Majors & Minors

Art History  |  Graphic Design  |  Painting & Drawing  |  Photography  |  Minors

Art History

Art is the document of human creative activity. It describes vanished cultures and enigmatic modern ones. Art history seeks to interpret the art of the past and to stimulate a dialogue between the visual object and the verbal explanation. The study of art history expands our understanding of peoples of the world and their unique cultures. As one of the traditional liberal arts disciplines, art history provides special insights into the roles of art and the artist in our society.

Art history at Susquehanna focuses on current issues in the theory and criticism of art. It develops students’ experience with original works of art, as well as with the written word. Classes are taught with a multimedia approach to images of art from major museums around the world. New computer technology at Susquehanna makes it possible to study art history individually, as well as in the classroom. Students also learn together, cultivating their experience with aesthetic ideas described in historic objects from various cultures. They regularly visit some of the nation’s finest museums to study major artists and art movements found in famous collections.

Students are also encouraged to participate in the organization, research and handling of exhibitions at the university's Lore Degenstein Gallery. Building upon the art history class experience, they bring their ideas into the gallery, where they can be shared with the public. On occasion, opportunities develop for students to publish their writings in exhibition catalogs and to prepare display texts for the gallery walls.

Graphic Design

The graphic design program at Susquehanna emphasizes the development of the complete designer. Our graduates possess the skills required to obtain entry-level positions at the best design and advertising agencies in the country. We accomplish this with a practical focus on the ‘Real World’ of graphic design. Students are educated in the theory, critical thinking, problem solving, and professional practices required for success in the industry; and they develop their portfolios using cutting edge equipment and software.

The program is challenging, intense, and ultimately very rewarding. Our majors’ work is a fixture in regional and national student design competitions, and our grads compete for and win high-profile jobs and internships. Our majors have a wide variety of opportunities to connect with industry professionals, including guest speakers, field trips, portfolio reviews, workshops, juried competitions, and internships.

The sense of camaraderie and community felt by graphic design majors at Susquehanna is rare and special. Our students spend a lot of time together. They are friends who push, criticize, encourage, lean on, and compete with one another. We highly encourage prospective students to attend Arts-Action Day or one of our Open Houses. Individual campus visits are great too. To schedule a visit, or learn more about SU, please contact the admissions office.

Studio Art

Painting & Drawing

The Painting and Drawing program at Susquehanna emphasizes an intensely focused, highly individualized experience in studio practice. Majors work towards the development of a cohesive body of work that demonstrates a distinctive personal style. The program emphasizes the mastery of a broad range of fundamental skills, with a focused experience in one technique or medium. Majors are well versed in historical and contemporary art, and are given numerous opportunities to exhibit their work, travel, and receive feedback from faculty and peers. Prior to graduation, students will professionally mount a public exhibition of the work in The Lore Degenstein Gallery, where they will gain experience in a professional gallery with museum standards.

Required independent coursework and a cross-disciplinary approach allow students to investigate and experiment with multiple ways of creating art. Students are encouraged and given ample time to develop a distinctive and personal visual style.

There are numerous opportunities following graduation for those with a degree in the studio arts. Our students normally enroll in Master of Fine Arts programs to further develop and nurture their skills. However, graduates may also choose a career in a gallery or museum, or as a professional artist or illustrator, artist-in-residence, art buyer, or corporate consultant.

Photography

The photography program at Susquehanna allows majors to gain practical working experience in both the traditional and the digital darkrooms. Facilities include a fully equipped processing laboratory and modern darkroom with twenty enlargers. Photo majors have access to two Macintosh computer labs as well as numerous large format color printers. The department also offers specialized camera equipment and professional studio lighting for student use.

The photography major is focused on the development of students as artists. In addition to mastering the camera and associated technology, students will develop a distinctive personal style through their experience. Majors are well versed in historical and contemporary art, and are given numerous opportunities to exhibit their work, travel, and receive feedback from faculty and peers. Prior to graduation, students will professionally mount a public exhibition of the work in The Lore Degenstein Gallery, where they will gain experience in a professional gallery with museum standards.

Required independent coursework and a cross-disciplinary approach allow students to investigate and experiment with multiple ways of creating art. Students are encouraged and given ample time to develop a distinctive and personal visual style.

There are numerous opportunities following graduation for those with a degree in photography. Our students normally enroll in Master of Fine Arts programs to further develop and nurture their skills. However, graduates are also prepared to succeed in the commercial photography industry.

Minors

Minor in Art History

A minor in art history links well with many majors. It also provides additional cultural balance to a student's program. Particularly well-suited combinations include art and modern language, philosophy, business, communications, theatre, music, history or English. The minor requires 18 semester hours of art history courses with a grade of C- or above. Required courses include ARTD:101, ARTD:102, two additional art history courses, and either ARTD:401 or a 2-semester-hour internship.

Minor in Photography

The minor in photography requires five courses, totaling 20 semester hours, with a grade of C- or above. Required courses are ARTD:241 Black and White Photography, ARTD:243 Digital Photography, ARTD:244 Advanced Photography; one elective course chosen from ARTD:113 Drawing, ARTD:251 Computer Applications in Graphic Design and ARTD:341 Topics in Photography; and one art history course chosen from ARTD:300 History of Photography, ARTD:308 American Art History, ARTD:310 20th Century Art, ARTD:312 Contemporary Art and ARTD:313 Women in Art.

Minor in Studio Art

The studio art minor requires 20 semester hours in Art Department courses with grades of C- or above. Required courses are ARTD:101 Introduction to Art History I or ARTD:102 Introduction to Art History II; ARTD:111 Foundations of Art I; ARTD:113 Drawing; and 8 additional semester hours of Art Department electives.