Department of Art and Design Programs

Art students at Southern enjoy personalized instruction and a wide variety of stimulating courses, from art history to art education. Students complement their studies with a rich variety of studio art classes and an array of liberal arts courses in other university departments. The department schedules field trips to Boston or New York every semester so that students can enhance their studies in those cultural centers as well. Upon graduation, students have the skills they need to seek fulfilling employment in modern forms of art and media.

The BA-Studio program offers a generalist and non-discipline specific option to pursue a range of studio arts coursework within the wider context of a Liberal Arts education at Southern, with courses in:

  • Ceramics
  • Graphic Design
  • Jewelry / Metals
  • Painting & Drawing
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture

The ceramic medium is used to create both utilitarian and sculptural forms. Emphasis is placed on technical and conceptual development, using hand- building methods, wheel throwing, glazing, and firing techniques.

Graphic design is the process of visual creative problem-solving with a focus on communication. Graphic designers utilize a wide range of media and visual assets such as typography, photography, and other imagery as part of their creative problem- solving practice. The primary focus of the graphic design program at SCSU is to prepare students for the creative industry, upon graduation. As students navigate the graphic design program at SCSU, they will explore a range of media and outputs, as they work on true-to-industry projects, navigate clients, and develop their professional skills and portfolio.

Typical projects a student can expect to explore as part of their graphic design coursework include: logo development, single-page layout design, multi-page document design, visual branding strategies, package design, emerging and social media applications, and design for screen-based media such as web site design, and mobile application design.

In the Jewelry/Metals specialization, students explore a range of fabrication, casting and metalsmithing techniques in the creation of unique, one-of-a-kind objects.  Emphasis is placed on personal initiative, development of technical expertise, critical thinking and creative approaches to problem-solving.  Projects are designed to encourage students to explore unique solutions to design problems in traditional jewelry and metalsmithing forms as well as the freedom to explore non-objective design solutions.

The Jewelry/Metals specialization in the B.S. in Studio Art Program at Southern is the only academic program of its kind in the state of Connecticut. 

Studio equipment and processes

  • Soldering station with new ventilation system
  • Centrifugal, vacuum and sand casting equipment
  • Full complement of metalsmithing stakes, hammers and forming tools
  • Large and micro drill presses
  • Sandblasting cabinet
  • Acid etching and patination
  • Sheetmetal roller
  • Flexshaft station
  • Burnout, enameling and glass kilns
  • Tumbling and polishing machines
  • 100oz and 30oz Electromelt casting furnaces
  • Electroplating
  • Drawbench and drawplates
  • Moldmaking and wax working tools
  • Durston rolling mill
  • Hydraulic Press
  • Large hand and foot shears
  • Milling machine
  • 13 x 40 Machine lathe
  • Spinning lathe
  • Orion Laser Welder
  • 3D Printing/Makerbot (Shared with the Sculpture Department)

Past Visiting Artists and Workshops have included

  • J. Arthur Loose - Bladesmithing
  • Mark Herndon - Mokume Gane
  • Mary Lee Hu - Working with Wire
  • David Peterson - Hollow Core Casting
  • Boris Bally - Visting Artist Lecture
  • Dan Clayman - Visiting Artist Lecture

Painting and Drawing classes at SCSU allow for highly personalized professional development. Our internationally acclaimed and award winning faculty assist painting and drawing students to reach their individual artistic goals. Students who take our courses go on to successful careers in a range of disciplines including illustration, fine art, art therapy, art education, and many others.

Upper level studio classes in Painting and Drawing work with students in crafting a unique curriculum stemming from the student’s artistic interests. In the upper level studio classes you will find students developing portfolios in their chosen mediums from digital painting/drawing to traditional oil and pastels.

The Photography specialization emphasizes an expressive and comprehensive approach to photographic image making.  Students explore the medium's creative potential and place within contemporary art and culture through a diverse curriculum, while also developing technical competency and practical knowledge in a range of techniques.  Courses cover the most current digital technologies, as well as traditional analogue and hybridized processes.  Throughout the program, students are exposed to a variety of specialized topics  such as studio lighting, analogue and digital printmaking, DSLR video, advanced digital image manipulation and bookmaking.  During their final year of the specialization, students expand upon a personalized portfolio towards a senior exhibition, ultimately preparing for a graduate visual art program, a creative commercial field or a life in the arts. 


  • Analogue black & white darkroom for making silver gelatin prints
  • Digital printmaking facility equipped with 6 iMacs loaded with Adobe Creative Suite, Hasselblad Flextight and Epson scanners, Epson large format inkjet printers
  • Students enrolled in photography courses have access to a variety of cameras and lighting equipment such as: Canon 5D Mark III DSLR cameras, medium and large format cameras, strobe lighting kits and video/audio equipment.  Students also have access to a 16 station iMac computer lab in the Art Department


Visit the SCSU Photography student showcase.

Courses in Printmaking explore a wide range of traditional and contemporary techniques, utilizing fully non-toxic materials. Students follow a sequence of courses in intaglio, relief, monoprinting and silkscreen, as well as innovative and experimental techniques. Stone lithography is introduced to majors working on an advanced level, and individual visions and personal expression are encouraged throughout the journey for each student.

Sculpture courses at Southern Connecticut State University offer students the opportunity to investigate three-dimensional design and form in both traditional and contemporary practices. The Sculpture concentration combines various methods of creative thinking with coursework that offers hands-on experience in a variety of materials and processes including: wood, metal, plaster, casting, carving, mixed media assemblage, and 3-D printing. Studio Art majors who elect the Sculpture concentration will participate in advanced coursework that culminates in the independent development and production of artworks, culminating in a senior exhibition.

Do you have a passion for art and want to inspire this passion in others? Are you interested in guiding others to discover the world around them? Do you enjoy working with children? If so, a major in art education would enable you to turn your interests into a career in teaching. Obtaining your B.S. in Art Education at Southern will provide you with the Connecticut Initial Educators Certificate to launch your journey as a Pre-K-12 art teacher.

In the Art and Design Department at Southern, we can nurture your vision and ambition, and help you to develop and refine the professional skills you will need to navigate the contemporary art world.

It may be the history of art, and the complexities of its existence over time and across cultures, that fascinate you. Perhaps you're looking forward to graduate study in art history, to pursue research, writing, or teaching.

Southern is the only campus in the CSU system offering an art history major. Students can immerse themselves in the theory and traditions of art, to begin preparing for careers with museums or art galleries, or in the fields of art appraisal or art conservation.

The studio art minor requires 18 credits in studio art courses. No specific sequence of courses is prescribed. Studio facilities for ceramics, graphic design, jewelry and metals, painting and drawing, photography, printmaking, and sculpture are designed so that students can explore their ideas in a safe and supportive environment.

The Art History minor is designed for students majoring in diverse subjects eager to achieve deeper understanding of art and culture of the past and present. Students investigate visual images through intensive looking, reading, research and writing. A great way to improve your skills in observation, description, and analysis while meeting people outside your home discipline, the minor requires the completion of only 18 credits (four courses in addition to Art 104 and105).

The Graphic Design minor provides students with a practical, hands-on exploration of the field of Graphic Design. Students will learn design processes and practices including the principles of design, design thinking, typography, and color theory, while exploring technology. The Graphic Design minor provides students with supplemental conceptual and technical skills that will support their primary academic and professional endeavors.