Current BFA students browse the gallery art at the annual Stilwell Show

Art Education

Share your love of art with the next generation as an art education major. Through internships and hands-on teaching experience, you can hone your own craft while teaching K-12 students how to pursue their artistic passions.

Why Study Art Education?

As an art education major at USD, you'll journey through a unique curriculum that will prepare you to teach visual arts to K-12 students and others. Set yourself apart by combining proven techniques with on-the-ground teaching experience, helping you gain confidence as you embark on student teaching. You will work closely with faculty who will help you succeed and teach you how to utilize different art mediums on and off campus. 

Become a world-class teacher who can inspire tomorrow's children as an art education major.                         

Degrees & Offerings

Art Education (BFA)

  Vermillion Main Campus

The BFA in art education is a four-year degree program that prepares you for certification to teach K-12 visual arts or pursue another professional career. This degree is offered in conjunction with the School of Education to ensure that you are equally and comprehensively exposed to the academic and artistic components of the degree.

To round out your education, you'll also choose one of six specializations: ceramics, painting, printmaking, graphic design/multimedia, photography or sculpture.

Art Education: Ceramics (BFA)

  Vermillion Main Campus

Art Education: Graphic Design (BFA)

  Vermillion Main Campus

Art Education: Painting (BFA)

  Vermillion Main Campus

Art Education: Photography (BFA)

  Vermillion Main Campus

Art Education: Printmaking (BFA)

  Vermillion Main Campus

Art Education: Sculpture (BFA)

  Vermillion Main Campus

Program Details







Known for Excellence

With qualities like small class sizes, specialized programs and incredible student opportunities, USD is not your typical university. What makes us unique is what makes your education exceptional.

Student Opportunities

As a student at USD, the opportunities available to you extend beyond the classroom. Explore your interests, find your community and experience your education to the fullest extent through the following opportunities.

Earn your art history credits over spring break! Our students have participated in exhibitions and faculty-led programs around the world, and our USD alumni help make those experiences affordable.

New York City

Consider a trip to New York City to experience art on display as it was meant to be experienced. Immerse yourself in the culture, broadway shows, cuisine and popular architectural masterpieces and museums such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of Art, The Morgan Library & Museum, 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Christie's Auction House, Trinity Church, St. Paul's Chapel & Graveyard, Harlem Museum, The Frick Collection, Cathedral of St. John the Devine, VOLTA New York, Brooklyn Museum and more.  


Discover the art and architecture of Italy over spring break while earning your art history credits. Study abroad tours are an experience of a lifetime, giving you a chance to enhance your coursework through cultural immersion. Explore sites in Rome such as the Colosseum, Vatican Museum, St. Pater's Basilica and Sistine Chapel. Additional stops historically have included Assisi, Florence, Ravenna and don't forget Venice for your gondola ride!

At USD, state-of-the-art facilitates will allow your creativity to flourish while giving you the hands-on experience necessary to master your craft. Just a few of the work spaces we offer include: 

  • Cold working equipment: Lapping machine, water feed drill press with diamond coring bits, large diamond brick wet saw, diamond tile wet saw
  • Free figure model sessions
  • Letterpress and type shop
  • 7" iMac studio space with full access to Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Fully equipped camera studio with Nikon 3200 Digital SLRs, 8’x 10’ cameras, 4’x5’ cameras, medium format cameras and 35mm single lens reflex cameras
  • Fully equipped metal fabrication area with 220v MIG, TIG welders, 115v MIG welder, plasma cutter, a gas forge, medium-duty oxyacetylene carts, pedestal grinders, abrasive belt grinder, Hossfeld bender, and hand and handheld power/pneumatic tools
A student speaking at the Oscar Howe art gallery.
The Oscar Howe Summer Art Institute.

Give back to the community by partnering with local businesses on art design projects and participate in city projects and exhibitions with the Vermillion Area Arts Council.

USD offers a range of scholarships for students, including scholarships specifically for art education majors. The Department of Fine Arts strives to recognize and reward outstanding students for their accomplishments and potential whenever possible.

Learn More

Departments & Facilities

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in the only College of Fine Art in the state.
Students in an art gallery


The Department of Art will provide you with unique and applicable real-world experience and connections that enable you to immerse yourself in an environment built for personal and creative discovery.

faculty and staff

Get to know the faculty and staff in the Department of Art. Our faculty are experts in their field, contributing research and scholarship in art education, the history of art, photography, sculpture and much more.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Cory Knedler

Cory Knedler



Art Education
Bio Image for Faculty Member John Banasiak

John Banasiak



Bio Image for Faculty Member Young Ae Kim

Young Ae Kim



Graphic Design, UX & UI, and Immersive Design
Bio Image for Faculty Member Christopher Meyer

Christopher Meyer

Associate Professor


Bio Image for Faculty Member Michael Hook

Michael Hook



Printmaking, Painting, Drawing, Mixed Media
Bio Image for Faculty Member Amber Hansen

Amber Hansen

Assistant Professor


Bio Image for Faculty Member James Quigley

James Quigley

Assistant Professor


Graphic Design, letterpress printing
Bio Image for Faculty Member Erin Wohletz

Erin Wohletz

Assistant Professor


Bio Image for Faculty Member Liz Heeren

Liz Heeren

Senior Lecturer


Art Foundations, Painting
Bio Image for Faculty Member Carol Geu

Carol Geu

Senior Lecturer
Bio Image for Faculty Member Ariadne Albright

Ariadne Albright

Adjunct Instructor
Ceramics student works with clay on the potter's wheel

Gain Hands-On Experience

Through internships and practicums, you can gain experience with notable organizations and events such as the Annual Cast Iron Pour, Sanford Arts Vermillion, Sanford Arts Sioux Falls, LifeScape, Bronze Age Art Casting, Lawrence & Schiller, ClickRain, Mono and more. In addition, the University Art Galleries provide opportunities for experiences ranging from curating exhibitions across campus to working with the permanent collection.
Student learns the screen printing process

Thrive After Graduation

Professional artist. Art teacher. Graphic designer. Photographer. Tattoo artist. Illustrator. Gallery director. Animator. Printmaker.

With a B.F.A. in art, you have a wide range of career options available to you after graduation. USD's program not only offers you the training to advance your craft, but also provides you with guidance on how you can launch your career in the art world. Plus, the creative problem-solving skills you learn in art classes are transferable to almost any job.

Surprisingly Affordable

USD offers low tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students, as well as scholarships, financial aid and employment opportunities to help make your education even more affordable.

Undergraduate Tuition & Costs

Learn more about tuition and fees for undergraduate students and see how your out-of-pocket costs at USD compare to those at other colleges and universities. Visit the Undergraduate Tuition & Costs Detailed page for program specific costs and fees. 

Financial Aid

Navigating options for how to pay for college can be challenging, but you are not alone. The Office of Financial Aid will work with you and your family to explore how you can make your college education even more affordable.


USD awards nearly $9.5 million in scholarships each year. View our scholarships to see which ones you may qualify for and how you can apply.

hear from our students

Success story Levi Sternberg smiling.
USD has outstanding amenities, inspiring faculty, and a beautiful community. USD should be the first choice for anyone who wants to study art in South Dakota.

Levi Sternburg

BFA Art Education, Sculpture '22

Take the Next Step