At Mount St. Joseph University, you will discover a wealth of opportunities to explore and develop your artistic abilities.


Our Fine Arts program is designed for the creative person seeking a career in the highly diverse fields of the visual arts. A major in fine arts will include courses in: art history, ceramics, digital literacy, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, 3D Visual Communication and many others. The curriculum also provides numerous opportunities for customization and specialization. Whether you plan to produce marketable art, pursue a graduate degree, own your own studio, or enter one of the many art-related fields, our highly accomplished faculty of artists and designers is ready to provide you with the guidance and mentoring needed for you to reach your fullest potential.


Featured Courses: 

All Freshmen in the Department of Art & Design complete the foundation course series. Students majoring in Fine Arts continue their studies with a wide variety of courses including:

  • Ceramics: From handbuilding to wheel throwing the emphasis is on developing personal style and expression in claywork.
  • Hand to Pixel: This hands-on course explores the integration of traditional hand media with digital technologies to investigate how varying materials can shape and expand visual communications.
  • Painting: These courses emphasize fundamental painting concepts, tools, materials, and practices while developing each student's individual approach to painting with oil and acrylic paints.
  • Photography: The photography courses teach the critical skills needed to create dynamic still and video content designed to communicate a meaningful message.
  • Professional Preparation for the Artist: This course is focused on the professional practices artists need to engage in for an active art life after graduation.
  • Art History:The Mount offers a wide variety of art history courses that bring a deeper understanding as to where your own work fits into the evolution of art.


Program Outcomes:

As a fine arts major, you will:

  • Learn to use the latest digital technologies along with traditional methods to turn your ideas into professional quality 2D images and 3D structures.
  • Engage in the creative art making process, using imagery, structures and various media, to express and communicate ideas, feelings and experiences.
  • Discover and explore the many careers and vital roles that artists play in modern society.
  • Identify the formal, technical and expressive aspects in visual artworks.
  • Understand and appreciate the historical, social and cultural contexts of the art and artists in past and present societies.
  • Be well prepared to launch your visual arts career or to continue your studies at a graduate level.

You will work and study in the massive three story Dorothy Meyer Ziv Art and Design Building. You will have opportunities to view and show work in the Studio San Giuseppe Art Gallery. Studio San Giuseppe welcomes students and visitors with an exciting array of professional, faculty, and student exhibits year round.


Hands-On Experience:

Fine Arts majors are encouraged to explore experiences beyond the classroom. Cooperative education and work study provide a chance to explore future careers. Service Learning offers an opportunity to earn academic credit for community service activities. Fine Arts majors are eligible to study or intern abroad through an agreement with American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) and Richmond University, London. These real-world learning opportunities are designed to provide career experience and marketable skills.

Career Potential:

Fine Arts majors learn creative, desirable problem-solving skills that are sought after in many fields. Fine Arts graduates produce marketable art, pursue a graduate degree, own a studio, or enter one of the many art-related fields.


Careers may include:


  • Fine Artist
  • Animator
  • Illustrator
  • Ceramicist
  • Gallery Curator
  • Mural Artist
  • Museum Professional
  • Professional Photographer
  • Set Designer
  • Sculptor


Alumni Profile

Melanie and Adam Pace met at the Mount, graduated in 2005, and married in 2007. Melanie earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Photography and minors in international design and art history. Adam earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography with minors in illustration and art history. They own a very successful portrait and wedding photography business, Loft3 Photography, and have had work published worldwide.


In 2014, their work became the number one social media story of the year culminating in a “Today” live broadcast from their living room. They have been hired to photograph in countless domestic and international destinations. Melanie is also co-owner of Beautiful Beginnings, a birth photography business whose work has been featured in multiple publications, including Popular Photography and the New York Times. Melanie received the 2016 Sr. Peg McPeak Award for creating a highly successful career while living out the Mount’s mission.


Picture yourself here! Schedule a visit for a tour of campus, opportunities to meet with faculty, and the chance to imagine yourself at MSJ.


Scholarships, loans, grants? What’s the difference? How do I apply? By visiting our Scholarships, Grants, and Loans webpage, you’ll find out.

Additional Resources

  Faculty and Staff

John Griffith
Department Chair, Art & Design


Loyola Walter
Associate Professor


Kurt Grannan
Associate Professor of Graphic Design


Swati Chopra
Assistant Professor


Michaelann Kelley, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor


Susan Ruttle Lawrence
Co-Director, Art Education Program


Sylvia Dick
Adjunct Faculty


Cecelia Dorger
Adjunct Faculty


  2020-2021 Undergraduate Rate Sheet [PDF] (69 KB)

View a complete listing of tuition, fees, and other costs associated with undergraduate study at the University.

  2019-2020 Undergraduate Rate Sheet [PDF] (94 KB)

View a complete listing of tuition, fees, and other costs associated with undergraduate study at the University.

  Curriculum Guide [PDF] (143 KB)
  Program Requirements