About the School of Art and Design



The School of Art and Design believes your education should be as individual as you are.

Our programs in studio art and design focus on working with students to carve out their place in the larger cultural landscape where imagining the unknown and the unknowable is sustained and primary. We place high value on creativity, critical thinking, project development, community engagement and collaboration, as well as mastery of technique and craftsmanship.

In our program you will discover a faculty of art and design practitioners with a diverse range of creative capabilities working alongside our students. They bring to the studio and classroom a commitment to the process of innovation and skill building as well as their range of experience as makers, collaborators, and researchers.

Our well-equipped facilities, robust national visiting artist program, university research outlets, and partnerships with regional and national cultural institutions all contribute in supporting the individual and collective growth of our students. This prepares them to be competent globally-minded individuals who are capable of engaging and collaborating with professionals in a wide variety of fields and cultural contexts, to assume the challenges of our times.
Visiting Artists 1980 to present

Printmaking student rinsing silk screen



Local / Global / Artist / Citizen

Preparing the next generation of competent globally minded artist and designers who are capable of connecting and collaborating with professionals in a wide variety of fields and cultural contexts to embrace the challenges of our times.

Diversity at Western Carolina University is all-inclusive and recognizes everyone and every group as part of the diversity that should be valued.  It includes race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, geography, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status,   language and linguistic differences, and physical appearance. It also involves different ideas, perspectives, and values.

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We believe in the power of art to transform both the audience and the artist.

The School of Art and Design offers degrees in a variety of artistic disciplines. Each program is structured to cultivate a student’s intellectual and creative development in a stimulating and encouraging environment, enabling students to graduate with the necessary knowledge and skills for a career in the arts, arts education or further study at the graduate level.

The following undergraduate degree programs are offered at the WCU School of Art and Design:

Art Education : This program will prepare students as artist-teachers to meet the needs of diverse student populations. It begins with our B.F.A. degree and, if students want to further their education, they can explore our M.A. in Education or M.A. in Teaching degrees.

Graphic Design : Our B.F.A. in Art with an emphasis in graphic design focuses on developing students' critical thinking skills while exploring contemporary issues. Students develop a strong understanding of formal design principles, creative problem solving and fluency in multiple mediums.

Interior Design : Students will learn computer-aided drafting and design, space planning, problem-solving, lighting, and other relevant topics that lead to the creation of inspired spaces. Our B.S. in Interior Design includes a senior research project or internship and encourages related study abroad.

Studio Art : Our offerings in studio art include a B.A., a B.F.A and an M.F.A., a 60-hour terminal degree program offering the highest level of instruction in the visual arts.

Students who want a less intense involvement in Art or Design can complement their studies with an Art Minor, which requires 21 hours of approved art courses.





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