Art at Ship

Shippensburg University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Art and a Bachelor of Arts in Art with Education Certification, K-12. Our undergraduate art program will provide you with a comprehensive curriculum. You will have many opportunities to showcase your work nationally and regionally.

In the undergraduate art program, you can choose a focus in one of the following areas:

  • Art History
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing
  • Graphic Design
  • Painting
  • Sculpture

Why Study Art at Ship?

The Art and Design Department is located in a state-of-the-art center for the studio arts. Our facilities include large spacious studios, computer and technology labs, for art education, art history, ceramics, digital fine art, drawing, graphic design, painting, and sculpture. The sculpture and ceramics facilities also include tremendous roofed outdoor work areas devoted to innovative firing, welding, casting, and carving techniques. The Kauffman Gallery presents a diversity of artists with nine major visual art exhibits annually. Ship art faculty and students exhibit their work along with nationally and regionally recognized artists.

Our students may also elect to study at the Art Institute (Ai), with eight locations nationwide, or attend the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York during their junior-year. By choosing to spend your junior year at one of these institutes, you can concentrate on:

  • Photography/Multimedia
  • Visual Communication
  • Computer Animation/Multimedia
  • Interior Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Industrial Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Advertising Design
  • Textiles/surface Design
  • Accessories Design

Art majors have the opportunity to visit art museums and art galleries in New York City and Washington, D.C., on a regular basis. The art faculty also offers study abroad courses. These include a yearly trip to a major European city during Spring Break.

We furnish and maintain our studios for undergraduate degree students with the finest equipment and tools. Class sizes are small, which translates into more individualized instruction. Our low student to faculty ratio also means we can provide a student-focused curriculum unlike bigger Pennsylvania art undergraduate programs. This can lead to greater educational and artistic opportunities.

Careers in Art

Skilled artists find jobs in virtually every field where goods or services are present. Careers in art include art education, graphic designer, gallery director, and illustrator. You can also find employment as a:

  • Web Designer
  • Videographer
  • Animator
  • Ceramicist
  • Illustrator
  • Product Designer
  • Make-up Artist
  • Lighting Designer
  • Special Effects Artist

If you choose to pursue a career in the fine arts, your options include:

  • University Art Professor
  • Art Critic
  • Conservator or Restorer
  • Art Therapist

Other fine artists continue to make their artwork, exhibit it in galleries, museums, in other types of exhibitions, and may apply for grant funding.

The average salary for artists in Pennsylvania is $56,000.

Major and Minor Requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in art, you need to submit an admission portfolio. Get more information and an introduction to the portfolio and application process.

Art majors take several foundation courses to develop manual skills and to acquire conceptual knowledge about visual art:

  • Basic Drawing
  • Drawing II
  • Color and Two Dimensional Design
  • Three Dimensional Design
  • Art Appreciation

You will also be required to take two art history courses, which together cover art from the Gothic period to the contemporary postmodern art forms. Following the required art courses, you may elect courses in studio art and in art history. Studio areas include:

  • Ceramics
  • Drawing
  • Graphic Design
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture

To minor in art you are required to take 21 credits.

See the undergraduate catalog for specific courses.


Art Education Certification: This concentration provides a cost effective art certification degree to teach art in grades K-12. Students enrolled in the Art Education K-12 Certification program will take the required courses of the art major, the required general education courses, in addition to the following education courses:

  • Art Practicum, Student Teaching
  • Educational Psychology
  • Introduction to Exceptionalities
  • The American School
  • Elements of Instruction
  • Social Structures of Aesthetics, Philosophy & Criticism in the Arts
  • Contemporary Methods in Art Education

Certificate in Graphic Design: Students earning our Certificate in Graphic Design have access to labs containing the latest technology. Courses in graphic and digital design can enhance your employment potential and provide a wide range of career opportunities.

Student Groups

Student clubs and organizations provide you with vital experiences that can lead to entry-level positions.

You are welcome to participate in the Student Art League, which travels to art exhibitions in the surrounding communities, schedules guest artists for workshops, and organizes and stages an annual Holiday Art Sale.

Visivo is the student-produced annual arts magazine at Shippensburg University, which allows our students to learn all aspects of magazine production.

Art education students get involved in the Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA), which is the state chapter of the National Art Education Association (NAEA).

Contact the Department of Art and Design

Department of Art and Design
Huber Art Center 209, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257
(717) 477-1530