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Career Guide to JMU Majors

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Career Guide to JMU Majors: Art

Career Guide to JMU Majors

The Major

Who Succeeds

Careers

Internships

Learn More


The Major

Studio Art is a major offered by the School of Art, Design and Art History, a program within the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Concentrations (BFA Degrees Only):
Ceramics
Fiber Arts 
Metals & Jewelry
Painting & Drawing
Photography
Sculpture

Admission and Progression Standards:
Visit the Major Snapshots site to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major.

Description of Major

The School discerns five distinct goals for the teaching of art at JMU: 1) to prepare future professional artists and designers; 2) to educate future art historians and museum specialists with a global perspective on the visual arts; 3) to develop and license future elementary and secondary art teachers; 4) to enrich the general education of non-art majors; 5) to supply professional instruction in the visual arts for students who wish to enrich their education by studying art as a second major or minor.

The School of Art, Design and Art History offers the following three undergraduate degrees:  Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Science. The Bachelor of Arts degree offers majors in art history and studio art. The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree offers a major in studio art with distinct areas of concentration. The Bachelor of Science degree offers a major in studio art as well as an emphasis area in Industrial Design).

Teaching licensure in art is available as part of all degree programs. A minimum of 120 credits is required for all degrees. There are special admission requirements, including a portfolio review, to become an art major. Students should contact the School of Art, Design and Art History for more information. A student may also declare a minor in Studio Art.

Tell me more about this field of study

A degree in visual arts is for students interested in working with both their head and their hands. This course of study mainly teaches the student the language of vision and the exploration of ideas along with history and philosophy. While many artists go on to become self-employed by producing and marketing their own art work, others find work inside organizations as designers, craftsmen, or technicians. Some become successful small business owners such as printers, artists/craftsmen, graphic designers, as well as museum workers, curators, gallery workers, educators, and administrators. Many continue on to graduate studies in the arts.

Tell me more about specialization

The Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art is intended for students interested in pursuing a program of study that encourages a breadth of knowledge in the visual arts and who have an interest or background in the humanities. Students completing the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree are prepared with a competence in several media and a professional command in at least one medium. Upon completion of the degree, students are prepared to pursue the professional production and exhibition of their own art or more in-depth study at the graduate level.

The Bachelor of Science degree in studio art is intended for students interested in pursuing a program of study that encourages a breadth of knowledge in the visual arts and who have an interest or stronger background preparation in math and/or the social/natural sciences. Students completing the Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in Industrial Design will learn to integrate knowledge of the visual arts with applied technology to create design systems that optimizes the function, value and appearance of manufactured products.

Common majors or minors that complement this major

There are no common combinations but some examples may include: Anthropology, Art History, Biology, Communication Studies, Cultural Communication, Creative Writing, Educational Media, English, Film Studies, Media Arts and Design, Psychology, Special  Education Non-Teaching  and Theater & Dance.


Characteristics of Successful Students

Successful art and design students are creative, skilled at problem solving, and have an entrepreneurial approach to their work and life. 


Careers

Art students at JMU have the opportunity to prepare for a wide variety of art and art-related career fields. Because the School educates art students as critical thinkers and creative problem solvers, graduates have an enhanced ability to think independently, respond flexibly, work productively and compete successfully for employment in career fields that value original and thoughtful creativity. Some graduates choose unrelated careers that utilize skills and experiences developed during their years in college. Keep in mind, some fields will require graduate study or further training. The listing below offers examples of possible career paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.

  • Advertising Designer
  • Animator
  • Architect
  • Art Buyer
  • Art Curator
  • Art Director
  • Art Educator
  • Art Therapist
  • Arts Administrator
  • Book Designer
  • Cartoonist
  • Ceramist
  • Computer Animator
  • Computer Graphics Designer
  • Conservator
  • Craftsperson
  • Cultural Affairs Director
  • Dental Ceramist
  • Environmental Designer
  • Exhibit Designer
  • Fashion Designer
  • Freelance Artist
  • Furniture Designer
  • Gallery Assistant
  • Gallery Director/ Owner
  • Illustrator
  • Imaging Artist
  • Industrial Designer
  • Interpretive Artisan
  • Jeweler
  • Jewelry Designer
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Layout Artist
  • Metalsmith
  • Model Maker
  • Multimedia Designer
  • Museum Curator
  • Outreach Coordinator
  • Package Designer
  • Painter
  • Photo Lab Manager
  • Photographer
  • Potter
  • Preservationist
  • Printmaker
  • Production Artist
  • Sculptor
  • Stain-Glass Artist
  • Textile Designer
  • Visual Effects Designer

Who employs graduates?

Many artists are self-employed working in their own studios. However they also work for: Advertising Agencies, Architecture Firms, Art Studios, Book Publishers, Colleges/Universities, Craft Stores, Department Stores, Design Firms, Discovery Centers, Galleries, Industrial Design Companies, Interior Design Companies, Magazine Publishers, Manufacturing Companies, Motion Pictures Studios, Museums, Newspapers, Online Services Companies, Performing Arts Centers, Private Schools, Public Schools, TV Stations, and Website Development Companies.


Internships and Practicum Experiences

Fine Arts organizations, Museums, Industrial Design firms regularly employ interns. Involvement in student clubs and organizations, such as Kappa Pi, the student chapter of the National Art Education Association, artWorks Gallery, and Sawhill Gallery are also great ways to gain experience. Students should consult with their advisors about internship opportunities. 


Learn More

What are JMU graduates doing with this major?
A Day in the Life of a Photographer
Art Directors(OOH)
Arts and Design Occupations(OOH)
Art Therapist
Becoming a Professional Artist or Illustrator
Commercial and Industrial Designers
Craft and Fine Artists(OOH)
Fine Artists – Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators
Industrial Designers(OOH)
Jewelers, Precious Stones and Metal Workers(OOH)
Medical Illustrators
Multimedia Artists and Animators(OOH)
Multimedia Artists and Animators
Photographers(OOH)

A broad range of resources on career fields, internships, and job search information is also available in the Career & Academic Planning Resource Center.

Make an appointment with a CAP career counselor to learn more about this major and your career options.

A few titles from our Resource Center related to this field include:


© Career & Academic Planning, James Madison University, 2013

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from JMU Career & Academic Planning. Content for each major has been written/reviewed by faculty in the respective department and is revised each year. Requests to update content can be submitted to the Career Guide editor, Nina Stensby-Hurst.