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The Department of Art and Art History is dedicated to developing students’ expressive, analytical and critical skills, their creativity, knowledge of aesthetics, and awareness of our western and non-western art heritage.

The Bachelor of Arts degree offers emphases in: ceramics, computer-based art, drawing, glass design, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and weaving/fibers. Painting and drawing courses may be combined for a single emphasis for the BFA degree.

The Master of Arts emphasis is art history. The Master of Fine Arts emphasis areas include: ceramics/glass design, printmaking, drawing, painting, and sculpture


Department of Art and Art History faculty members are a dedicated group of artists and scholars deeply involved with art, both student work and their own work. As teachers, they pride themselves on maintaining high standards that employ both well-tested and innovative methods. In class and individual critiques, they tend to integrate the investigation of aesthetic, political, historical, and moral issues.

Committed to fostering a sense of community which enables students to be simultaneously nurtured and challenged, faculty make themselves easily accessible—ready to explore ideas and give advice. They encourage students to gain skills in traditional media such as oil painting and watercolor, as well as in new technologies related to photography and computers.

As artists, members of our faculty are nationally known, and some are recognized on the international scene. Our artists, scholars, and designers have won significant public commissions, shown with well-established galleries, received awards for distinguished teaching, written for key journals, and have been speakers and panelists at conferences in the United States and abroad.

In addition, renowned visiting artists, art historians, and critics introduce challenging concepts in special lectures, exhibitions, workshops, and critiques of student work.


Art students work in well-equipped labs and studios for ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, weaving, painting and drawing, interior design, and computer-based art. Well equipped woodshops and welding shops are available (safety training required). The Ira LaTour Visual Resources Center houses a collection of 100,000 slides covering western and non-western art. Library holdings in art (print and non-print) are substantial and are regularly augmented by a generous bequest from the Walter Kohn Art History Endowment. The University Art Gallery, Janet Turner Print Gallery, and Lew D. Oliver Rotunda Gallery mount exciting shows of historical and contemporary art every semester; both the university and the Turner Galleries maintain permanent study collections. Three on-campus galleries frequently display student work, as do many private galleries in the community. On-campus sculpture sites are increasing. The main university library has a large art book collection and computerized catalog.

Career Outlook

Degrees in art, with their emphasis on problem-solving, creativity, imagination, and a strong liberal arts component, lead to a wide variety of career opportunities. CSU, Chico Department of Art and Art History alumni now work as professional studio artists, teachers at levels ranging from grammar school to university, gallery owners, museum curators, travel agents, arts administrators, muralists, medical illustrators, fashion designers, commercial artists, and designers. Interior design graduates often work as residential or contract designers for design companies, architectural firms, or department and furniture stores. They can also work as renderers, set designers, kitchen designers, wholesale market representatives, lighting designers, and historic preservation design specialists. Others are involved with computer graphics, film and video production, art publishing, art restoration, and the design and production of high quality crafts.