Student added color to a statue of a hawk

Program Overview

Our department focuses on developing students with technical proficiency in specific areas of studio art and art history, but also stresses an interdisciplinary approach to viewing and making art that emphasizes critical thinking and writing.

This inquiry-based program, combined with our talented faculty and small student-faculty ratio, is what makes us a top school in the Southeast. Our liberal arts approach fosters both creativity and entrepreneurial skills, which teach students how to make their work marketable. Our curriculum encourages double majors, with our students often partnering with the Business and Accounting, Communication Studies, English, or Psychology departments. Earning a solid income with a degree in art is possible for Furman graduates.

Student painting mural on Stax up close

Career Opportunities

Our alumni are highly sought-after in all fields of art, from graphic design to art history.

Find your career

Our Degrees

Areas of Study

We encourage students to gain skills across media, offering courses in drawing, photography, painting, graphic design, ceramics, and sculpture. Art history courses provide training in visual literacy, teaching students how to decode and contextualize images as we cover global topics from antiquity to contemporary art. We also offer a range of experiential learning opportunities, on campus and with community partners.

Field of Study Declaration [PDF]

Art History

The Art History curriculum is designed to provide students with a broad overview of art history and with a deeper understanding of particular areas and periods within it. Students learn how to read images, place them in their historical context, and analyze how meaning is made through visual texts. We foster the study of art chronologically, globally, and thematically—promoting flexibility in approach and method.

We emphasize experiential opportunities for Art History students, facilitating independent learning and internships with regional and national collections. With local partners, many courses include curatorial and museum-studies components, offering an insight into potential career trajectories. Many courses are open to students with few pre-requisites, allowing students to complement their major coursework with training in the interpretation of art, architecture, and visual culture. Indeed, the skills of observation, analysis, and communication that form the basis of every Art History class are relevant
well beyond the study of art.

Students are also encouraged to spend a semester abroad in order to immerse themselves in the art and architecture of another culture. Furman’s study away programs are located throughout Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and Asia.

Art History Major Requirements (PDF)

Art Studio

The Art department encompasses six studio areas: photography, design, ceramics, sculpture, painting and drawing. Studio art majors take a series of foundation courses that establish strong visual language and drawing skills so that they are prepared for upper-level course study. These foundation courses are also open to non-majors as are many of the upper-level studio courses. In addition to the areas listed below, we offer courses in bookmaking, printmaking, digital illustration and art education for school teachers.

  • Photography courses encompass both analog and digital photography. These classes introduce students to the visual language of photography through technical assignments, all within a historical and theoretical framework.
  • Design courses focus on branding, human-centered design, and visual communication. From ad design to typography, design courses emphasis social and theoretical issues related to design.
  • Ceramic courses encompass both wheel throwing and hand-building exercises with exploration of surface treatment including glazing, decorating and firing.
  • Sculpture courses investigate a variety of sculptural processes, including modeling, carving and casting.
  • Painting and drawing courses focus on compositional principles and color ideas with an emphasis on thematic painting problems. Extensive exercises from direct observation.

Studio Art Major Requirements [PDF]

Furman Engaged

This annual spring event celebrates the diversity and creativity of Furman undergraduates with presentations and performances across the campus. Senior art studio majors have a chance to present their research and studio projects to our campus community. Generally, this event coincides with the opening of the Senior Studio Art Majors Thesis Exhibition. It is a great opportunity for students to share work and receive criticism and feedback. Our art history students share their research in public presentations in a special evening forum.