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Art: The UDC Edge

At the University of the District of Columbia, you are blocks away from some of the world's most prestigious art collections and resources. The National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution museums, and hundreds of galleries extend your learning experience beyond the studio into the world. On campus, the art, photography, and graphic-design design laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and our instructors are dedicated to providing expert guidance and teaching as you discover your creative methods and avenues of expression. At UDC, you can explore your creativity, expand your technical skills, examine the wonders of art history, and express your artistic vision.

Bachelor's Degree (BS) in Art

If you are interested in the visual arts, UDC can shape that interest 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 vision, and the skills 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, or the many expressive paths of studio art.

Classes, taught by working art professionals, focus on the fundamentals of effective visual communication, creative visual problem solving, and merging classical techniques with technology. Your studies in the UDC Art program will take you from inspiration to innovative technique and expression; the culmination being a professional portfolio of work that showing your creative vision.

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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 art techniques and theories.

Transfer students, including those coming from UDC-CC, can submit an application and portfolio to be considered for admission into the four-year program. Students must submit their applications through the Registrar’s office, meet the requirements (including a B average in all major courses), and successfully complete the portfolio review.

We take a pragmatic approach to teaching art. All students develop a professional portfolio and résumé in their senior year, may participate in a senior practicum to gain experience in their creative field.
Students may 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 and exposure to commercial and experimental photography;
  • Graphic Design (BFA, 137 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 and the annual spring art show.

The UDC Art Student 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), Assistant Professor, 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 and videographer whose works have been exhibited 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), Associate Professor and Art Program Coordinator, is an interdisciplinary artist and illustrator whose paintings have been exhibited internationally.

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: dvenne@udc.edu | T: 202.274.5781