Majors & Minors

Art History  |  Graphic Design  |  Painting & Drawing  |  Photography  |  Minors

Art History

Charlie Chaplin once noted, “There are more valid facts and details in works of art than there are in history books.” The study of art’s history allows us to find these facts in the visual remains of a culture, and reconstruct histories (yes, plural!) in new and exciting ways. Images, buildings, and objects all tell stories, and it is the job of the art historian to translate those stories. By piecing together visual clues we are able to shed light on the now distant past as well as the present moment. Such information yields a greater understanding of the human experience, be it in images of major events and situations that shape culture or more personal and eccentric expressions of self.

Art history courses at Susquehanna focus on current approaches to the theory and criticism of art. Courses help develop skills in visual analysis—an invaluable tool in our media driven culture—via careful study of objects from a range of time periods and places. The curriculum also places special emphasis on the interdisciplinary nature of the field and seeks to foster conversations about diversity as it applies to the art world, both past and present. Students learn to look together, via collaboration and discussion, and, whenever possible, interact with original works of art via visits to major museum collections or in touring exhibitions at the university’s Lore Degenstein Gallery. Students often choose to bolster their experiences in the art history classroom with internships at professional art galleries and well-known museums, as well as study abroad opportunities with the SU Global Opportunities program.

Many SU art history majors choose to complement their studies with an additional major or minors in a wide variety of fields of study, ranging from biology to international studies to a foreign language. Following graduation, some students choose to study art history, museum studies, or another subject in graduate school, while others find themselves ready to pursue professional careers both in and outside of the arts. The skills that Susquehanna art history graduates develop in written and visual analysis facilitate success in most any professional field.

Graphic Design

The graphic design program at Susquehanna is focused, close-knit, challenging, intense, and ultimately very rewarding. Our work is a fixture in regional and national student design competitions, and our best graduates ascend to art director and creative director positions with astonishing regularity. Our graduates don't just make pretty pictures, they are sophisticated critical thinkers and problem solvers, and they have the skills required to win jobs at the best design and advertising agencies in the country. This is the ‘Real World' of graphic design: our students tackle the same sorts of problems and projects faced every day by design professionals at the top end of the business.

Our majors have a wide variety of opportunities to connect with industry professionals and high profile alumni; opportunities for guest speakers, field trips, portfolio reviews, workshops, juried competitions, and internships abound.

The sense of camaraderie and community felt by graphic design majors at Susquehanna is rare and special. Our students spend a lot of time together. They are friends who push, criticize, encourage, lean on, and compete with one another. We highly encourage prospective students to attend an admissions event and meet with a faculty member and current students. Individual visits are great too. To schedule one, or learn more about SU, please contact the admissions office.

Studio Art

Painting & Drawing

The Painting and Drawing program at Susquehanna offers a highly individualized experience in studio practice. Majors work towards the development of a cohesive body of work that demonstrates a distinctive personal style. The program emphasizes the mastery of a broad range of fundamental skills, with a focused experience in one technique or medium. Majors are well versed in historical and contemporary art, and are given numerous opportunities to exhibit their work, travel, and receive feedback from faculty and peers. Prior to graduation, students will professionally mount a public exhibition of the work in The Lore Degenstein Gallery, where they will gain experience in a professional gallery with museum standards.

Required independent coursework and a cross-disciplinary approach allow students to investigate and experiment with multiple ways of creating art. Students are encouraged and given ample time to develop a distinctive and personal visual style.

There are numerous opportunities following graduation for those with a degree in the studio arts. Our students normally enroll in Master of Fine Arts programs to further develop and nurture their skills. However, graduates may also choose a career in a gallery or museum, or as a professional artist or illustrator, artist-in-residence, art buyer, or corporate consultant.

Photography

The photography program at Susquehanna allows majors to gain practical working experience in both the traditional and the digital darkrooms. Facilities include a fully equipped processing laboratory and modern darkroom with twenty enlargers. Photo majors have access to two Macintosh computer labs as well as numerous large format color printers. The department also offers specialized camera equipment and professional studio lighting for student use.

The photography major is focused on the development of students as artists. In addition to mastering the camera and associated technology, students will develop a distinctive personal style through their experience. Majors are well versed in historical and contemporary art, and are given numerous opportunities to exhibit their work, travel, and receive feedback from faculty and peers. Prior to graduation, students will professionally mount a public exhibition of the work in The Lore Degenstein Gallery, where they will gain experience in a professional gallery with museum standards.

Required independent coursework and a cross-disciplinary approach allow students to investigate and experiment with multiple ways of creating art. Students are encouraged and given ample time to develop a distinctive and personal visual style.

There are numerous opportunities following graduation for those with a degree in photography. Our students normally enroll in Master of Fine Arts programs to further develop and nurture their skills. However, graduates are also prepared to succeed in the commercial photography industry.

Minors

Minor in Art History

The minor in art history requires 20 semester hours of art history courses with a grade of C- or above. Required courses include ARTH-101, ARTH-102 and three additional art history courses.

Minor in Photography

The minor in photography requires five courses, totaling 20 semester hours, with a grade of C- or above. Required courses are ARTS-241 Black and White Photography; ARTS-243 Digital Photography; ARTS-244 Advanced Photography; one elective course chosen from ARTS-113 Drawing, ARTG-251 Computer Applications in Graphic Design and ARTS-341 Topics in Photography; and one art history course chosen from ARTH-300 History of Photography, ARTH-310 Modernism and the Avante-garde, ARTH-412 Contemporary Art and ARTH-313 Women in Art.

Minor in Studio Art

The studio art minor requires 20 semester hours in art department courses with grades of C- or above. Required courses are ARTH-101 Introduction to Art History I or ARTH-102 Introduction to Art History II; ARTS-111 Foundations of Art I; ARTS-113 Drawing; and eight additional semester hours of art department electives.

Minor in Museum Studies.

(Interdisciplinary minor offered in conjunction with the department of Anthropology and Sociology and the department of History) Students must complete 20 semester hours of coursework, which includes ANTH-237 Museums and Anthropology, MSUM-400 Museum Studies Internship, MSUM-500 Directed Research and Exhibition Project, and 8 semester hours chosen from the following: ANTH-322 Visual Anthropology: Imagining the Other, ARTH-211 Survey of Non-Western Art, ARTH-412 Contemporary Art, HIST-300 History Methods, and a pre-approved course from a GO Long program. Students must receive a minimum grade of C in all courses credited toward the program.

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