Why Study Art?

Quick Facts

General Education Requirements: 37 hours
Art Foundation: 15 hours
 
Core Art Requirements: 36 hours 
Art History: 9 hours
Junior Requirements: 18 hours 
Senior Requirements: 13 hours
Elective: 1 hour
Total: 120 hours 

Full Program Requirements

Explore the coursework, career options, and lifelong skills you’ll receive with a BFA from Governors State University. Take steps toward your dream of becoming a professional artist or find out how creative and design skills can serve you in another career. Launch your career and ignite your passion at GSU.

There’s something immeasurably rewarding about the study, practice, and creation of art. This essential part of modern society encourages introspection, sparks joy, and reminds communities of special moments in history. Join artistic movements in your community or around the world to help shape the way individuals, groups, and countries think about themselves and communicate with others. Explore the career options of a professional in the art industry or find out how your degree can help you foster real-world skills in other industries.

Art does not only enrich individual lives—it is essential to the health of any society, as it is practiced and experienced collectively. Governors State’s Bachelor of Fine Arts offers an interdisciplinary approach in the visual arts with concentrations in Studio Arts or Film, allowing students to explore and create within the discipline of their interests. Moreover, the GSU campus is located within the internationally renowned Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park. This “museum in the prairie” serves as a living laboratory for the union of art, nature, and university life.

With coursework in art history, ceramics, drawing, digital imaging, film, graphic design, glass, painting, printmaking, photography, and sculpture, students are free to explore one or several disciplines as they begin to formulate their individual vision. And in the senior year, BFA students conclude their studies by presenting a senior project of their creative work, which provides an opportunity to share the visual result and evidence of their creative investigations and research.

Studying art at GSU means an immersive experience that helps you hone your talents while also giving you a breadth of knowledge. We offer plenty of studio opportunities to practice your craft in a welcoming space. Every artist needs tools, so find a studio that has the raw materials you need.

The program covers courses including non-Western art, film, drawing, painting, photography, and other aspects of Fine Art. Some courses are required to build a substantial foundation of art knowledge and experience, while others are elective. Customize your coursework with electives that point you toward your career goals and expand your knowledge of subjects you’re passionate about.


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Reach Your Career Goals

A BFA prepares visual artists with an emphasis on the lifelong production of professional creative work. Graduates who continue to produce often go on to build a professional exhibition record, showing in galleries and museums, while others choose to enter careers utilizing skills developed in the program, such as entrepreneurship, critical thinking, marketing, and problem-solving. Advanced study at the master’s and Master of Fine Arts level is also common, especially for students interested in teaching at the university level.

Fine artists work in a range of careers to provide stunning products using various media. Whether you’re passionate about painting, sculpting, drawing, or digital designs, an art degree from Governors State University can give you the training and professional connections you need to succeed.
Your coursework will dive into principles of art design, criticism, history, and an in-depth practice in your chosen medium. Spend time in a fully equipped studio practicing your craft and participate in lively discussions about what it means to be an artist in the modern world.

Teaching art at the university level is an incredibly rewarding experience. Use your knowledge and abilities to not only practice your craft but also train up a new generation of passionate artists and art advocates. A BFA from GSU is a stepping stone to a career in art in Chicago, the United States, and around the world.

Real-World Application

The study of art prepares students with the drive and determination needed to succeed as professional artists and with the skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, and entrepreneurship valued by employers. GSU’s student club Art Forum allows student artists to sell and showcase their work at biannual art markets on campus, fostering skill-building in such areas as networking and marketing.

Some of these skills come naturally to an artist, while others can be learned in a welcoming, diverse environment at GSU. A successful career as an artist can help you learn these real-world skills:
• Open-mindedness
• Critical observation
• Empathy
• Complex reasoning
• Attention to detail

Today’s job market is constantly changing, so you may not know what your career will look like in the future. Prepare for any role with the real-world skills you learn in a Fine Arts program at GSU. Employees, managers, and CEOs all need these skills for working effectively with people in a wide range of positions and industries.
Jobs & Salaries You Can Get With a Fine Arts Degree
What exactly can you expect out of a Fine Arts degree? The experience is rewarding enough, but Fine Art students can also find a range of successful careers that require their exact skillset. Here are some art and design careers that GSU BFA graduates can expect to enter upon graduation:
• Fine artist
• Art director
• Graphic designer
• Floral designer
• Animator
• Interior designer
• Industrial designer
• Arts teacher, professor, or instructor

Create handmade products to sell directly to customers or become a designer in one of these growing industries. A Bachelor of Fine Arts from GSU prepares you to understand the design elements you need for a successful career in many fields. Whether you wish to pursue creation, design, or instruction, you can expect to find a career that plays to your strengths.

Salaries vary depending on your location, experience, and chosen occupation. Some artists choose to work part-time in their craft, which can also affect the average salary of the position. Earn between $28,000 and 94,000, on average, for roles ranging from floral designer to art director.

Artists can choose an entrepreneurial route or join an existing company to practice their craft. Whether you dream of selling your own oil paintings or are looking forward to a welcoming community of digital designers, a BFA in Art prepares you for your professional role.

If you don’t see a career path that fits your talents and passions, ask your advisor about other career goals. The flexible skills and commitment to excellence that come from a BFA program at Governors State University can prepare you for a range of professional roles and many responsibilities. Let your imagination help you connect your passions with a satisfying career.


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Apply now to find out how you can launch a career in the field of art. Learn more about a bachelor’s in art program from GSU and prepare to pursue your passions in Chicago’s Southland. Explore the program requirements, meet the faculty, and discover what student life looks like on our diverse and accepting campus. Join a community of artists and scholars to see how you can expand your horizons and improve your craft with a BFA program

 

Full Program Requirements

Full Program Requirements

You can find the complete guide to graduation requirements for your degree in our catalog.

Program Faculty

Program Faculty

Our favorable faculty-student ratios ensure lots of individual attention from our dedicated faculty members.

How to Apply

How to Apply

If you are ready to take the next step, you can create an account and apply here, or simply request more information about the programs of your choice.

Cost and Financial Aid

Cost and Financial Aid

Our tuition estimator helps you calculate your cost of attendance. Our Financial Aid Office is dedicated to helping you find ways to fund your education.

Scholarships

Scholarships

At GSU, many scholarships are available and can make your education even more affordable!

All Academic Programs

All Academic Programs

We offer many options for undergraduate degrees and minors, and even several 5-year programs that lead to completion of a Masters degree as well!

Student Life

Student Life

Student Clubs and Organizations at Governors State University enrich your educational experience, allowing you to gain and hone skills applicable to the classroom and life beyond. Click here to explore additional student resources.

On-campus Residence

On-campus Residence

Prairie Place, our on-campus housing, provides many options to accommodate the needs of our diverse student population.

Campus Location

Campus Location

If you have been wondering, "Where is Governors State University?" Learn more about our campus, and get directions to come visit us or take a virtual tour!