Undergraduate programs

Many prominent Northwest artists, designers, and art historians began their professional careers by studying art at Portland State University. An even greater number of successful and productive people have used their training in the School of Art+Design as the basis for careers in commerce, industry, education, and a variety of fields limited only by imagination. Offering a broad curriculum, including undergraduate degrees in Art History, Art Practices, and Graphic Design, as well as MFA and BFA degrees in Art Practices, the school seeks a diverse student population and takes advantage of its geographical location in the heart of Portland, extending our classroom activities into the city’s vibrant cultural community.

With a dedicated faculty actively engaged in their own creative and scholarly research, our student body of aspiring artists, designers and art historians explores new avenues of expression, prepares for professional and academic careers, and builds theoretical and practical foundations for future artistic and intellectual discovery. As a general rule, the major in art requires a minimum of 88 credits in art courses. Included are extensive experiences in studio work and a comprehensive study of the history of art. Majors in art history require a minimum of 68 credits.

Degree Maps and Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Art Major and Minor Degree Requirements

Art History—B.A./B.S.

Graphic Design—B.A./B.S.

Art Practices—B.A./B.S.

Art Practices—B.F.A.

Art History—B.A./B.S.

The study of the history of art is intended to enable the student to analyze diverse works of painting, sculpture, architecture, and new media and to relate artistic production to historical, cultural, and philosophical factors. We offer three distinct tracks for the art history B.A/B.S. The first provides a critical analysis focus and is intended for those students planning work requiring more advanced writing and analytical skills. The second track offers the opportunity to combine art history with art practices, and is well suited to those entering professions that engage directly with the physical artwork, such as in art galleries or conservation. The third possibility combines art history with graphic design. All three options within art history begin with the lower-division History of Western Art sequence, and advance to upper-division art history courses comprising both Western and non-Western traditions.