University of Oregon art students have the opportunity to explore a broad range of contemporary art practices—in ceramics, digital arts, drawing, fibers, jewelry and metalsmithing, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Emphasis is both on the development of hands-on technical skills and material processes, as well as a conceptual and critical understanding of the cultural context of art. The Department of Art prepares students to think critically, communicate clearly, and work creatively.
Among the most popular undergraduate degrees at the University of Oregon, two different majors—Art or Art and Technology—are offered at the BA or BS level. The professional baccalaureate degree, the bachelor of fine arts (BFA), requires an additional, fifth year of studio intensive work. For the BFA degree, students major in a specific media area.
BA or BS degrees
The art degree involves intensive and wide-ranging work in studio art. Students are challenged to not only develop technical and conceptual understanding, but also to think for themselves and to develop unique and individual approaches. All students take core foundations courses that introduce strategies of experimentation, making, and critical thinking, as well as history of art and architecture and seminar courses that expand their understanding of art and its potential. Beyond the central required courses, students have the flexibility to work across eight media areas—painting, sculpture, printmaking, digital arts, photography, ceramics, fibers and jewelry and metalsmithing – and to tailor their education by pursuing advanced coursework in the areas of primary interest to them.
Embracing a spirit of intermedia, the art and technology major encourages students to combine new media practice and art theory, with strong technical sophistication and a rich sense of visual design. The program emphasizes creative thinking, experimentation, visual communication delivery systems, and intense research. Course work prepares students for a range of creative production opportunities. The UO has a particularly broad faculty in digital arts, with courses in print media (digital drawing, communication design), time-based media (video and animation) and interactivity. Encouraging integration and experimentation, you will find your own voice within this profileration of exciting new strategies.
The bachelors of fine arts is a professional baccalaureate degree that requires an additional fifth year of studio-intensive, independent work. The fifth year BFA builds on the understanding and abilities gained over the previous four years in the BA or BS curriculum. Students apply to the BFA program in a specific media area, such as ceramics, art and technology, fibers, metalsmithing and jewelry, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. during their senior year. BFA students work intensively in the studio to synthesize an individual approach to making and thinking and develop and independent body of work and exhibition.
Frequently asked questions
What courses are recommended if I am curious about art and want to try it out?
ART 198 courses are technical workshops including Photoshop, Illustrator, and so forth. ART 199 courses are studio offerings intended for nonmajors; examples include Ceramics, Digital Photography, Watercolor, and Book Arts. ART 101 Understanding Contemporary Media (fall) and ART 111 Artists Experience (winter and spring) are great surveys of contemporary practice with many guest lectures by art faculty members.
ART 115 Surface, Space, and Time and ART 233 Drawing I are core studios introducing students to potentials of art making. They also apply to the major requirements. ARTD 250, 251, and 252 are the introductory courses in digital arts open to all; they focus on Print Media, Time-Based Media, and Interactivity, respectively.
What are the options for majors and minors?
There are two BA and BS major options in the art department: art or art and technology. Minors are available in art and multimedia design.
What are the advantages of becoming a major?
Priority enrollment for studio classes. Access to the department undergraduate advisor, who can help you with individualized advising and course planning.
How do I become a major?
For the Art and Technology major, you must apply to the department, including a basic portfolio of past work.
Art: New and returning students can declare an art major at anytime by completing the declaration form available at the Art Office. Please contact or visit the Art Office if you have questions: 541-346-3610 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Art and Technology: Rolling deadline; current art majors, new and returning students can submit their Art and Technology application at anytime. Review takes approximately 4-6 weeks.
What is the portfolio like?
It includes images of past work, anything that shows your creativity and point of view; for example, it could be work from classes or drawings and photographs you’ve done on your own. Don’t be intimidated; it is more straightforward than you think.
If I don’t get in, can I apply again?
Absolutely. We encourage you to apply again. You can go ahead and enroll in required courses. Work made in studio classes will enable you to build a portfolio. When you become an Art and Technology major, you will still be on track and on the same timeline to graduate.
Can I take classes if I am not a major?
Absolutely. All art courses are open to nonmajors as long as you have the prerequisites. Lower division digital arts courses are open to nonmajors.
Are there tours available?
Yes, we have tours throughout most of the year. Check out our Tour Registration page for information on the current tour dates available.
- Individualized education
Studio classes are typically limited to eighteen or fewer students. Consequently, students enjoy direct interaction and individual attention from faculty members. Courses challenges students to not only develop a strong technical and conceptual understanding of art, but also to develop an individual approach and content that suits their sensibility.
- Professionally active and engaged faculty
The Department of Art faculty members are committed to both practice and teaching—all are deeply engaged and are nationally and internationally recognized artists. Students benefit from working with faculty who are practicing artists and can share with students the compelling challenges, questions, and rewards of artistic practice. In addition, an active Visiting Artist Program brings a broad range of innovative artists and critics to campus each year.
- Academic excellence
At the University of Oregon, students are simultaneously studying in an excellent, innovative art curriculum, and receiving a rich liberal arts education. The breadth of knowledge and understanding at a major research university is central, feeding the work students are making in the studio, as well as preparing them to be engaged, informed, and critical citizens.
- Unique and supportive environment
Situated within the beautiful Willamette Valley, the UO campus is a rich and inspiring environment. Clustered on the north side of campus, the art department’s studios are a hive of activity both during and outside of classes. With extensive access to the studios and shops to develop their projects, students develop a tight knit community sharing ideas and experiences.
National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
The University of Oregon is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of the 61 leading public and private research institutions in the United States and Canada.
A&AA Undergraduate Minors (Selected)
New and returning students can declare the Art major at anytime by submitting the declaration form.
The Department of Art offers a rolling admission deadline to the Art and Technology major. Students, both new and returning to UO, can apply to the Art and Technology major at any time.
To apply as a freshman or transfer student, you must submit both the University of Oregon admission application and a departmental application to the Department of Art in order to be considered as an Art and Technology major.
Dates listed below are postmark deadlines for fall term admission for freshman or transfer students.
Art and Technology deadlines for fall term admission
- University application January 15
- Departmental application Rolling; apply anytime