Undergraduate Programs


The art foundations program provides you with fundamental skills, knowledge, and experiences essential to your development as visual arts professionals. All undergraduate degree programs in art (with the exception of the major in art history) require 12 semester hours of foundations courses.

These include classes in 2-D and 3-D traditional and digital design and two classes in basic drawing, all taken during as a first-year student.  In addition, all studio and art education majors must take a beginning life drawing class and a two-course sequence surveying the history of world art.

Transfer students may satisfy some or all of these prerequisite courses at other institutions, depending on the evaluation of their transfer credit upon entering NIU.

Upon successful completion of the Foundations Program, you will have achieved a professional disposition as demonstrated by

  • Ability to develop and solve visual problems using various strategies for idea generation
  • Ability to creatively translate ideas into visual terms using a wide range of art media and processes
  • A capacity to think critically, and write and speak clearly about visual arts
  • An understanding of the wide range of contemporary and historical visual culture and its role in society
  • Manifesting a work ethic that reflects integrity, teamwork, and dedication to professional growth, social responsibility and the confidence to take risks

Explore Art Majors

Minor and Certificate Programs

We have minor and certificate programs to complement any degree. Gain knowledge and experience whle working with leaders in the art field.

Art Minor
21 credit hours
ART 100 Drawing Foundation I
ART 102 2D Foundation
ARTH 292 Introduction to Modern Arts and Design
Electives in art (12)

Art History and Visual Studies Minor
18 credit hours
ARTH 282 Introduction to World Art
ARTH 292 Introduction to Modern Arts and Design
Electives in art history (12)

Digital Fabrication Certificate
12 credit hours
ARTS 449 3D Digital Sculpting
ARTS 450 Digital Fabrication Workshop I
ARTS 453 Digital Fabrication Workshop II
ARTS 454 Advanced Research in Digital Fabrication


Contact Us

Janelle O'Malley
Recruitment Coordinator

School of Art and Design
Jack Arends Building, Room 216
Fax: 815-753-7701

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