The School of Art is committed to making available the best possible faculty, curriculum, facilities, and experiences for a professional education in the studio arts, graphic design, art education and art history. On both the undergraduate and graduate levels, the School seeks to prepare students for careers in the visual arts and to enrich the cultural lives of all University students. Additionally, the School recognizes its responsibility to serve as a cultural resource for the community, state, and nation.

The School of Art, fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Arts and Design, was established in 1893 and its first graduate degree was conferred in 1932. As an academic department of the University, the School of Art is a subdivision of the College of Arts and Architecture and is allied with the School of Architecture, School of Film and Photography and the School of Music.

The School's faculty is composed of practicing artists, designers, and scholars, each teaching in the particular discipline of his or her professional involvement. The regular faculty is augmented by graduate teaching assistants, adjuncts and by visiting artists/scholars who are part of an active program of lectures, workshops, and critiques supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Montana Arts Council, the Associated Students of Montana State University, and the MONTS Speakers Program. The Helen E. Copeland Gallery located in Haynes Hall, and the Waller-Yoblonsky Gallery located in the Melvin Graduate Art Studios, display continuous exhibitions covering all aspects of the visual arts.

The curriculum is divided into eight areas of study: art history, ceramics, graphic design, jewelry and metalsmithing, painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture. Curricula within these areas lead to the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design and Studio Arts, and the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art History, Art Education K-12 Broadfield, and Liberal Arts Studio.  Minors are also available in Art History (non-teaching) and Art Education K-12 (available for teaching majors only). The graduate degrees offered are the Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art (MFA) and the Master of Arts in Art History (MA). For information on the Master of Fine Arts and Master of Arts degrees, consult the graduate section of this bulletin.

Admission to Art Programs

During the first year in the School of Art, students receive formative assessment of their work through the Foundations Advisory Portfolio meetings, helping prepare them for the remaining three year curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studio Arts, the Bachelor of Arts in Art Education, the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts and the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Total enrollment in the program shall be limited by the teaching resources and space capacities of the School of Art. Spaces available each year will be awarded to those applicants with the greatest creative promise and highest scholastic achievement. While the School of Art does not accept Advanced Placement Studio Art credits to fulfill the foundations level courses the School does allow substitution of those credits for some 200 level studio courses. 

Students transferring from other academic departments within the University may be required to take ARTZ 105RA, ARTZ 109RA & ARTZ 110RA regardless of prior coursework. Portfolio critique for transfer students will take place as needed depending on transfer credits and the program of study.  Contact the School of Art for details.

BFA Admission to Studio Arts and Graphic Design

In the Studio Arts Option-BFA and Graphic Design Option-BFA a formative assessment is required for all students before admittance to 300/400 level courses. Prospective students who are transferring from similar programs at other institutions must also submit portfolios. Contact the School of Art for details and deadlines.

The curriculum for art majors is composed of both required and elective courses within the School, and supporting courses from the other schools and departments of the College of Arts and Architecture and the University. Students may be limited to two studio courses per semester based on space availability and teaching resources. Required courses outside of the School of Art have either specific application to the student's particular concentration or general application to a liberal arts education. The purpose of the curriculum is to develop perceptual and technical skills and to establish a foundation of ideas which gives meaning and direction to this training. The many and varied departments within the University offer the art student a rich source of technical, philosophical, and scientific information.

Semester In Italy Program

Each spring the School of Art offers a semester of study in Italy. This program provides upper-level students with an enriching opportunity to participate in an intensive studio and art history experience by immersing participants in the art and culture of Italy. Course offerings vary from year to year.  Please contact the School of Art for more information. 

Internship Program

It is possible for students to earn academic credit while working outside of the University, employed by businesses, galleries, individual artists, craftspersons, designers, or other agencies through the School of Art's Art and Design Internship Program. To be eligible, students must be art majors and be of junior standing. Further, all internships may need to be vetted by the School of Art and students must have the recommendation of their academic advisor and approval by the Director of the School of Art. Accepted students enroll for internship credits under ARTZ 498 and GDSN 498.

Computer Notebook Requirement

Laptop Computers with specific software are required for all upper level graphic design courses. Contact the School of Art for specifications.

GPA Requirement

Art majors must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher to remain in the curriculum.

Program Fee

Because of the unique nature of equipment and materials used in the School of Art, all majors are assessed an additional fee. Students in some courses will also be required to purchase additional materials on their own. Please inquire at the School of Art office for specific fees.