Skip to main content

Art and Design Majors and Minors

When it comes to declaring a major in the Department of Art + Design as a Blugold, the biggest hurdle will be understanding which of the different degrees is the best fit.

For students who know that graduate studies and a career as a practicing artist are what they seek, the Bachelor in Fine Arts remains the best fit. For others who may plan to apply art and design to work in design, communications or other fields, the route of the 60-credit comprehensive degree may make the most sense. And let's not forget the truly artistic soul who also has diverse interests and a passion for another academic discipline; for this student a regular or double major in the standard 36-credit degree is often best. These choices are all possible in the Department of Art + Design. Many students also elect to minor in art or art history, which makes an excellent pairing with a wide variety of degrees from humanities and cultural studies to business or education.

The art and design department offers the following programs:

  1. Art Program type: Minor Delivery: On Campus Campus: Eau Claire Campus
    Student walking to class with drawing book

    Explore topics in theory, ethics and practices of traditional and contemporary art, all while developing your artistic expression with a minor in art.

    View Program Apply
  2. Art History Program type: Minor Delivery: On Campus Campus: Eau Claire Campus

    Rooted in experiential learning and travel, our art history minor will help you to hone your artistic skills and explore the world around you.

    View Program Apply
  3. Ceramics, BFA Program type: Major Delivery: On Campus Campus: Eau Claire Campus
    Students in ceramics class

    Master ceramic techniques and approaches, and explore materials and concepts related to contemporary sculpture. Studio and advanced ceramics courses emphasize the development of personal expression, allowing you to uncover your talents and find your niche.

    View Program Apply
  4. Drawing and Painting, BFA Program type: Major Delivery: On Campus Campus: Eau Claire Campus
    Art student painting

    The drawing and painting bachelor's degree is designed for students pursuing graduate studies or careers in drawing and painting. In addition to enhancing your artistic skills, you'll also have the opportunity to create artwork with digital software and technologies, and experiment with electronic media and animation.

    View Program Apply
  5. Graphic Communications, BA or BS Program type: Major Delivery: On Campus Campus: Eau Claire Campus
    Student works at their computer in their dorm room.

    The graphic communications bachelor's degree prepares you to become both a powerful designer and a creative, contemporary communicator. Produce work that effectively balances information with exceptional expressive design.

    View Program Apply
  6. Graphic Design, BFA Program type: Major Delivery: On Campus Campus: Eau Claire Campus
    Student works at their computer on a graphic design project in their dorm room.

    Explore the principles of typography and the history of lettering; investigate the roles symbols play in establishing visual identities; and design logos, promotional materials and a promising future with your graphic design bachelor's degree.

    View Program Apply
  7. Illustration, BFA Program type: Major Delivery: On Campus Campus: Eau Claire Campus
    Art student working on a project

    The illustration bachelor's degree is designed for students pursuing graduate studies or careers in illustration.

    View Program Apply
  8. Photography, BFA Program type: Major Delivery: On Campus Campus: Eau Claire Campus
    Photography students in class

    Learn cutting-edge techniques and best practices for shooting, adjusting, filing, printing and sharing photos. Start your dream of becoming a professional photographer with a bachelor's degree in photography.

    View Program Apply
  9. Sculpture, BFA Program type: Major Delivery: On Campus Campus: Eau Claire Campus
    Student examining a sculpture in art class

    Make a career out of making art with a bachelor's degree in sculpture. To ensure graduates leave with a greater level of artistic development and focus, all sculpture students participate in an immersive, studio-focused curriculum.

    View Program Apply
  10. Studio Art, BA or BS Program type: Major Delivery: On Campus Campus: Eau Claire Campus
    Student draws using a clipboard in the grass for an outdoor art class

    Develop a personalized art degree with our studio art program — an excellent fit for explorative artists who are looking to build on their passions.

    View Program Apply
View all UWEC academic programs

No two artists are the same: A degree for every interest

Our variety of programs introduce students to multiple media, upon which they can build and tailor their art background with the freedom to explore new avenues of thought and technical skills. This wide array of majors and minors is ideal for those considering interdisciplinary careers or more immersive experiences in a specific artistic emphasis.

With learning opportunities like immersion programs, field experience trips, internships, and workshops with visiting artists that supplement faculty expertise in studio arts, students will benefit from the abundant ways they can hone their skills and develop their artistic expression. In addition, art students may be interested in an interdisciplinary minor that involves communications, journalism, computer science and design — called multimedia communication. Or you may find that a certificate in arts administration complements your degree.

The mission of our department is to help you become the artist you want to be, allowing you to select and combine programs and areas of emphasis in the ways that best suit your individual talents.

What I enjoy most about this program is that it requires me to branch out from my artistry and take courses in the communication and journalism and/or computer science departments. With these courses, I feel I am better prepared in understanding communication not only visually, but interpersonally, and how to communicate through organized web design — essential skills for graphic designers looking to stand out.

Joseph Grosskreutz Graphic Communications

Got questions? We have answers.

Prospective students with a passion for art and design have many similar questions when it comes to their education. This FAQ will help you find answers to some of the more common questions. After reading, you are welcome to contact any of our faculty or staff with additional questions.

Do I need to prepare a portfolio to be admitted to the program?

No - you are not required to have a portfolio to join the Art + Design department. Any portfolio requirements we have are part of the B.F.A. review, which won't happen until roughly your sophomore year.

Do I need a minor for Art + Design?

All students completing a 36-credit standard major are required to complete a 24-credit minor or a certificate program. No minor is required with a comprehensive major of 60 or more credits. In order to complete a 60-credit B.A./B.S. or 75-credit B.F.A. degree in four years, we don't typically recommend taking a minor. Please speak with your advisor if you have further questions.

What is the difference between a B.A. and a B.S. degree?

There is very little difference between a B.A. or a B.S. Those who choose a B.S. degree must demonstrate math competency at a higher level instead of a secondary language competency at the 102-level. While a B.S. is not advised against, it is recommended that most Art + Design students choose the B.A. degree, especially if they are planning to pursue the B.F.A.

What can I do with a degree in art?

Students who choose Art + Design as their major are often asked by family members what they plan to do after they graduate. Our graduates use their education in a variety of fields and in many cases, their positions closely relate to their personal career interests, work values, and transferable skills. Many either continue on with graduate studies or become professional artists, designers, educators, or art therapists. A major in Art + Design prepares students for a wide array of potential careers in art. Each of our areas of emphases has different opportunities for their majors, which can be read about further on their informational pages. We also strongly advise taking advantage of Career Services, even as early as your first year.

How do I know if my transfer courses will be accredited?

UW-Eau Claire offers a guide for students who have transferred or are planning to transfer. A simple comparative course search can be run for any UW Institution or selected non-UW school. More information can be found through Transfer Credit Information.

Can I use the studios/labs outside class hours? 

Of course! Students taking art courses will have 24-hour access to the Art + Design wing of HFA. Rooms with punch pads will have codes updated each semester and students will need to obtain the new code from their instructor. Please note that designated computer labs are NOT for personal use, but for art-related assignments. The general access lab in HFA is room 275.

Thinking about getting a laptop for your education?

Perhaps consider waiting until you get to UW-Eau Claire, and then meet with Learning + Technology Services (LTS) to connect and learn about student discounts. Our university has collaborated with manufacturers to offer great deals for both hardware and software packages.

Our majors and minors have 24/7 access to three computer labs in our building: two Apple Mac labs and one Dell-based PC lab. Due to laptop prices, students often buy other brands. We simply recommend getting a laptop that is compatible with either platform. We further recommend the Adobe Creative Suite software package; particularly Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, and AfterEffects.

We want to hear from you

Please enter your name

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter a valid phone number

Please enter a message