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Visual Arts Professor Ken Daley teaches students the art of letterpress and other printing techniques.

Department of ArtAcademics

Explore our Majors

Our undergraduate programs are open to any undergraduate student who has met the required prerequisites for the declaration of a major at Old Dominion University.

Graduates of the Art Department are employed in area schools, museums, and businesses. Others pursue graduate study in art history, art education, fine arts, and design, in addition to other professional fields where an ability to see, think, and write critically is especially valued. The vast majority of graduates from our Teacher Preparation Program secure teaching positions across the Commonwealth.

Undergraduate Catalog for Art Curriculum Checklists

Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) is a liberal arts degree with three distinct areas of study: Art History, Art Education and Studio Art. Students who are pursuing the B.A. degree must consult with the Art Department's Chief Departmental Advisor before or during their first semester at ODU.

The study of the history of art promotes visual and cultural literacy, critical thinking, and communication skills. Students may major or minor in Art History at ODU, and it is part of the curricula of studio art, art education, graphic design, and visual studies as well.

The program provides students comprehensive education in art practice, history, theory, administration and business.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) is a professional degree that focuses on intensive work in the following visual arts majors: 3D Media & Materials Studies, Graphic Design, Painting & Drawing, and Photography & Print Media. The B.F.A. does not have a freshman entrance portfolio review for admission. Students who are pursuing the B.F.A. degree must consult with the Art Department's Chief Departmental Advisor before or during their first semester at ODU. Students are expected to begin their art studio foundations coursework in their first year of study.

Continuance Review

Students seeking continuance into any of the B.F.A. majors must first successfully complete the art studio foundations coursework with a minimum grade of C. Students must then submit a portfolio of their work for evaluation by area faculty. For more information on the application process, please click on the appropriate link below.

B.F.A. Continuance Portfolio Review Requirements: 3D Media & Material Studies, Painting & Drawing, and Photography & Print Media

B.F.A Continuance Portfolio Review Requirements: Graphic Design

3D Media & Material Studies major focuses on making as a form of thinking through technical mastery of both traditional craftsmanship and emerging technologies. Students are also exposed to the expanding range of working three-dimensional studio practice including performance and installation, and time-based art.

The Painting and Drawing major curriculum provides concentrated experiences by equipping students with strong technique during preliminary coursework. It also affords breadth of knowledge and opportunities to create work using various strategies as students advance to upper-level coursework. The curriculum allows painting and drawing students to generate artworks that position them for success in today's competitive market.

The Art Education program offers instruction in the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching art from kindergarten through high school in a variety of settings. Focus is on Studio Arts, Art History, Art Education and Professional Education course work.

The Graphic Design major is a professional program providing a sequenced curriculum structured to prepare students for successful transition to professional practice designing communications for a wide range of traditional and digital delivery.

The Photography and Print Media major is a unique combination of reproducible media and concept-driven art practice. This pairing provides students with the ability to experiment across disciplines or to concentrate mainly in photography or print media.


Studio Art Photography

The minor in studio art photography enables students to gain a broad understanding of contemporary photography and its applications as a universal language in today's world. From digital to analog, students will become well versed in both technique and contemporary theories related to photography. Classes focus on darkroom, digital editing, studio lighting, and helping each student to develop their own unique voice as a photographer and artist.

ARTS 211 is a prerequisite course for the minor and is not included in the calculation of the grade point average for the minor. A student who seeks to minor in studio art photography must receive approval from the chief departmental advisor.

Code Title Hours
Select four from the following:
ARTS 311
Photography 2
ARTS 312 Lighting for Photography
ARTS 411

Photography 3

ARTS 412 Photo Seminar 1
ARTS 313 Darkroom Photography
Total Hours 12

Art History

A student who chooses to complete a minor in art history must receive the approval of the chief departmental advisor and the art history program director. ARTH 150 and ARTH 203, ARTH 210 or ARTH 230 are prerequisite courses for the minor and are not included in the calculation of the grade point average for the minor. A reading knowledge of French, German, Italian or Spanish is strongly advised. The requirement for the minor for BA and BS students comprises 12 hours selected from ARTH 300- and 400-level courses. BFA students must complete the following:

Code Title Hours
Select one of the following courses:
ARTH 320W History of Graphic Design
ARTH 350 Art Criticism

Research Methods in Art History

ARTH 435W Modern Architecture
ARTH 300- and 400-level courses 12
Total Hours 15

Course List

The Designed World

This interdisciplinary minor explores the interwoven historical, cultural, aesthetic, perceptual, and technical domains of the designed world. That virtually all aspects of the human-built world are designed is a generally accepted belief. Creative planning and critical analysis of design dynamics are emphasized within these disciplinary course subjects.

The designed world interdisciplinary minor requires 12 credit hours of 300/400-level courses selected from at least two different disciplines with a maximum of six credits from any one discipline. For completion of the interdisciplinary minor, students must have a minimum overall cumulative grade point average of 2.00 in all courses specified as a requirement for the minor exclusive of lower-level courses and prerequisite courses. At least six hours of 300/400 upper-level courses must be taken through courses offered by Old Dominion University. Three credit hours may be in the major, if a major course is listed as an option for the interdisciplinary minor. As such, it will be credited toward both the major and the interdisciplinary minor.

Studio Arts

A student who chooses to complete a minor in studio arts must receive the approval of the chief departmental advisor. A total of 12 hours in studio art 300- and 400-level courses is required. These courses have prerequisites that must be met by lower-level studio art courses chosen as electives. Normally the total number of prerequisite electives should not exceed nine hours. Students who choose a minor in studio arts should consult with the chief departmental advisor before their sophomore year to determine the specific courses and prerequisites that must be met to complete the minor. There are no specific minors in concentration areas such as painting, photo and print media, and graphic design except for the minor in studio art photography. However, course selection will be done on an individual basis and may be focused upon a specific area of interest.

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