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"Among the smaller art programs that I have evaluated, [Trinity] has one of the very best designed curricula. The level of accomplishment evidenced by the student artwork on display is a testimony to what is happening in the classrooms and the curriculum. Two things stand out to me. One is the way the department uses the lively art scene of Chicago in its education of artists. The other is the interdisciplinary nature of the advanced studio—a place where students work together in various media and where they can cross the traditional boundaries of media (a model of the artworld today)."

— 2010 external reviewer, Tim VanLaar. University of Illinois at Champaign


BA in Art Education
The BA in Art Education leads to an Illinois certification to teach art, kindergarten through 12th grade. It consists of 45 credits in art studio and art history in addition to 39 credits in education to meet state of Illinois requirements for teacher certification. You can see a partial list of our graduate accomplishments here.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Studio Art
The BFA program with a concentration in a fine art medium is a professional program for students who intend to pursue graduate studies or professional practice in fine art. The program consists of 72-75 credits which includes nearly a full year in a student's medium of concentration in addition to work in art history and related disciplines. The department offers concentrations in drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, mixed media and photography/video.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design
The BFA program with a concentration in graphic design is a program that provides professional level skills to students who are planning to enter the design and advertising fields professional level skills. The program consists of 72 credits with nearly a year of course work in graphic design of specialization in addition to work in art history and related disciplines.

Entrance to the BFA programs are based on a portfolio review midway through the sophomore year, or before the start of the year for junior transfer students.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Studio Art
The BA program
in studio art is a liberal arts program consisting of 54 credits in studio art and art history paired with one or more minors. This degree can lead to work as an artist or to administrative or support roles in the art, museum or business worlds where visual skills are required. The program offers concentrations in drawing, painting sculpture, printmaking, mixed media or photography/video. Some BA graduates have used this major to pursue graduate school in art. You can see a partial list of our graduate accomplishments here.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Graphic Design
The BA program is a liberal arts program with a 60 credit major in studio art with a concentration in graphic design paired with one or more minors (Communication Arts, Computer Science or Business, and others). Some students choose this degree because it allows them to pair strong training in graphic design with a variety of skill sets in communication arts, video, business, or computer science or other minors. You can see a partial list of our graduate accomplishments here  

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Digital Design
The BA program is a liberal arts program with a 66 credit major in that combines strong skills in graphic design with computer science, communication arts and business. Students choose this degree because it trains them to do digital design for phones, tablets and computers.




Program overviews

BFA students in fine art and graphic design spend at least 25 of 40 courses required for graduation in art. Those 25 courses are divided in this way: seven courses build a foundation of basic media skills from drawing and painting, sculpture, print and digital media. These courses provide basic skills that ground work in student's medium of concentration, which consists of nine coures including an internship and a senior exhibtion. There are 5 courses of art history and theory and a requirement to take a two course module in related dicipines of business, or communcation arts theory or video, computer science or philosophy. Students apply to this program by submittimg a portfolio; see the college catalogue for details.

BA students in studio art, graphic and digital design students spend 16-19 of 40 courses required for graduation in art. Those courses are divided in this way: seven to nine courses build a students' area of specialization; some students choose to take more. Six courses are devoted to foundation skills in design, drawing, painting, sculpture and digital media required of all art studio majors. Five courses cover art history and theory. Art studio students in studio art and design typically graduate with a minor in art history. Many students earn a second minor related to their career goal —business or communication arts for design students, for example.

Art education students take six foundation courses to build a wide skillset in order to be able to teach a range of media in the classroom. In addition, they take three to five courses to build an area of expertise as an artist, plus four courses in art history. Concurrently, they take 11 courses in education and related areas.

Thirteen courses in general education studies, sometimes referred to as "Foundation, core or General studies" build a solid foundation that provides the necessary broad cultural context for all majors. The core gives students a flexiblility for life after college. The remaining courses are used to develop a minor and leave space for elective courses.

Progressive steps through art programs

Students begin by taking courses that build a range of basic skills. They eventually choose an area in which to specialize and continue their study of that medium at an intermediate level. Upperclass students from all artistic disciplines meet together in advanced studio courses. The interdisciplnary nature of advanced studio classes —where painters, sculptors, photographers and designers mix it up— mirrors the nature of the art world and drives creativity in department.

During their junior or senior year, students do internships in artists' studios, arts organizations, galleries, design firms (large and small) to see how the material they have learned in class operates in the real world of art and design. Some students take advantage of off campus programs (Chicago Semester or New York Center for Art and Media Studies) affiliated with or approved by Trinity.

The Art Studio and Art Education programs all culminate with an exhibition in the Seerveld Gallery as part of Senior Seminar.

While there are plenty of things that students learn about art, the department's goal is to have students generate their own knowledge through the work that they create. Generativative knowledge does not reflect back, it expands outward in create conversation with the worlds of art and design. The combination of strong creative work with the rigorous background of Trinity's liberal arts core guides students into cultural engagement.Trinity's Christian perspective sets goals for cultural engagement helps students of all persuasions be more thoughtful about their career aims.