All first-year students and many transfer students begin their studies within the Department of Art and Design at Southern Miss in the Art Foundations program. “Foundations”, as many know the program, is an intense first year experience organized to prepare students for a successful transition into their desired area of visual specialization. The foundations year includes five basic, yet challenging studio courses including drawing, two and three-dimensional design and color theory.

As with more advanced studio courses that follow, foundation level courses are oriented toward understanding the creative process, as well as comprehending and developing a personal sense of visual sophistication. Also significant in the foundation year is the need to acquire, and use with confidence, a strong artistic vocabulary relating to the visual arts. A strong beginning makes for a highly qualified and professionally valuable graduate from any of the visual arts/design programs.

Once the student has successfully completed requirements of the Foundation program it is time to move into their preferred area of specialization.

Undergraduate Degrees:

The department offers two distinct degree programs that include a broad range of opportunities for preparation in either traditional or professional career paths. These undergraduate degree tracks are:

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)  a broadly based, traditional arts program offered in general Art studies.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) professional career preparation in any one of the following four areas of emphasis:
 • Drawing and Painting: The objective of the painting and drawing degree is to teach all students an understanding of the expressive and investigative possibilities of the two-dimensional formal plastic arts.
 • Graphic Design: (identity design, collateral design, editorial design, package design, poster design, advertising design, and interactive design)
 • Sculpture: (sculpture, ceramics)Sculpture students learn proficiency in a wide range of materials and techniques. Students are exposed to a variety of materials, processes and techniques in clay, wood, metal, stone, plaster and multimedia.

For a detailed view of any of these degree options, visit the Degree Area page. For information concerning transfer credits visit Sample Degree Plan page(s).