Arts (AB) in Visual Studies, a liberal arts degree; and the Bachelor of Arts (AB) in Art History."

BFA in Visual Arts

BFA in Visual Arts (514)

The BFA in Visual Arts (514) is a professional arts degree, with concentrations in Animation, Graphic Design, Studio, and UX (User Experience). This degree requires 79 credit hours of Art, Design, Animation, and/or UX courses (depending upon concentration) and Art History courses. Students in the BFA program are prepared for professional employment in the visual communication, design, animation, digital media, and fine arts industries; for further study at the graduate level in visual art, graphic design, animation, or user experience; and for developing an individual, professional, design or studio practice. Students in the studio concentration can choose a focus area in Ceramics, Painting & Drawing Practices, Printmaking Practices, Sculpture & 3D Practices, or Weaving.

AB in Visual Studies

AB in Visual Studies (509)

The AB in Visual Studies (509), with concentrations in studio and art education, is a liberal arts degree with a broad program of study in the visual arts. This degree requires 49 credit hours of Art and Art History courses. Students in this major develop an understanding of visual arts history and practice across various art media, and graduate prepared to succeed in diverse careers that integrate the visual arts with other disciplines.

The art education concentration requires an additional 25 hours of teacher education courses, and leads to P-12 teacher certification.

AB in Art History

AB in Art History

The AB in Art History (613) is designed for students who seek to investigate the ways in which visual imagery in its myriad forms engages and motivates—not merely records—political, social, cultural, economic, and intellectual movements that impel human civilization. The degree requires 36 hours of Art History and Art courses. Armed with multi-disciplinary verbal and visual literacy paired with critical thinking skills, Art History majors graduate prepared to succeed in a world that is as never before defined by images.


"Our department offers four minors, each of which complement a number of major programs both in the Art Department and across campus."

Studio Art Minors

The Studio Art Minor (312) requires 30 hours of studio art credits and is often paired with majors including Art History (museum careers), Biology (medical and scientific illustration), Chemistry (art conservation), Psychology or Psychological Sciences (art therapy), and Advertising, to provide career paths in hybrid fields.

Animation Minors

The Computer Animation Minor (352) is a 21-hour program that assists to prepare students for careers in the creative technological fields such as computer animation, computer and motion graphics, film, television, videography, and multi-media design; for further graduate study; and for developing an individual contemporary art practice.

Graphic Design Minors

The Graphic Design Minor (385) is a 24-hour program that assists to prepare students for careers in the creative design fields such as advertising; graphic, web, multimedia, interactive, user experience and product design; and marketing. 

Art History Minors

The Art History Minor (316) is a 21-credit program that is intended for students who wish to complement another major program with coursework that expands their ability to work with and interpret images within a variety of contexts. An art history minor might appeal to: a history major who plans to work with visual evidence in their research; a psychology major whose primary interest is vision and visuality; a biology major who is interested developing “close looking” and formal analysis skills useful in morphology and phenotypic observation. 


Graphic Design

The Graphic Design certificate is open to all students with an interest in graphic design. It is a slightly shorter version of the current Art Department 24-hour minor in graphic design, for students who would like an official certificate on their transcript or who want the increased flexibility in their overall curriculum that a shorter program offers.

Game Design

If you grew up passionate about gaming, becoming a professional game designer might be your dream job. But being an avid gamer isn’t enough of a credential to break into the industry. You’ll need to show that you have specific knowledge of game systems and game design, as well as broader awareness of the development process and how major game studios operate.
Turn a gaming passion into a career. Earn a certificate in Game Design at WKU in as little as 2 semesters!

Learn more about the Game Design Certificate

UX Design (User Experience)

UX Design is the process of designing (digital or physical) products that are useful and easy to use. It is about enhancing the user experience that people have while interacting with your product, and making sure they find value in what you're providing. Students will learn how to code and design the digital assets of a corporate, governmental, or non-profit entity. These assets include websites, apps, blogs, branded promotional material, and social media efforts. The User Experience Certificate is open to all those with an interest in UX Design and is a shorter version than the BFA major, for those seeking this “stackable” credential for their work or transcript or who want the increased flexibility in their overall curriculum that a shorter program offers.

Brewing and Distilling Arts & Sciences Certificate

This multidisciplinary Certificate in Brewing and Distilling Arts & Sciences is designed to complement an existing major in a related field, by providing a background understanding of topics related to the brewing and distilling industries—the science, the business, and the history, as well as an internship—students need to become competitive in the marketplace.

All WKU Art programs are accredited by NASAD (National Association of Schools of Art and Design), CAEP (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation), and SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools).



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 Last Modified 12/5/23