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Art: The UDC Edge

At the University of the District of Columbia, you are blocks away from some of the most prestigious art collections and resources in the world. The National Gallery of Art, the museums of the Smithsonian Institution and countless other museums, galleries and exhibitions spaces help extend your learning experience beyond the studio and into the world and history around us.

On campus, our art, photography and design labs are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and extended lab hours accommodate daytime, evening and weekend schedules.

Bachelor's Degree (BS) in Art

If you have always had an interest in the visual arts, the University of the District of Columbia can shape that creative impulse into the foundation of a lifelong career.

The bachelor's degree in art program at UDC provides the foundation for creating art, graphic design, and photography that reflects and supports your unique vision, as well as the skills that are relevant to today's creative marketplace.

Regardless of your artistic inclination, we have a concentration to fit your needs, whether you favor the communication art of graphic design, the focus on creative use of the camera in photography or the broader creative path of studio art.

Classes taught by working art professionals focus on the fundamentals of effective visual communication, creative visual problem-solving, merging classical techniques with emerging technology and the development of a professional portfolio of work.

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Curriculum and Requirements in the Art Program

The bachelor's degree in art program offers courses in conceptual thinking, drawing, design, photography and digital media. Advanced studio and art history courses help students synthesize diverse art techniques and theories.

At the completion of the two-year associate of arts program at UDC's Community College, you can submit an application and portfolio to be considered for admission into the four-year program. Applicants must meet the requirements (including a "B" average in all major courses") and successfully pass the portfolio review in order to be admitted.

We take a pragmatic approach to teaching art. All students develop a professional portfolio and résumé in their senior year, with the opportunity to participate in a senior practicum to gain experience in their creative field.

You can choose from the following degree options:

  • Interdisciplinary Studio Art (BA, 124 credits)
    • Including advanced studio courses in areas such as painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, and figure drawing
  • Interdisciplinary Photography (BA, 124 credits)
    • Including advanced digital photography classes, as well as exposure to commercial and experimental photography
  • Graphic Design (BFA, 139 credits)
    • Including courses in advanced typography, animation, illustration, web design, logo design and publication design courses

Student Organizations and Activities in the Art Program

You have frequent opportunities to exhibit your work in student-organized group art shows, as well as the annual spring art show.

The UDC Art Students Union and the UDC Photo Club bring students together to exchange ideas, take field trips, listen to guest lecturers and network within their creative discipline.

Faculty Spotlight: UDC Art Program

Iwan Bagus (BA, M.Sc, MA) is a commercial, editorial and fine art photographer whose work has been published and exhibited nationally and internationally.

Anthony Gongora (BFA, MFA), assistant professor, is an accomplished visual artist, videographer, choreographer and performer whose award-winning works have been exhibited and performed in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, and abroad.

Michael Talley (BFA, MFA), assistant professor, is a graphic designer who works with clients locally, nationally and internationally. His designs have been featured in industry excellence publications.

Daniel Venne (BFA, MFA) is an interdisciplinary artist and illustrator whose paintings and books have been exhibited internationally, including the Royal Academy of Art in London.

Career Pathways and Prospects

The UDC art program emphasizes portfolio development that will help you get gallery shows and jobs down the road. Through the practicum course, you receive real-world assignments working with local nonprofits and businesses to create visual materials for them that can enhance your portfolio. Student art shows also give you experience in mounting your own exhibit.

The options for the bachelor’s degree in art offer a variety of career paths:

  • A degree in graphic design is the first step to a career in animation, art direction, illustration, publication design, web design or other disciplines in communication arts.
  • The photography program prepares you for work as commercial photographers, fine art photographers, photojournalists, photography instructors and as artists working with private and governmental agencies.
  • Interdisciplinary art students pursue several visual and performing arts careers, including but not limited to: animator, art conservator, art director, art therapist, art teacher, book designer, cartoonist, ceramicist, costume designer, display designer, gallery manager, illustrator, installation artist, landscape and portrait painter, makeup and special effects artist, textile designer, sculptor and theatrical set designer.

A BFA is also a precursor to getting an MFA degree.

Contact info:

Daniel Venne, Program Director

E: | T: 202.274.5781