male student drawing on large canvas in art studio

Studio Art Major

As a studio art major, you will develop technical skills, aesthetic judgment, and historical understanding. Participation in both studio and art history courses will stimulate critical thinking and refine your creative potential in the visual arts.

Beyond studio and classroom experiences, there are a myriad of ways for students to engage with the field. You will have the opportunity to learn from local, regional, and nationally known artists. Yearly trips to New York City and biannual trips allow you to see and learn about art and culture. Additionally, you will thoroughly examine the unique role and responsibilities of the Christian artist in society.

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Travel Opportunities

Alternating biannual trips to Italy or Paris/London combine the excitement of foreign travel with some of the highest architectural, artistic, and cultural achievements in western history. Some of Europe’s greatest museums along with visits to the ruins at Pompeii, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Sistine Chapel, Giverny, and Stonehenge are just a few of the stops that bring art history to life.

Every other year, the studio art department invites students on a five-day trip to New York City during the fall mid-semester break. Highlights include some of the world’s premiere art museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the MOMA, and the Guggenheim. Other itinerary items may include performances on Broadway and at Lincoln Center with stops at the the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Times Square and more.

The art department also offers semi-annual trips to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center.

If you’re looking for a more immersive trip, consider Bethany’s study abroad program!

Potential careers

  • Arts administrator
  • Arts educator
  • Cartoonist
  • Gallery curator
  • Graphic designer
  • Illustrator
  • Photographer
  • Multimedia artist
  • Web designer

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Studio Art Faculty

These faculty members teach many of the courses that comprise the Studio Art major. See also the Studio Art Department.

Studio Art Major Requirements

Please see the Program Requirements Disclaimer when planning your coursework.

Mission Statement

The studio art major provides curricular opportunities for the development of technical skills, aesthetic judgment, and historical understanding. Participation in both studio and art history courses stimulates critical thinking and refines creative potential in the visual arts. The studio art major may choose to pursue a variety of interests: oil painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, multimedia, or photography.

Program Learning Outcomes

The studio art program at Bethany Lutheran College strives to produce graduates who:

  1. Exhibit excellent visual and verbal communication skills.
  2. Exhibit competence with all appropriate media and technologies.
  3. Exhibit the ability to approach visual problems with creativity and insight.
  4. Exhibit familiarity with the professional practices in their chosen field of study.
  5. Exhibit the ability to produce work that is consistently original and meaningful.
  6. Have critically examined the role of the artist in society, particularly the unique responsibilities of the Christian visual artist.

Entry into the Major

During the freshman and sophomore years, each student is expected to complete the freshman studio core and the sophomore studio requirements. It is also imperative during this time that all prospective art majors have an advisor from the Studio Art Department. In the second semester of the sophomore year, students must apply for admission to the major. Application forms may be downloaded here:

In order to gain admission to, and graduate with, the studio art major, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all studio courses and a 2.0 GPA in all art history courses. Upper division studio courses are typically reserved for those with a declared studio art major or minor, or with special permission from the instructor.

Junior Review

At the end of the junior year, the transcript of each student will be examined by their advisor to ensure adequate progress is being made toward degree completion. At this point, admission to the major may be rescinded.

Students who seek state licensure for secondary level (grades K–12) teaching of art must first meet all requirements for “Entry into the Education Major” (see Education Major). These students are required to take all courses containing state standards in art (designated with an asterisk (*) below) and the courses listed under “State of Minnesota Teaching Licensure in Visual Arts” and must pass them with a “C+” or better. Consult with the department chair for additional art course requirements for an art major with secondary level licensure preparation.

Lower Division Core Requirements

Studio Core – 25 total credits:

Core art history – three of the following:

Tier 2 Studio – minimum of 6 credits required, choose from the following courses: The core studio courses may be taken concurrently with the Tier 2 courses.

Upper Division Core Requirements

Upper division art history and criticism (6 credits)

Senior Project and Exhibition (5 credits)

Area of Emphasis

The student is to choose one of three primary areas of emphasis: 2D, 3D, or graphic design. A minimum of 12 upper division credits is required for the major, with at least six credits completed within the area of emphasis. Candidates seeking Minnesota teaching licensure are not required to select an area of emphasis. Licensure candidates are, however, strongly encouraged to include five studio courses in preparation for their senior show.

2-Dimensional emphasis:

3-Dimensional emphasis:

Graphic Design emphasis:

Internship Opportunity

Students may apply through the Studio Art Department for the completion of a program of practical experiences. Typical internship opportunities may include graphic design, gallery management, and art education.

Minnesota Teaching Licensure Track

Students seeking teaching licensure are required to consult an academic advisor in both the Studio Art and Education Departments. In addition to the Studio Art major requirements, students who seek state licensure for K–12 teaching of Visual Arts are required to take the courses listed with an asterisk (*) in the studio art major and pass the following courses with a C+ or higher.

All of:

Additional requirements of all students completing Minnesota Teaching Art licensure at Bethany Lutheran College:

  • Maintain 2.75 GPA
  • Complete all standards based courses with a C+ or above.
  • Pass the following two Minnesota Teacher Licensure Exams: (1) MTLE: Pedagogy K–6 or 5–12; (2) MTLE: Subject matter/content K–12 Art
  • Complete the Human Relations/Diversity Component
  • Complete all courses required for Minnesota State Licensure
  • Satisfactory completion of Teaching Internships
  • Satisfactory completion of Professional Portfolio
  • Evidence of certification in Adult and Child First Aid/AED/CPR

Note: An appeals process is outlined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Handbook. According to Minnesota Statute 122A.09 Subdivision 4(c), a candidate who remains unsatisfied with a dispute regarding recommendation for licensure may appeal the decision to the Minnesota Board of Teaching.

Bethany Lutheran College Education Programs are accredited by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB).

Studio Art Minor

Art foundation core

A total of 15 credits from the following courses.


Art History (two of the following):

Advanced Studio

A minimum of nine credits from one of the three advanced areas of emphasis.

2-Dimensional emphasis:

3-Dimensional emphasis:

Graphic Design emphasis:

Next Steps

Is art a big part of your life? We’d love to talk with you! Schedule your campus visit today, or learn more about becoming a Bethany student.