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Incoming Students

Applicants are required to submit a portfolio of original artwork. Incoming art majors' portfolios double as scholarship portfolios, and 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. Submissions of portfolio and scholarship forms are due by March 1 annually.


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?
      • Describe your goals and ambitions?
  3. Current high school transcript
  4. Portfolio of artwork containing at least 15 pieces. Portfolios should demonstrate:
  • Creativity - artwork demonstrates a clear concept and originality
  • Design skills - student shows development of the composition
  • Craftsmanship - artwork presents skillful craftsmanship and tool control in handling the materials
  • Professionalism - student arranged and displayed their work in an appropriate/ professional manner
  • Observational skills - five drawings from life/still life that reveal value and proportional understanding

Current Students

There are several scholarships available 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 USB Drive in .JPG format). Label the USB Drive with student's name and all images on the USB Drive 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.
  • Complete the returning student scholarship application form.
  • A one-page, typed statement addressing:
    • What are your career objectives
    • 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.

Beverly Behrens Achievement Scholarship for Art Education

First preference for this scholarship will be given to a student interested in art education. Second preference shall be for a student in the College of Fine Arts.

Betty Clark Evans Art Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to Native American students who are pursuing their B.F.A. in art.

John & Dorothy Freed Art Scholarship

This scholarship is for students who are pursuing their B.F.A. in art or art education.

Harvey & Alwayne Gunderson Art Scholarship

This scholarship is for undergraduate students in the Department of Art.

Koch Hazard Architects Scholarship

This scholarship is for students majoring in art in the College of Fine Arts.

Oscar Howe Scholarship

This scholarship is for a junior student enrolled in the College of Fine Arts as an art major, with preference given to Native American students. Consideration will be on the basis of artist promise or talent as determined by the faculty of the art department.

Lance Owen Hyde Memorial Scholarship

Recipients of this scholarship must be undergraduates majoring in art and preparing to teach art. Criteria for selection includes excellence in both academics and studio work.

Judith Marie Mast Scholarship in Art Education

Recipients of this scholarship should be majoring in art education.

Freshman Scholarships

For freshman scholarships, see Financial Aid.

All programs, policies and procedures described are subject to change. All statements in this publication concerning requirements, dollar amounts, conditions or other matters are for informational purposes only and are subject to change without notice.