Programs of Study

School of Visual Arts / Issa Sabah
Cleveland Institute of Art / Robert Muller


Work in the field of glass ranges from individual, personal “fine art” pieces to large-scale projects and multiple pieces for commercial clients. Like most craft areas, employment opportunities range from work as an individual craftsperson to commercial designer. In glass, the artist’s visual abilities (color and form) combine with a technical knowledge of how the material performs during use.

Kansas City Art Institute / Sam Small

Graphic Design

This is one of the largest and most diverse of all the visual fields. Often called graphic design, it is now frequently referred to as communication design or visual communications, to more fully suggest the central role of communication in this field of work. Graphic design can cover virtually anything — including ads, magazines, signage, Web site, packages, or corporate identity systems — that involves combining words and images to communicate something to others. A strong sense of...

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts / Andrê© van de Putte

Historic Preservation

Sometimes considered the “greenest” of the design fields, historical preservation aims to adapt and reuse what already exists – historic buildings, furnishings, sites and landscapes – for the present and future use of individuals and society. Historic Preservation programs include education in restoration design, materials conservation, architectural history, and preservation planning.

History of Decorative Arts

History of Decorative Arts

History of Decorative Arts programs are usually offered at the graduate level. They are similar in structure to Art History programs but focus on the stylistic, historical, and theoretical contexts of European and American decorative arts and design.

Minneapolis College of Art & Design / Allison Strom


Illustration is the process of applying an image (usually drawing or painting) to a communications problem, usually for an outside client. Great skill in drawing and painting are central to this area of work. Projects can range from Op Ed illustrations, to drawings for ad campaigns, to images that accompany magazine articles. Illustration is a relatively diverse field — it can come quite close to graphic design, in that it can sometimes involve the use of typography and page layouts, and it...

Art Center College of Design / Jeremy Eichenbaum

Individualized Major

Individualized majors afford students the opportunity to construct and pursue a personalized program of study, often across department lines. If individual study is not expressly part of a college’s curriculum in that students need not declare a major, admittance to such a program is usually by proposal whereby a student must demonstrate that s/he is capable of working independently and without a prescribed curriculum.

Art Center College of Design

Industrial Design

Industrial or product design combines a technical/mechanical ability with skills in three-dimensional art and problem-solving, to create objects that answer customer and client needs. As a recent cover story in Time Magazine demonstrated, the designer can touch all aspects of our daily lives. Cars, household appliances, medical equipment, computers — nearly any three-dimensional object — can benefit from and be improved with designer input. As with graphic design, work in this field can be...

Art Center College of Design / Vixius / Jeff Guo

Interactive Media

Interactive Media is relatively new field and expanding with the advent of new technologies. Today, it can include web design and development, game design, sound design, and robotic arts. Interactive Media programs that stress the latter often augment their digital/software/hardware curriculum with fabrication courses so that students can bring their three-dimensional aspirations to fruition. Whereas programs that are more virtually-oriented will stress education in communication theory and...

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film / Watkins 2015 Currey Juried Student Show / Sam Angel


Interdisciplinary majors often afford students the opportunity to construct and pursue a personalized program of study, often across department lines. In other cases, a college may offer a specific course of study that is inherently interdisciplinary but not necessarily personalized.