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Art and Design

Department of Art and Design  

For More Information

Carolyn Cárdenas, Department Head

Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office: 417-837-2330
Fax: 417-837-2350
Email: ArtandDesign@MissouriState.edu

Career Preparation

The Department of Art and Design offers programs leading to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art or Design; the Bachelor of Science in Art Education; the Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Design or Art History; and the Bachelor of Science in Electronic Arts. Each of these programs is designed to provide the insights and problem-solving skills necessary for using the visual arts as informational, symbolic and expressive communication. Art and Design majors find meaningful employment in many areas, such as advertising, publishing, art education, and the computer graphics industry in positions such as corporate business designers, graphic designers, professional studio artists, professional studio photographers, freelance artists, freelance photographers, computer animators, digital artists, museum or gallery personnel, and consultants.   

Academic Program

The B.F.A. program is available with two areas of emphasis: Art or Design. The Art emphasis provides preparation for a career as a practicing fine artist or for graduate study. This emphasis requires 75 semester hours of art and design courses, including concentrated study in one of the following studio areas: computer animation, digital arts, drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, ceramics or metals/jewelry. The Design emphasis requires 75 semester hours of courses in art, design and computer graphics. This emphasis provides preparation for careers in graphics, illustration, computer imaging, photographic illustration and display, and packaging design.

The B.S. in Electronic Arts is an interdisciplinary degree encompassing electronic music, audio/video production and computer animation. Although students declare a major in one of these areas, the curriculum requires a basic foundation in all areas, including interactive technologies. Collaboration between students across the disciplines is required. The program requires 37 hours of courses: 19 hours of core courses plus 18 hours in either Audio or Video/Animation classes. A minor is required in addition to the major emphasis.

The B.S. in Art Education is a certification program of 60 hours of art courses without a minor and is designed for Art Education specialists. The curriculum qualifies graduates for certification in virtually every state and meets admission requirements for most graduate programs in Art Education.

The B.A. in Art and Design and the B.A. in Art History are the most flexible art programs and are recommended for students who wish to obtain educational experiences in a wide range of subjects, including a foreign language, and provides preparation for a variety of careers or for advanced degrees in specific fields. All degrees in art and design can include a minor in art history.


The following is a representative list of the 65 courses offered by the Department of Art and Design. Please consult the Missouri State Catalog online at missouristate.edu/registrar/catalog/ for course descriptions and specific degree requirements. 

  • ART 115: Drawing I
  • ART 210: Digital Arts
  • ART 212: Ceramics I
  • ART 223: Metals-Jewelry I
  • ART 225: Painting I
  • ART 230: Computer Animation I
  • ART 235: Sculpture I
  • ART 242: Printmaking I
  • ART 255: Photography I
  • ART 271: History of Western Art I
  • ART 273: Art of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas
  • ART 274: Survey of Asian Art
  • ART 316: Life Drawing
  • ART 359: Digital Photography
  • ART 377: History of Graphic and Applied Design
  • ART 387: History of Photography
  • ART 475: Art of the Renaissance
  • ART 484: Contemporary Art
  • ART 488: Basic Conservation of Art and Artifacts
  • DES 202: Graphic Design Systems
  • DES 210: Introduction to Computer Graphic Design
  • DES 250: Materials and Techniques for Illustration
  • DES 340: Basic Web Design
  • DES 350: Illustration


The Department of Art and Design has 25 full-time faculty members, making it the largest state-supported art and design department in Missouri. Each faculty member is actively involved in professional activity, and many have distinguished themselves by winning national and international honors and awards. The nature of the discipline demands small classes in which faculty members can discuss each student’s work individually; therefore, the studio-class ratio never exceeds one instructor to 20 students. In upper-division courses, the ratio is more commonly 1:15.

When a student declares art or design as his or her major, the student is assigned an art and design faculty advisor in the student’s area of emphasis. The advisor works individually with the student throughout his or her university career to develop a course curriculum best suited for the student’s objectives and goals.


The Department of Art and Design is located at Brick City, a newly renovated complex of buildings just north of Springfield's Park Central Square. Art History, Ceramics, Metals and Jewelry, Photography, Printmaking, and the administrative offices are all located in building one. Computer Animation, Digital Arts, Graphic Design, and the Illustration programs are equipped with computer labs and are also located in building one. Art Education, Drawing, Foundations, Painting, and Sculpture, along with two art galleries, are located in buildings three and four. Advanced photography studios are in building five.


The Art and Design students have formed many student associations whose activities include trips to exhibitions, shows of student work, and participation in national conferences. Fine Art students are involved in the Art Club, Clayworks, Jewelry Students Association, and the Photo Society. Art History has the Art History Club. Design students have organized a local chapter of Students in Design, which is affiliated with the Center for Design in Chicago.

The Art and Design areas of ceramics and metals/jewelry share a student exchange program with the Tainan National University of the Arts in Tainan, Taiwan. 

The Department of Art and Design offers scholarships to exceptionally qualified students graduating from high school or transferring from two-year colleges. For students at the sophomore level and above, the department has a number of scholarships and awards for outstanding Missouri State Art and Design majors: The Edgar A. Albin Scholarship, the Jim Bremer Design Scholarship, the Lane Elkins Ceramics Scholarship, the Mayme Hamilton Memorial Scholarship, the Kristin Moseler Memorial Art and Design Scholarship, the Nancy Lumpee Pate Scholarship, the James Richardson Memorial Scholarship, the Eric Sidney Memorial Fund, the Jacqueline Snyders Memorial Scholarship Award, and the Fredrick G. Kieferndorf Fine Arts Travel Award. For Art Education majors, there is the Thomas S. Kinsey Art Education Scholarship. A graduating Photography student will receive the Excellence in Photography Award. The Dianne C. Strickland Award of Excellence in Art History is awarded to a junior or senior majoring in Art History. In addition, the Bill H. Armstrong Award provides $1,000 to a graduating senior majoring in Design.

Scholarship applications are available on-line at MyMissouriState.edu. These are the same applications used for all university and department scholarships. Studio applicants need to upload a PowerPoint portfolio to include 12 to 20 pieces of artwork (6 of which should be drawings). Art History applicants need to upload an original research paper on some aspect of art, architecture, or art criticism. Application deadline is March 1. Please visit our website at art.missouristate.edu for more information or you may contact the Art and Design Department at 417-837-2330 or ArtandDesign@MissouriState.edu.

Sample Schedule

Missouri State is committed to assisting students to graduate in four years--see sample graduation plans for this major.

The following is a sample schedule for this major--your actual schedule will vary.

Freshman Year

First Semester Courses Hours
ART 100 Two-Dimensional Design3
ART 115 Drawing I3
GEP 101 First-Year Foundations2
ENG 110 Writing I3
MTH 130 Contemporary Mathematics3
Total Hours 17
Second Semester Courses Hours
ART 101 Three-Dimensional Design3
ART 215 Drawing II3
CIS 101 Computers for Learning2
KIN 100 Fitness for Living2
COM 115 Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
GLG 171 Environmental Geology4
Total Hours 17