Students entering Fall 2024 and later will apply for this new degree

Are you a current student in Art History or Visual Arts? Visit those degree pages:

Art History    |    Visual Art

The Art and Visual Culture Studies major at Seattle University integrates the fundamentals of artmaking with an exploration of art history and the ways visual culture shapes our world. It features a robust curriculum with a focus on innovative pedagogies and new technologies as it maintains a contemporary view of art that centers the margins and empowers students to envision social change.  

Students in the major take three foundations courses in 2D, 3D and 4D artmaking and an introduction to visual culture studies and art history. These courses ground their studies in the essential media, techniques, histories and theories before specializing in Visual Art & Design or Visual Culture Studies within the major. Two capstone courses allow students to explore in more depth the interconnections between creative practice and issues such as technology, gender, race, and the environment. 

The major prepares students for careers as a creative, positions in the art world, museums and non-profit arts organizations, art education, graduate work in art history, visual art and the humanities and other paths that reward creativity and critical thinking. 

Technical Skills and Analytical Approaches for Our Visual World 

While the disciplines of visual art and art history may be more familiar, the interdisciplinary field of visual culture studies introduces students to the study of art and ideas as components of a broad landscape of popular media, cultural objects, and image technologies central to our contemporary experience. Students gain technical and analytical skills that allow them to participate in the ongoing innovations and critical discussions within our increasingly visually oriented society. 

The Visual Art & Design (VAD) Specialization encourages students to explore their own unique artistic voice. Students build a body of work using open-ended assignments that can incorporate theoretical approaches, community-based work, and interdisciplinary practices. Courses include Drawing Through Social Media; Printmaking: The Art of Protest; Sculpting for Environmental and Social Justice. 

VAD Specialization

The Visual Culture Studies (VCS) Specialization offers deep, episodic dives into different cultures and historical moments while keeping questions about the ethics of representation and the power dynamics of the making, display and circulation of images and objects at the center of students’ inquiry. Courses include Art and Place in the US West; Dandies and Dangerous Women; and New World Baroque. 

VCS Specialization

Learning Outcomes

Graduating Art & Visual Culture Studies Students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in a variety of materials and techniques.

  • Interpret works of art and elements of visual culture, including your own art practice, as complex formal structures in relation to social, historical and cultural contexts.  

  • Write convincingly about visual culture, your own art practice, and art in exhibition using visual and textual evidence culminating in a research and creative project in the major 

  • Produce a unified body of work for appropriate exhibition or a public or scholarly presentation and/or a professional portfolio suitable for a chosen career path.

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Learn More

Ready to Transfer to SU?


Aly Bedford

Program Coordinator


Stefanie Fatooh

Director of Arts Programming


Trung Pham

Department Chair



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