Incoming Students

Applicants to the Department of Art are required to submit a portfolio of original artwork.  Incoming art major's portfolios double as scholarship portfolios.  Scholarships are offered based on excellence in artistic merit and/or academic success. The portfolio reviews allow prospective students and university art faculty members to discuss the direction of student work and evaluate applicants for scholarship purposes and program placement.


All applicants must submit the following materials for review:

  1. Complete application form
  2. Personal statement outlining the art activities, clubs, exhibits, awards, etc., you have participated in within the past three years and a statement addressing the following questions:
      • Why would you like to join USD's Department of Art program?
      • Why are your future goals and ambitions?
  3. Current high school transcript
  4. Portfolio of artwork containing at least 15 pieces. Portfolios should demonstrate:
  • Creativity - The artwork demonstrates a clear concept and originality
  • Design skills - The student shows development of the composition
  • Craftsmanship - The student artwork presents skillful craftsmanship and tool control in handling the materials
  • Professionalism - The student arranged and displayed their work in an appropriate/ professional manner
  • Observational skills - The five drawings from life/still life that reveal value and proportional understanding

Current Students

The Department of Art offers several scholarships to returning art majors. The merit awards are determined on a competitive basis and require the submission of a digital art portfolio and written statement. All full-time art majors enrolled at USD during the academic year continuing to the next academic year are eligible. Submissions of portfolio and scholarship forms are due by March 1 annually.

Applicants are required to turn in the following materials for review:

  • A digital art portfolio (10 images on a CD in .JPG format). Label the CD with student's name and all images on the CD must be listed with artist's name, title of each piece and media and dimensions (on the scholarship form). All works must have been completed within the last year.
  • A completed returning student scholarship application form.
  • A one-page, typed statement addressing - What are your career objectives and what are your needs for the scholarship?

Available Scholarships

All students will apply for a general art scholarship. Scholarship funds are awarded from available funds and student eligibility in the following art scholarship accounts. Scholarships are awarded through applications from portfolio reviews, conducted by art faculty.

Harvey & Alwayne Gunderson Art Scholarship

Full-time B.F.A. art major at USD during the next academic year or returning B.F.A. art major

Louise Hansen Fine Arts Scholarships

USD art major enrolled as a full-time student during the next academic year

Koch Hazard Architects Scholarship

USD art major enrolled full-time

Oscar Howe Scholarship

Sophomore, junior and senior art majors with preference given to Native American students

Lance Owen Hyde Memorial Scholarship

Sophomore, junior and senior art education major

Beverly & Ralph Behrens Art Education Scholarship

B.F.A. art education major

Donald Dendinger Art Scholarship

B.F.A. art major

John & Dorothy Freed Art Scholarship

B.F.A. art major

Marnie & Parker Powell Scholarship

B.F.A. art major

Judith Smith Mast Scholarship in Art Education

B.F.A. art Major