Program Requirements

Students who complete a bachelor of arts (BA) degree in art with a graphic design concentration will develop a broad, deep, and critical engagement with visual culture from many different periods and places. You’ll learn to conceptualize and produce visual art, be introduced to standards of professional practice in applied and fine art, and be prepared to work in a business or nonprofit setting as a graphic designer.

Major Requirements (BA)

Course descriptions for all ART courses are available at the bottom of this page.

36 semester hours (sh) of major courses:

  • Required core courses (28 sh)— ART 1030, 1040, 1100, 2000 (minimum 3 semesters), 2020, 2040 or 2050, 2060, 2080, 2081, 3081, 3082, 4010, 4011, 4970 (taken for 4 sh)
  • Art history requirement (4 sh) — One course from ART 2017 or 2018; one courses from ART 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, or 2018
  • Major electives (4 sh) — Any art history or art studio course beyond the above requirements
12 sh Art Co-Requirements:

Art majors, except those earning a secondary education or double major, are expected to complete 12 sh from the following co-requirements.

  • Communications: Introduction to Media Theory (COMM 2150), Foundations of Media Industries (COMM 3100), Media Ethics (COMM 3480)
  • Business and Economics: Principles of Macroeconomics (BSE 2211), Foundations of Marketing (BSE 2610), Public Relations and Corporate Communication (BSE 3510)


  • Participation in a Fourth Year Show/Curatorial Project is required for all art students.
  • The Art Department believes significant enrichment occurs in concentrations when students also study in related disciplines. We therefore require all Art majors to meet the co requirements specific to their concentrations.
  • Students seeking teacher certification for art should review the education requirements.

Minor Requirements

20 semester hours (sh)
  • Require core courses (6 sh) — ART 1030, 1040, 1100
  • Art History requirement (4 sh): ART 2017 or 2018; AND one from ART 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 or 2018 if not already taken to meet the first part of this requirement
  • Electives — any 10 sh in art courses

Course Descriptions

Click on the links below for course descriptions of all art courses. For a complete list of all North Park's programs and course offerings, review the academic catalog.

ART 1030 – Two Dimensional Design
Introduction and application of the elements of visual language. Studies in shape, color, line, texture, and value as they relate to two-dimensional art.

ART 1040 – Three Dimensional Design
Elements of visual language as they apply to three-dimensional art. Projects based on the study of volume, space, line, color, and texture.

ART 1100 – Drawing I
Line, tone, and composition in relation to a variety of subjects, such as still-life, architecture, figure, and landscape. Media will include pencil, ink, charcoal, Conte crayon, ink wash, etc.

ART 2000 – Creative Guild
This creative ensemble welcomes all students interested in art to register. This experience ushers students into the collaboration of art making and the organization of creative events. It fosters student interaction with and investment in Chicago's rich artistic landscape. Activities include studio and institutional visits, service projects both on and off campus, guest speakers, performances, and discussions. Course is variable credit and repeatable. Experienced students will have the opportunity to direct projects and activities.

ART 2010 – History of African/Oceanic Art
Study of the art produced on the continent of Africa and in the southeastern Pacific. Analysis of social practices and religious traditions as they affect the art of the regions.

ART 2011 – History of Art of the Americas
Study of the art produced in North, Central and South America. Analysis of indigenous religious traditions and social structures and the way they have shaped the visual arts in the Americas. The art will be studies before contact with European civilization and after conquest and colonization.

ART 2012 – History of Asian Art
Study of art from the continent of Asia. Analysis of Asian religious and cultural traditions and the way they have shaped Asian art from pre-history to the present.

ART 2013 – History of Classical Western Art
Study of Grecian and Roman art from B.C.E. 800 to C.E. 500. Architecture, sculpture, painting, and ceramics will be some of the art forms studied. Attention will be given to how the art produced by these two societies is similar and how it diverges.

ART 2014 – History of Early Christian, Byzantine and Medieval Art
Early Christian, Byzantine and Medieval art which was produced from about 300 C.E. to 1300 C.E. will be studied. The course will trace the development of Christian art from its origins in Roman art and culture to its full flowering in the Byzantine and Gothic styles.

ART 2015 – History of Renaissance and Baroque Art
Study of art produced in Europe between the years of 1400 C.E. and 1700 C.E. The course will study painting, sculpture, and architecture and will analyze the roles of the Reformation and the counter-Reformation as they impacted European Art.

ART 2016 – History of Nineteenth Century Art
Study of art produced primarily in Europe and America in the nineteenth century. The course will study painting, photography, architecture, and sculpture and will include major movements such Romanticism, Realism, and Impressionism.

ART 2017 – History of Early Modern Art
The art of the first half of the 20th century produced primarily in Europe and America. All forms of modern visual expression will be included but the primary focus will be upon the arts of painting, photography, sculpture, and architecture.

ART 2018 – History of Contemporary Art
The art of the second half of the 20th century and the art of the 21st century. The course will study all forms of visual expression including new media as well as covering art theory. A substantial portion of the course will focus on the art produced in America but art from around the world will also be studied.

ART 2020 – Painting I
Development of technical and conceptual skills involved in painting. Both direct and indirect techniques are stressed in oils and acrylics.

ART 2030 – Sculptural Practices I
Investigation of media, tools, and techniques employed in ceramics, sculpture, and other three-dimensional forms of visual expression. Materials used may include stoneware clay, plaster, stone, wood, fabric, metals, and found objects. Techniques employed may include the ceramic techniques of hand building and wheel throwing and the sculpture techniques of modeling, carving, welding, assemblage, and installation.

ART 2040 – Printmaking: Relief
This course is an exploration of relief woodcuts and linoleum block printing. Various approaches to relief, along with both the history and theory of the techniques, are investigated.

ART 2050 – Printmaking: Intaglio
This course explores a variety of intaglio printing processes such as etching, engraving, drypoint, and aquatint. Students create plates with metal and plastic using traditional and contemporary techniques in black and white as well as color.

ART 2060 – Photography I
Basic techniques of black and white photography. Includes an introduction to camera mechanics, processing techniques, and photographic criticism.

ART 2070 – Ethics of Creative Practice
Creative Ethics is designed for any student whose primary focus within their discipline is creative. This course introduces students to the ethical thinking involved in creative production and its distribution. Students consider the making and distribution of artistic works as it relates to the betterment of self and community; fostering a concrete application of faith. Introducing students to various streams of making works of art and the ethical frameworks that develop around them encourages reflection on personal vocation. Familiarizing students with those communities engaged in ethical questions will help them identify their place within the larger social environment. Guest speakers and assigned readings will act as a basis for in-class discussions. Another goal of this course is researching and writing on the topic of ethics and creative production and/or distribution.

ART 2080 – Introduction to Graphic Design
This course is an introduction to the basic principles of visual communication, including an introduction to problem-solving strategies, symbolic association, and the problem of effective communication in a global culture. Students will explore the relationships between form and content, word and image, and practice the selection, organization and presentation of information in the form of text and images.

ART 2081 – Advanced Graphic Design
This course considers advanced concepts in visual communication, including an introduction to user-based design theory. Students will explore the world of print media through a series of case studies, and practice single page compositions, multi-page compositions, and the integration of form, image, and text. Lab.

ART 2100 – Drawing II
Continuation of Drawing I with the human form as subject matter. Drawing in various media directly from the figure.

ART 3020 – Painting II
Intermediate study of painting in both oils and acrylics. Study of the history of painting included.

ART 3030 – Sculptural Practices II
Intermediate study of spatial arts.

ART 3040 – Intermediate Printmaking
Intermediate study of printmaking.

ART 3060 – Photography II
Intermediate studies in photographic arts. Includes black and white, color, digital, and alternative processes, as well as photographic theory and criticism.

ART 3061 – Documentary Photography
Introduction to the practice, history and critical theory of documentary image-making. Academic and studio projects will investigate aesthetic, socio-political, and ethical aspects of documentary photography.

ART 3081 – Digital Illustration Lab Advertising Design III
This class familiarizes students with the vocabulary, tools, and methods of vector-based drawing and reinforces ties to traditional media. Advanced concept in illustration software programs.

ART 3082 – Digital Imaging Lab
This class familiarizes students with the vocabulary, tools and methods of raster-based drawing and photo editing, and reinforces ties to traditional media. Advanced concepts in photo editing programs.

ART 3100 – Drawing III
Advanced study of figure drawing. This is a studio course that incorporates discussion of assigned readings and investigates the conceptual aspects of drawing. The course includes the use of the computer.

ART 3260 – Methods in Art for Elementary Teachers
This course will consist of methods of teaching art in the elementary school. Emphasis will be placed on both the theoretical and the practical information and skills essential for the teaching of art.

ART 3390 – Methods and Materials for Teaching Art K -8
Lesson planning, methods, and material selection for teaching art in the elementary school. Integration with the program of regular classroom teacher as well as planning for an entire art curriculum for elementary students.

ART 3910 – Topics in Art
Investigation of a selected subject in art.

ART 4000 – Departmental Honors in Art
A special directed study course for the qualified student in either a studio or art history subject.

ART 4010 – Fourth-Year Seminar in Art I
This course provides a culminating experience for the art major. It will help art students prepare for a professional life by supporting and directing the development of a focused fourth-year project. The course will deal with such topics as preparations for professional shows, integration of theory and practice, integration of art historical precedent, organizing and mounting art exhibitions, and development of a professional portfolio.

ART 4011 – Fourth-Year Seminar in Art II
A continuation of the fourth-year seminar.

ART 4020 – Advanced Painting
Advanced study of painting.

ART 4030 – Sculptural Practices III
Advanced study of sculpture.

ART 4050 – Advanced Printmaking III
Advanced study of printmaking.

ART 4060 – Photography III
Advanced study of photography.

ART 4910 – Independent Study in Art
The fourth-year students majoring in art may do additional work in history of art or in one of the applied fields.

ART 4970 – Internship in Art
An apprentice experience in the professional world of art. The University has a working arrangement with several design studios, offices, and advertising agencies. Please refer to the Internship Section of the catalog for further internship requirements and guidelines.

Program requirements