Art and Design at Missouri State


The Photographic Studies Program at Missouri State University is one of the largest and most comprehensive undergraduate programs in photography in the state of Missouri. Our curriculum includes courses in black-and-white photography, medium and large format photography, color photography, digital photography, studio lighting, photographic history, and an internship program. Enrollment in these courses is restricted to 12-15 students. With three black-and-white labs, a color lab, a digital lab, lighting studios, and the option to check out various camera systems at no additional charge, our students have access to top-notch resources to facilitate their learning.

Our program encourages aesthetic sensitivity and personal expression, imparts strong technical skills, and promotes awareness of social concerns. Students are introduced to a variety of camera formats, a range of technical applications, contemporary criticism, and historical perspectives at each level of instruction, establishing a broad knowledge base and an ever growing creativity. Our curriculum provides students with the knowledge and experience necessary to secure positions in a variety of photographic careers. Our graduates pursue directions in fine arts, studio and commercial photography, journalism, education, and related employment opportunities.

All faculty members of the Photographic Studies Program are recognized professionals who have exhibited their creative work in museums and galleries around the world and who have received numerous recognitions for their work including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation for the Arts, internal fellowships from the University, and numerous exhibition awards.

Degree options

Advisement Resources

Careers and outcomes

Potential careers:

Fine Arts, Commercial Photography, Advertising, Journalism, Portraiture, Education, Graduate Studies.

Student Learning Outcomes




Bachelor of Fine Arts

Admission requirements

In addition to completing Foundations courses (ART 100, 101, 110, 115). Note: ART 215 is required for some areas of emphasis. Students must pass the Candidacy Review for BFA in Art. A selection of work from Foundation and Studio Core areas is to be submitted to a committee of the art studio faculty for review during the first semester of the student’s junior year. Students must have a 3.00 or higher GPA in the major and a Missouri State cumulative GPA of at least 2.50 to be admitted to candidacy. Student records will be encumbered at seventy-five hours if the student has not yet been admitted to a degree program. It is the student’s responsibility to apply for the review which is held during the fall and spring semesters. ART 499, Senior Exhibition, cannot be taken unless the Candidacy Review has been passed. Transfer students with more than sixty hours completed must apply for candidacy during their first semester.

Program requirements

  1. General Education Program and Requirements
  2. Major Requirements (75 hours)
    1. Foundations (12 hours): ART 100(3), 101(3), 110(3), 115(3),
    2. Studio Core (15 hours) – complete five courses with at least one from each of the three groups below:
      1. ART 202(3), 215(3), 225(3), 242(3)
      2. ART 212(3), 223(3), 235(3)
      3. ART 210(3), 230(3), 255(3)
    3. Art History (15 hours): ART 271(3), 272(3); ART 273(3) or 274(3); and 6 hours art history electives chosen with advisement.
    4. Studio Emphasis (15-21 hours): a minimum of 15 but no more than 21 upper-division (300 level or higher) hours in one of the following studio areas:
      1. Ceramics: Required: ART 312(3), 313(6). Electives: ART 314(3-12), 336(3-9), 399(3-6)
      2. Computer Animation: Required: ART 330(3), 331(3), 430(3), 431(3). Electives: ART 432(3-6), 399(3-6)
      3. Digital Arts: ART 310(3-6), 399(3-6), 410(3-9). Electives: ART 330(3), 331(3), 430(3), 431(3) and DES 345(3)
      4. Drawing: Required: ART 315(3-9), 316(3-9). Electives: ART 399(3-6)
      5. Metals/Jewelry: Required: ART 322(3), 323(3), 324(3-12). Electives: ART 399(3-6)
      6. Painting: Required: ART 325(3-6). Electives: ART 326(3-9), 399(3-6), 425(3-9)
      7. Photography: Electives: ART 354(3), 355(3), 356(3), 357(3), 358(3), 359(3), 399(3), 454(3), 455(3-6)
      8. Printmaking: Required: ART 342(3-9). Electives: ART 343(3-9), 399(3-6)
      9. Sculpture: Required: ART 335(3-9). Electives: ART 336(3-9), 399(3-6) 
    5. Senior Exhibition (3 hours): ART 499(3) Presentation of work from areas where the majority of art course work has been taken. This work must evidence the attainment of a level of conceptual and technical maturity judged by a committee of the art studio faculty to meet qualitative standards required for the granting of the BFA in Art.
    6. Public Affairs Capstone Experience will be fulfilled by completion of ART 499(3).

    7. Art and Design Electives (9-15 hours): additional courses in studio, design, art history, art education, or aesthetics (PHI 320(3)) outside of the area of emphasis, 9 hours of which must be at the 300 level or higher, chosen with approval of advisor, bringing the total number of hours in Art and Design to no fewer than 75. Students with an emphasis in computer animation may use MED 365(3) towards fulfillment of this requirement. ART 200 cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.
  3. General Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

Art and Design (Non-Comprehensive)

Bachelor of Arts

Admission requirements

Complete Foundations: ART 100(3), 101(3), 110(3), 115(3)

Program requirements

  1. General Education Program and Requirements
  2. Major Requirements (42 hours)
    1. Foundations (12 hours): ART 100(3), 101(3), 110(3), 115(3)
    2. Art History (9 hours): ART 271(3) or 272(3); ART 273(3) or 274(3); and 3 hours of art history electives, chosen with approval of advisor.
    3. Studio Emphasis: a minimum of 9 hours, chosen with approval of advisor, in one of the following studio areas: ceramics, digital arts, drawing, metals/jewelry, painting, photography, printmaking, or sculpture.
    4. Public Affairs Capstone Experience Requirement: ART 492(3).
    5. Art and Design Electives: additional courses in art history, design, or studio, chosen with approval of advisor, bringing the total number of hours in Art and Design to no fewer than 42. ART 200 cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.
  3. Minor Required (or second major)
  4. Specific Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements
  5. General Baccalaureate Degree Requirements

The admission process

To gain full admittance into the art program follow the steps below:

  1. Declare or change your major to art by visiting the Academic Advisement Center, University Hall 109
  2. Meet with your assigned advisor to discuss admission requirements and to develop a plan of study
  3. Complete the program's admission requirements
  4. Work with the art department to complete the Application to a Degree Program for to update your record

When you declare your major, you will be listed as a pre-major until you satisfy all admission requirements.

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