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

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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