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Art and Art History

The Department of Art and Art History is dedicated to developing students' critical thinking, creativity, visual literacy, technical skills, and knowledge about the history of art. We provide high-quality instruction in Art Education, Art History, Studio Art, and Interior Architecture. In all areas, we endeavor to create an environment which supports professional artistic activities and research in traditional and new media and methodologies.


We offer degree options in Art Studio, Art History, Art Education, and Interior Architecture. The department supports liberal arts degrees (Bachelor of Arts) focusing on art within a broad program of general studies; and professional degrees (Bachelor of Fine Arts), which require intensive work in art and design, supported by general studies. The BFA Program is preparation for professional practice.

Undergraduate Art Studio Programs include emphasis in ceramics, drawing, digital media, glass design, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. The BFA degree options include: Art Studio, and Interior Architecture.

Students enrolled in the BA in Art, Option in Art Education who plan to teach at the K-12 levels must qualify for a California teaching credential in art, which includes completing a professional education program. For prerequisites and other admission requirements to this program, see the "Education" chapter of the University Catalog.


Our graduate degrees include Art Studio and Art History. The Master of Fine Arts in Art is a professional studio degree program that incorporates a comprehensive background in the fine arts as well as advanced development in patterns of studio specialization. The degree offers students progressive course work in critical theory, practiced criticism, and art history. The studio and academic experience gives students the opportunity to synthesize information while engaging in original research and significant creative studio work. Studio concentrations include ceramics, drawing, glass design, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. The Master of Arts in Art is an initial graduate degree in Art History, designed to prepare students for scholarly research. MA students focus on a broad knowledge of the history of art as well as a specific area.


Department of Art and Art History faculty are a dedicated group of artists and scholars deeply involved with art, both student work and their own. As teachers, they maintain high standards that employ both well-tested and innovative methods. In class and individual critiques, faculty investigate aesthetic, political, historical, and ethical issues. Our artists, scholars, and designers have won public commissions, shown with established museums and galleries, received awards for teaching, written for key journals, and have been participants at conferences in the United States and abroad. Renowned visiting artists, art historians, and critics introduce challenging concepts in lectures, exhibitions, workshops, and critiques of student work.


Students work in well-equipped labs and studios for ceramics, electronic art, painting and drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and interior design. Woodshops and welding shops are available (safety training required). The Ira Latour Visual Resources Collection houses digital images, slides, books, films, prints, photographs, and periodicals supporting art courses. Holdings and online subscriptions are provided through the generous bequest of the Walter Kohn Art History Endowment. The University Art Gallery and Janet Turner Print Museum mount shows of historical and contemporary art every semester, as well as maintaining permanent study collections. Three on-campus galleries display student work, as do private galleries in the community.

Career Outlook

Professional degrees in art, emphasizing problem-solving and creativity, lead to a variety of career opportunities. CSU, Chico alumni teach at all levels, own galleries, work as studio artists, museum curators, arts administrators, muralists, illustrators, and fashion designers. Some become interior designers for commercial and residential design in design and architectural firms. Others work as renderers, set, or kitchen designers, wholesale market representatives, lighting designers, and historic preservation design specialists. Still more are involved with computer graphics, film and video production, art publishing, art restoration, and the design and production of high quality crafts.

Catalog Cycle:21